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U.S. needs bipartisan tax reform plan

About 20 participated in a protest behind the office of U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, during a Halloween-inspired rally.  The event was a local facet of a statewide protest against the Republican federal tax plan being unveiled Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Republicans are promoting a significant corporate tax cut (“GOP says tax cuts will lift wages,” Nov. 26). Democrats are unanimously opposed to the plan. Both parties need to join together to give Americans tax reform that aids Social Security, funds low-income medical care, is deficit neutral, simplifies the tax code and enhances corporate competitiveness in a global market.

Social Security has successfully supplemented retirement income for over 80 years, but it is no longer self-supporting, imperiling promised retirement benefits for elderly persons. A major cause of this shortfall is an increase in disability payments. Currently, there is no dedicated fund for disability benefits. Congress can fix this issue by enacting a 1 percent employee and 1 percent employer disability tax on payrolls. This change will immediately increase funds available for payment to 65 million retired or disabled Social Security recipients.

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The American public overwhelmingly supports assisting low-income people with quality medical care. Unfortunately, there is no broad-based funding source for this popular program. Congress can provide funds by enacting a 3 percent employee and 6 percent employer medical tax on payrolls. Employers providing paid medical care will receive a credit up to the amount of tax collected. Employees working for companies with no medical plan can obtain affordable insurance from a federally-subsidized state exchange or independent medical provider. Furthermore companies providing medical care will no longer be at a significant competitive disadvantage with companies providing no medical benefits.

The two new taxes on individuals will be greatly offset by tax reform changes including a larger standard deduction, a reduction in tax brackets rates and higher child tax credits. The cost of the proposed two corporate payroll taxes will be offset by a reduction in the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. Bipartisan tax reform can benefit all Americans. Stop fighting. Work together!

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Chris Payne, Bel Air

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