Progressive Versus Flat Taxes Essay

Progressive Versus Flat Taxes Essay

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Whether or not the United States government should adopt a flat tax system in place of its current progressive tax system has been a hotly debated topic for decades. A flat tax is a tax system which refers to a tax on household income that is the same amount for each household- regardless of income level. The United States currently implements a progressive tax system, meaning that high-income earners pay taxes at a higher rate than low-income earners. The two systems differ greatly in their objectives and methods of execution and typically cause a good deal of unrest amongst lawmakers and citizens alike.
A flat tax system, also known as a proportional tax system, implements the same percentage rate of taxation on everyone, regardless of income. It has been proposed multiple times in the past couple of decades for a flat-rate tax system to be put into action to replace the current progressive system. In a cartoon from the Denver Post, Mike Keefe illustrates Governor Rick Perry’s constant flat tax proposals that have gained the reputation as being pushy and harmful to the working and middle classes (Keefe). Keefe does this by showing a man perceived as Rick Perry carrying a huge glorified baseball bat while walking away from two other small weak men who represent the working and middle class, who have just been forcibly convinced that flat taxes are “beautiful in its simplicity” (Keefe). One of the cherished characteristics of this type of tax system is that it does not discriminate based on income. The Gale encyclopedia acknowledges that originally “the Founding Fathers were opposed to any politics based on income differences because they feared it would lead to class distinctions in the law” (“Flat Tax Provision”). This shared v...


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...nomic History. Ed. Thomas Carson and Mary Bonk. Detroit: Gale, 1999. N. pag. Student Resources in Context. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
Keefe, Mike. “Perry’s Flat Tax.” Cartoon. The Denver Post. (26 October 2011). Web. 13 March 2014.
McEwan, Arthur. "What's Wrong With A Flat Tax?" Dollars & Sense 302 (2012): 31. Business Source Complete. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.
"Progressive Tax." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. Ed. Thomas Carson and Mary Bonk. Detroit: Gale, 1999. N. pag. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
"Proportional Tax." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. Ed. Thomas Carson and Mary Bonk. Detroit: Gale, 1999. N. pag. Student Resources in Context. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
Rao, Manita, and Christian E. Weller. "Progressive Tax Policy and Economic Stability." Journal of Economic Issues 44.3 (2010): 629. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.

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