White House chief strategist Steve Bannon continues to push for a tax increase on wealthy Americans. The current rate, for those earning more than $5 million per year, sits at 39.6%. Bannon is reportedly pushing for 44%. It's this type of policy that turns conservatives off to the Trump administration, and his more populist-minded cabinet members. President Trump's tax plan, released in April, boasted a 35% tax rate on the wealthiest, and two lower brackets at 25% and 10%. This means Bannon's proposal doesn't just lack for conservative values, but it contradicts Trump's across-the-board tax cuts. What impact will this have, when the Trump administration and Congress begin working on tax reform? What should conservatives seek in tax reform?
Hopefully Bannon's tax reform advice is tossed aside, and left for dead. President Trump had it right the first time, with his tax cuts for all Americans. The conservative view on taxes is directly related to the conservative view on government: Limited. This country has already allowed our bloated government to grow to a point never intended. The true conservative agenda would lay out a comprehensive plan to make budget cuts across the board. Defense spending would probably be the one exception, however a look into spending defense dollars more efficiently would definitely be worthwhile. The idea is very simple, once summed up: Return the money back to the people, which weakens government, and strengthens the people. Returning the money means returning the power, which does not seem to be a popular notion in Washington. Realistically, this is a conversation had by many fiscally conservative Americans, on a daily basis, but never manifests itself in the form of policy. Republicans have no problem campaigning on these promises, but when push comes to shove, they focus on what they feel gets them reelected: Continuing the status quo. This particular branch of the subject warrants much more discussion, but I digress. Returning to my original point, Bannon's idea of "returning the money to the middle class, by sticking it to the rich," is not conservative. It is the Bernie Lite plan, which doesn't actually reduce the total tax burden on US citizens, rather it shifts it to the more wealthy segment of the population... My friends, this is Bannon Redistributionism. This is not traditional conservative tax reform. I only hope Trump listens to his more conservative advisors on this one.