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Letter: Don't overtax the rich

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  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 17, 2012 5:39 a.m.

    Re: "Don't overtax the rich"

    Too late -- we're already doing it.

    The rich already pay a grossly disproportionate share of the taxes in the US, particularly the federal income tax. And Obama regime scams to increase taxes on those already paying the lion's share of the federal income tax are not just needlessly punitive, they're completely ineffectual and will have only a tiny impact on the federal revenue deficit.

    It's nothing more than a divisive socialist scam to divert attention away from the real problem -- deranged liberal fiscal pandering to the most ignorant and vulnerable American voters.

    Exactly the same as they're doing in the failing eurosocialist "workers' paradises."

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 17, 2012 7:08 a.m.

    Jared,

    Don't you think that it shows a certain degree of unpatriotism to abandon your country because you are being taxed?

    What it shows to me is that greed is more valuable than social responsibility; which goes back to Jesus' comments as to why it is so hard for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    May 17, 2012 7:33 a.m.

    During a recent trip to France, American actor Will Smith was being interviewed on local TV with a translator and was asked about the Obama wanting the “rich” to pay higher taxes. Mr. Smith said he wouldn’t mind paying higher taxes. The interviewer told him that in France he would be paying 75% of his income to the government. The look of shock and horror on Mr. Smith’s face was priceless! He then said, “God bless America”. If Obama is re-elected, America will become just like France, bankrupted economically and morally!

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 17, 2012 7:59 a.m.

    Over taxed? Romney's less than 15% tax rate which is far lower than the average blue collar worker is over taxation? What flavor of Kool-aid are you drinking? Unless you are in this group, I am astounded you are so gullible.

  • Logic101 Salt Lake, UT
    May 17, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    All of you need to look at what tax rate the rich were paying during the Eisenhower administration. Remember those 1950's that you all want to return to? Well, it was about 70%!

    I didn't hear the moaning and groaning from them like I do now. Now those people (of the greatest generation) were patriots. We have a bunch of greedy wimps in America right now. I would have my taxes raised if Obama gets his 3% hike passed, but, believe it or not, I can afford it and would pay it willingly to help us out of our crunch.

    Anyone else?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    May 17, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    For the 16 trillionth time, the wealthiest Americans pay nearly 80% of all federal income taxes paid while nearly 50% of Americas pay no federal income taxes at all. What’s the “riches” fair share? And even we the “rich” paid 100% of all their income to the government; it wouldn’t come close to paying for the deficit. Could it be possible that the government is SPENDING too much?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 17, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    There is no major developed country in the world in which the rich would pay lower taxes than they do here. There are only a few small tax havens like Monaco, Cayman Islands, Singapore, etc.

    The rich mainly pay such a high percentage of the taxes in this country because the rich have gotten almost all the economic gains of the past thirty years. If the national income distribution was the same today as it was in 1980, the average family would be making $12,000 a year more, and I'm sure they would be happy to spend a portion of that on higher taxes.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    May 17, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    re: Mountanman

    You throw out the stat that the wealthy pay a high proportion of the taxes in this country, as if it's proof they are overtaxed. Take this into account. If they are paying most of the taxes, and they are taxed at a lower rate than the average worker (Romney's 15%, for example), what does that tell you? It means they are taking in a disproportionate amount of the money in the first place.

    In the 50s...our strongest economic years...the average CEO made about 20 times as much as their average full-time employee. Now that number is over 400 times. Is the work they put in really worth 400 times as much to society as their average FULL-TIME employee? I'm not arguing that everyone should have the exact same pay--taking the risks and paying your dues to get to the top should be rewarded. But I think a rate of 20 times as much is plenty.

    A CEO and two of his workers are sitting around a table. He takes 11 cookies and says to the one worker, "Watch out, the other guy's going to take your cookie."

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 17, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    Jared Brown's view about Don't over tax the rich is too similar to the story of abused wives who are told not to ask their husbands to stop beating them or their darling husbands may leave them. If that is the kind of people the rich are then who needs them and who wants them.

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    May 17, 2012 9:03 a.m.

    Investment income is taxed at a lower rate than salary for good reason -- to encourage investment. Without that tax advantage, a LOT of money would move out of private companies, including banks, and our economy would suffer tremendously.

    Where in the constitution is the federal government allowed to tax (penalize) one citizen at a higher rate than another? Progressive tax is fundamentally unfair by definition. What is unfair is the 47% of citizens who pay no federal income tax and yet reap benefits. If a politician wants "fairness," they would logically have everyone pay federal taxes at the same rate.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    "...they [the rich]will take their substantial entrepreneurial talent and money and will flee to places that respect their ability and wealth." Yes the wealthy have an advantage in that they can move whereas labor like myself cannot. This question of equity for the wealthy cannot be addressed without the Marxian analysis which sees labor as never being fully compensated for the value it adds to the production process. This is Marx's famous surplus value and it IS VERY REAL. Since most economists lack this perspective liberals (and labor like me) are doomed to lose. BTW, the wealthy did just fine when the top marginal rate was 93% in the 50's.

  • Nonconlib Happy Valley, UT
    May 17, 2012 9:58 a.m.

    To quote Mountainman, "for the 16 trillionth time," the problem with our system is not the redistribution of income, it is the current distribution of ownership. Those who actually produce the products do not own a fair share of the businesses they work for. If we want to talk fair, let's get to the heart of the matter. The real issue is that in our corporate system, most people do not own capital. (And don't give me the ridiculous argument about owning stock through my 401k. That doesn't make me a capitalist, and anyway 80 percent of the stock is still owned by 10 percent of the people.)

    Just to put Jared's letter in some sort of context, consider that after World War II, when debt was a larger percentage of GDP than it is now, the top marginal tax rate was 91 percent. With this progressive rate system in place, we were able to jumpstart an economic boom, rebuild Europe, educate a whole generation of returning GIs, pay our debt down, and guess what, the rich still got richer!

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 17, 2012 10:05 a.m.

    @ Thinkin\' Man, Romney holds offshore bank (and other) accounts. How does that money help create jobs or other economic activity in the U.S.? Not at all. Therefore, why should income derived from such investments be given preferential tax treatment? We have a system gone crazy, and between the lobbying to protect these practices and apologists of the system (who then turn around and call for reform to the tax system when the discussion changes), how will we ever clean up the mess we have? Nobody wants their goodies touched, and the power lies mostly with those who already have. Who are the Republicans in the House targeting for cuts? The poor and middle class. Whose programs do they refuse to touch? Those that benefit the wealthy and powerful. Like it or not, the Occupy Wall Street folks have it figured out. Why doesn't the rest of middle America?

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 17, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    As a number of posters have pointed out, the greatest period of economic growth in the history of our country coincided with a much higher tax rate than we currently have. What those posters have not mentioned is that rich people in the 50's mostly didn't whine about it. They were patriots, and they knew their country needed them.

    Let me also point out that Europe's problems have arisen from their foolish attempts to solve a demand side recession with austerity measures. That's precisely what the Paul Ryan plan attempts to do. It's the Right that wants to copy failed European policies.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 17, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    France wants to tax their rich seventy five percent. Watch for an exit there.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    May 17, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    "One of the great evils with which our own nation is menaced at the present time is the wonderful growth of wealth in the hands of a comparatively few individuals. The very liberties for which our fathers contended so steadfastly and courageously, and which they bequeathed to us as a priceless legacy, are endangered by the monstrous power which this accumulation of wealth gives to a few individuals and a few powerful corporations." -- LDS First Preszidency 1875

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 17, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    wait - you mean to suggest that a 75% tax of those making 1 million or more in France is too much?? Come now - France does allow those nasty rich folks to keep a whopping 25% and isn't that fair? I'm certain taxing at the 75% rate will encourage investment and incent those darn rich folks to create new business and expand existing business... right? If someone takes 75% of your pay check doesn't that make you want to go and buy a new car? Of course it does. Those good socialist folks in France are so darn smart aren't they. It warms the heart to know we too have a good socialist minded president who is cut from the same cloth as those in France. Remember - it's all about fairness. It think it is fair to say that those who make more than a million in France will take their money elsewhere. Ya think?? But never fear - the government will always come to the rescue!!!

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 17, 2012 11:13 a.m.

    what's funny, is that this letter writer destroys his own argument.

    He writes about how higher taxes would send the rich packing.

    He states how rich folks are already leaving.

    Yet, we have the lowest tax rates on the rich that we've had in decades right now.

    So what this person seems to advocate is even LOWER taxes on the rich.

    Ummmm what????

    Is there a single reputable economist that believes that LOWER taxes on the rich will do anything positive?

    We've seen what lower taxes did over the past decade. They did not promote economic growth. Instead, they prompted even further debt and helped to give us the largest economic disaster since the 20s.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 17, 2012 11:24 a.m.

    To Thinkn Man: We actually have an easy way to test your hypothesis that lower tax rates on investment will produce more investment. Up until fairly recently, capital gains taxes were double what they are now. So what was the result of cutting the rate in half? The percentage of GDP being invested in the economy stayed the same.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    Patriot: "wait - you mean to suggest that a 75% tax of those making 1 million or more in France is too much?? Come now - France does allow those nasty rich folks to keep a whopping 25% and isn't that fair? I'm certain taxing at the 75% rate will encourage investment and incent those darn rich folks to create new business and expand existing business... right?" Please correct me if I'm wrong but I think the 75% refers to the rate ON THE TOP BRACKET. It does not mean that 75% of French fat cats' income would be taxed.

    For example in the United States I think the top maringal rate is about 35% - this just refers to the top bracket in a graduated income tax system. The actual overal rate of taxation of the wealthy is about 15%.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 17, 2012 12:14 p.m.

    Even at 15% Romney paid much more in taxes dollar wise than any of us. I don't see why that is relevant. He took advantage of the laws in place to legally cut his tax rate. I do that myself as a lower middle class working bee. What did I pay this year? Nothing. I got money back.

  • William Gronberg Payson, UT
    May 17, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    The picture that DN staff selected to illustrate the letter looks like some pictures made public showing the contraband from a large drug raid. Are those blocks of cocaine, heroin or gold? And in the lower left, is it wheat or gold dust?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 17, 2012 1:01 p.m.

    re:marxist

    Nope - you're wrong. The new French Pres has as one of his campaign pledges to tax ALL those who make in excess of 1 million per year at an insane rate of 75%. Yes 75%. Not sure why you are surprised by this since this IS the socialist mind set after all.

  • Logic101 Salt Lake, UT
    May 17, 2012 1:30 p.m.

    Patriot,

    That is about the same rate that Norway has charged for years - but they do not complain nor leave their country. They seem to think that educating their children right through college is the best thing for their country. Yes, they have free college education. They happen to believe that taking care of their elderly is a very acceptable use of their taxes. They actually believe that mothers should be able to stay home with their children until they go to school - and pay them to do that!

    Socialist? Yes, but they do not want to change their ways.

    PS> the US had an income tax rate of almost 70% for the top earners before Reagan changed it. No one was crying about it like everyone does their mere 35% today! What did Reagan do but create a generation of whiners! Where are the patriots of just 30 years ago?

  • really? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 17, 2012 1:49 p.m.

    It is easy to spot those posters who listen only to the opinions and half-truths they agree with (Fox News, right-leaning radio). They spout the "47% of Americans don't pay any taxes," nonsense. Has anyone looked at their paycheck recently? Check out all the withholding that is not income tax. It is a lot, and everyone pays it. Payroll tax, social security, etc.

    If you want to make an argument, at least make a real one with real facts.

  • William Gronberg Payson, UT
    May 17, 2012 3:24 p.m.

    Per OHBU @ 8:57 a.m.

    “A CEO and two of his workers are sitting around a table. He takes 11 cookies and says to the one worker, "Watch out, the other guy's going to take your cookie."

    Well selected analogies are wonderful tools to make clear an idea. Analogies do NOT prove the idea, but sure can clarify the idea. Actually the cookie bowl would have many dozens of cookies in it.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 17, 2012 3:47 p.m.

    >Patriot
    Sorry, but you are mistaken. The 75% tax bracket French proposal is a special bracket for millionaires. My source: the Wall Street Journal.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 17, 2012 4:28 p.m.

    Esquire,
    The effective tax rate paid by the average blue-collar worker, after considering tax credits and deductions, is far short of 15%.

    And the income that is subject to that 15%? It was ALREADY taxed at its source at around 35%, so it is being taxed twice. THAT is NOT the way to incent investment capital in the USA. Without investment capital, no economic growth.

    really?
    47% pay no INCOME tax. THAT is a fact.

    Those withholdings are NOT federal income taxes. SS and medicare withholdings go into trust funds administered (not too well) by the federal government. Those paying into those trust funds will have the right to draw on those funds, not at their whim and pleasure, but under the rules associated therewith. income taxes go not into trust funds, but to support the general operations fo the government.

    Sorry you do not know the difference. Too much MSNBC for you!

  • Mike in Texas Cedar City, Utah
    May 17, 2012 5:05 p.m.

    Taxing the rich equals socialism? This is just using a hated term to bolster you otherwise logically deficient argument. The bottom line is that we need to pay for government services, past and present and we need the wealthy to help. Where much is given much is expected. Those that fight tax fairness are perfectly willing to let the poor and less fortunate carry the burden. The Ryan budget demonstrates that perfectly.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 17, 2012 5:30 p.m.

    Don't undertax them either. Or the middle class.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    May 17, 2012 7:47 p.m.

    The 1% make 23% of the money

    and pay 38% or more of the taxes!

    Me thinks the extreme left just want a free ride on someone else's back,

    and not only that but believe they are entitled to it.

    _
    _
    _
    RE: Esquire

    your 15% tax rate story is complete hogwash.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 17, 2012 8:52 p.m.

    >Lost in DC
    I'm sure it's great fun to play semantic games in which a tax isn't a tax, but payroll deductions are absolutely taxes. They're taken out of your paycheck, pursuant to federal law. Don't pay 'em, go to jail. They're a tax. They don't belong to the worker--there isn't some bank account with a worker's name on it. They do go to a trust fund, administered exceptionally effectively by the federal government--you're welcome to try to find a private health insurer who pays out 98% of premiums for benefits, but I won't hold my breath 'til you do.
    As for the lucky duck 47% who pay no federal income tax, well, do you pay federal income tax? Wanna trade positions with people who don't? When it comes to disposable income, they don't have any. Wealthy people do pay more taxes. And have plenty left over afterwards, for investing, and also just to spend as they please. So as a percentage of disposable income, poor folks are taxed at 100% plus. Rich people hardly pay any tax at all.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 17, 2012 8:54 p.m.

    Re.The Truth/Lost in DC

    So all wealthy people are Republicans and all the poor are Democrats/Liberals?

    Sure, lower income levels don't pay income tax, but when all taxes are considered, the poor pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes than do the wealthy. So it is just flat out dishonest to characterize them as not paying taxes.

    Carried Interest, which is the source of much of Romney's wealth was NOT taxed twice. Bain is a partnership. Partnerships don't pay tax, the money flows directly to the partners as income. The partners (Romney) would primarily invest other wealthy people's money by buying a controlling interest into a company, agreeing that they would give back the investors their investment plus a certain percentage return. Any profit Bain's partners made they would then pay a 15% tax rate. Bain has lobbied heavily to protect the carried interest rule. Bain would also charge management fees which would be taxed as ordinary income.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2012 9:36 p.m.

    Rich people, of whom I am not, spend their riches on goods and services. This creates jobs. Sending money to the federal government penalizes those with income and has little effect on job creation. Creating entitlements, not jobs, is the government's specialty. The entire concept does not address the problem that people do not have employment. Taxing as a fairness issue is in the eye of the beholder. It usually reduces to taxing anyone who makes more money than I do.

  • Tulip West Jordan, UT
    May 18, 2012 5:49 a.m.

    What I earn is my money. I should be able to keep as much of it as possible. That is the beauty of America and any other freedom loving country! You simply cannot tax the rich or anyone else enough to pay for the mess that's been created.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 18, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    The percentage of total taxes paid by the top 1% is approximately the same percentage paid by middle class Americans (average income $68,700):

    IRS figures show that the very rich paid 23% of their incomes in federal income taxes in 2006. The middle class paid about 8% of their incomes in federal income taxes. Based on U.S. CBO figures, the very rich pay just under 2% of their incomes toward social security, while the middle class pays just under 10%. According to a study by The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the very rich pay about 7% of their incomes in state and sales and property and excise taxes, while the middle class pays approximately 10%. Another year of Bush tax cuts will reduce the taxes of the very rich by at least 3% more than the middle class.

    So total taxes for the very rich are 29% of their incomes (23% + 2% + 7% - 3%). Total taxes for the middle class are 28% of their incomes (8% + 10% + 10%). These figures agree with CTJ's 2011 estimate of total taxes paid.

    “Five Tax Fallacies Invented by the 1%”
    by Paul Buchheit

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    May 18, 2012 8:19 a.m.

    The writer of this letter has been swoonboggled by ALEC propaganda.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    May 18, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    I just read that even after the JP Morgan Ooops, CEO Dimon will be paid $26 million plus bonuses next year.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    May 18, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    re: marxist 9:04 a.m. May 17, 2012

    "BTW, the wealthy did just fine when the top marginal rate was 93% in the 50's."

    America was really growing then. I wonder what the GDP was when Eisenhower was POTUS?

    The tax rate for the rich is small potatoes to me. Its these mega multimational corporations that pay no taxes at all that bother me.

    p.s. Didn't Romney say Corporations are people too?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 18, 2012 8:34 a.m.

    Well now Marxist you've ruined a good story.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 18, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    Eric,
    You mean I will be able to draw on the federal treasury like I will on SS and medicare?

    I guess you missed the part where I said the SS and medicare withholdings go into trust funds administered by the feds since you felt you had to explain to me what I had already explained.

    Withholdings DO belong to the workers who paid them. Just because the feds administer the accounts does not mean the feds OWN them! The workers are DIRECT beneficiaries of the funds.

    47% of us have NO disposable income? REALLY???? There are way too many people at theaters, restaurants, ball games, Disneyland; way too many people with I-pads, flat screens, and cable/satellite TV packages for you to say 47% have NO disposable income.

    Truthseeker,
    Show me where I said lower income folks pay no taxes. I said no federal INCOME tax. If the only way you can call me dishonest is to misquote me, what does that say about you?

    RanchHand,
    If your source says the middle class pays 10% in SS, your source is lying, since the SS rate is 7.5%. stop confusing STATE and Federal! Atheists cannot creditably quote Christ.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2012 8:44 a.m.

    The biggest lie put forward by the right is that the rich create jobs.

    The second biggest lie: that the rich pay too much in taxes.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    May 18, 2012 10:50 a.m.

    @Mountainman. For the sixteen trillionth time your are misleading people on the numbers. If someone has a million dollar tax bill and I have a five thousand dollar tax bill of course you can claim that the rich pay eighty percent of taxes. Fifteen percent of 6 million will always be more than twenty five percent of any middle class American.

    It seems you want equality for the wealthy on taxes but you do not want for anybody else.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2012 11:47 a.m.

    Tax rates are the lowest they've been in over half a century. Returning to the Clinton-era tax rates is not overtaxing since that's the level of taxation we had when we last had an essentially balanced budget.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2012 1:52 p.m.

    Gosh.

    Poor rich people! (Sarcsm)

    As...

    Title:
    Study: Rich get a lot richer, outpace middle class. By Andrew Taylor. AP. 10/26/11

    The study comes from the Congressional Budget Office and is based on IRS and Census Bureau data.
    It finds that after-tax income for the top 1 percent of U.S. households almost tripled, up 275 percent, from 1979 to 2007. For people in the middle of the economic scale, after-tax income grew by just 40 percent.

    Sarcasm off.

    I'm sorry, am I supposed to feel PITY for peole who's income, already higher than my own...

    grew almost 300%, while mine grew less than half?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 18, 2012 6:47 p.m.

    "France has also decided to drink the same Kool-Aid under their newly elected president, Francis Hollande, with his 75 percent income tax. Those with wealth are stampeding out of France taking their capital and entrepreneurial talents to more friendly places. "

    Jared, name one. Where do you come up with this stuff? And the fact is, no tax increase has happened in France, and the French president can't unilaterally set these rates any more than our president can. But please, don't deviate from the rhetoric of false facts to try to prove a point.

    So turn off your radio, stop reading blogs that have an agenda to push, and look at the real story. It usually lies somewhere between what the two sides are both lying about. French fleeing the country.

    Good grief, what will we make up next.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 18, 2012 6:54 p.m.

    According to some like Patriot, those who believe in a progressive tax system are socials/communist...... interesting.

    By virtue of this, that father of capitalism, Adam Smith, was in fact a socialist. A cornerstone to his policy was a progressive tax system. Poor Mr. Smith.... tried so hard, but it seems in Utah, he too is a socialist.

    Will anyone escape the charge of being socialist?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 18, 2012 7:12 p.m.

    "In September, co-founder of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin, renounced his U.S. citizenship and moved to Singapore because of the threat of increased taxes. "

    Eduardo, as a matter of fact, was Brazilian born, and held dual citizenship. If he moved to Singapore to avoid taxes, interesting pick. While Singapore is a tax haven, it is by no means tax free. The rate Eduardo will be paying will be 20% of everything over 320k singapore dollars, and will be taxed as normal income. He may benefit in the short term because his income was earned overseas, but from here on out it will be 20% of income, without the miles of deduction Americans take advantage of. The 20% he will pay is more than our own 15% old Mit payes.

    But it is a lovely place - he will enjoy it a lot.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    May 21, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    We should not punish success; however, we also shouldn't have a society in which 5 percent of people control the money. A rich man will have a hard time in the next life and we sometimes don't like to acknowledge this even in church because it makes people nervous and guilty. There has been an explosion of wealth upon the earth in the last 25 years, so there is hope for all. I hear in the last 20 years one billion people on the earth have come out of poverty and in the next 20 years two billion people will join the middle class. So the world is getting richer and richer. (though in 2008 I think 25 percent of wealth disappeared; fortunately we are recovering from that) If the rich aren't generous, I like Book of Mormon chapter Helaman 13 that speaks of "slippery riches" ------ the Lord knows how to give and how to take away.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2012 7:24 a.m.

    "Socialist attacks" does not equate to paying adequate taxes. Is it not an entitlement that if you make over a million a year your effective tax rate goes down, freeing a person up to make huge contributions to a super PAC.