Don't means-test up front; instead, tax the wealthy later

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)
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There is a fast-moving proposal to send out checks to United States individuals to boost the economy and perhaps lessen the impact of the coronavirus recession/depression.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi is talking about means-testing the process, so that persons with more income or resources would get less, or nothing at all.

Besides making the process much more complicated and slowing the arrival of the help, doing means-testing on the front end gets the process backwards.

The federal government can do the stimulus to everyone, then take care of the possible inequities by taxing it as income on the back end, using a progressive scale so that only the very well-off get taxed.

It’s faster, it’s simpler, and it gives legislators and the IRS months to figure out the rules.

Doing it up front is a bad idea.

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