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Eliminating the capital gains tax

ELIMINATING THE CAPITAL GAINS TAX

One of the major obstacles facing all entrepreneurs in the United States when

starting a new business or expanding an existing one is raising capital. Here capital

refers to money that people invest in a business. Investment and entrepreneurship are the

heart and soul of a lively economy. There is no other economic task more important than

investing one's capital into new ideas and new enterprises. Therefore capital raised from

one person or a group of professional investors remains a crucial source of funding for

these type of enterprises. In the type of economic world which is present today the

opportunity for good returns on a person's money must be in abundance to allure

investments in such ventures. Capital gains taxes significantly diminish these returns,

therefore reducing the incentives to invest. Eliminating the capital gains tax will spark

entrepreneurship and new investments in the economy, which in turn will elevate

economic growth and increase the number of jobs. In order to stimulate economic

growth in the United States, taxes on capital gains should be eliminated.

Members of Congress once considered a reduction in the capital gains tax rate

from 28% to 19.8%. Combined with indexation, which is

, reducing the capital gains tax by any amount would be a vital pro-growth step taken by

Congress. However, given the fickle and high risk nature of investments and

entrepreneurships, and the importance of maintaining a competitive economy in a global

environment, capital gains should be exempt from taxation altogether. A zero percent

capital gains tax would attract entrepreneurial risk taking, which is very important to

economic growth. It would entice wealthy investors to invest in a certain enterprise,

which in small numbers would immensely increase the economic growth in the United

States. In the Wall Street Journal the U.S. Commission on civil rights said, "Reducing

the tax on capital gains effectively increases the flow of financial 'seed corn' to budding

entrepreneurs." Also, from a global perspective, the United States has one of the biggest

capital gains tax rate. Depending on inflation, sometimes the United States has the

largest capital gains tax rate in the world. In a competitive global economy a zero

percent capital gains tax rate would make the United States a haven for capital, which in

the long run will spark economic growth in the United States. Eliminating the capital

gains tax altogether would not only promote a "boom" economy in the United States but

will give the United States an edge that it needs to compete in the global world, not to

mention create new jobs.

The potential benefits for eliminating the capital gains tax are clear. Venture

capital investment was on the rise as the U.S. capital gains tax declined up to 1986. This

was followed by a dramatic downturn as the rate was hiked 40% in 1987 (Venture

Economics). Eliminating the capital gains tax would augment the incentives to invest in

new and expanding ventures. In a report from the Small Business Survival Committee's

July 1994 newsletter, economists Gary and Aldona Robbins estimated the economic

impact of eliminating the federal capital gains tax. By the year 2000, the Robbins'

projected that a zero percent capital gains tax would lead to many new heights, some of

which include: an additional $3.2 trillion in capital formation, a creation of 1.1 million

new jobs, and extra $1.6 trillion in GDP to the year 2000, an annual GDP $391 billion

higher than it would normally be, and additional 0.43 percentage points on the long-term

annual growth rate for the economy. It can be seen clearly by the preceding that

eliminating the capital gains tax would stimulate economic growth in the United States

like never before.

Proponents for a capital gains tax argue that a capital gains tax is merely a tax on

the wealthy and this particular tax will not affect the economy too much. However,

capital gains taxes are not only taxes on the wealthy but they are taxes on wealth

creation. As argued here the benefits of eliminating a capital gains tax will be felt

throughout the economy as economic growth accelerates. By relating this to economic

markets, it can be said that there won't be any jobs without capital investments and

entrepreneurs, and without jobs the economy will be in a bust. In addition, capital gains

tend to be spread across a wider income spectrum than many believe. According to the

IRS Individual Income Tax Returns, Preliminary Data, 1992 federal income tax returns,

56% of returns claiming capital gains were from incomes of $50,000 or less, including a

capital gain. What this information boils down to is that the capital gains tax affects

almost everyone, which affects the economy in general, contrary to



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