Inspired by President Obama’s speech on growing income inequality, an eight-year-old named Robbie Thornton from New Haven, Connecticut has responded with a proposal that pundits are calling “ingenious and unprecedented.” He argues the nation should adopt a progressive tax structure and system of credits that would “prolly” leave every household with the same net income of $32,250 per year. He arrived at this figure, he said, by multiplying the ages of his mother, father and Michelle Garcia, his second-grade teacher.
On Monday, Thornton presented his plan in the U.S. Capitol Building to a room packed with journalists. He had been invited by a bipartisan group of lawmakers who feel increasingly unable to solve income disparity.
“After thinking a bunch,” he said, “I decided it’d be really good to get a radically progressive tax structure.”
Under his plan, households with incomes above $32,250 will have an effective tax rate that will leave them with a net income of $32,250. Households with an annual income below $32,250 will have no federal tax liability and will be eligible for large tax credits to bring them up to the target income.
Republican lawmakers were quick to point out that under this plan, many Americans, particularly the very wealthy, would be paying 90 to 99 percent of their income in taxes.
“I guess so,” Thornton said. “But the good news is we’ll have a lot of money left over.”
Pulling out a large Spiderman calculator, he spent a few minutes with his little brow furled before announcing that there would be an annual budget surplus of 12 trillion dollars.
When asked about what the federal government might do with such a large surplus, Thornton turned his cap forwards and said, “I propose that the the leftover is given to me.” In response to further questioning, he explained that he’d use the money to buy Starburst candies and a spaceship for his grandfather in a wheelchair.