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Failure of tax reform reveals gov't lacks conviction, ability

Instead of targeting the rich, a smart leader would rather justify tax reform as a necessary step to reverse the income gap growth, which, if kept unchecked, will be devastating to everyone in the nation. A widening wealth gap, compounded with a graying population, will make growth impossible, empty the coffers and ultimately tear the nation apart. Therefore, reform is in the interest of everyone, even the most self-concerned businesses. While using justice as a slogan, the government fails to realize that justice is important not only because it is good but also because it is necessary for social sustainability.

The government also picked the worst time possible to propose the capital gains tax. Instead of getting the bill right (the first time) before attempting to pass it through legislation, it decided to push through one of the most challenging and controversial reforms during a time of great uncertainty over global financial stability. An introduction of the stock gains tax will only add uncertainty to an already gloomy stock market, while a weak stock market will in turn add obstacles for tax reform. It is lose-lose for everybody. In fact the timing is so bad that had they not known better, people could have suspected the government intentionally raised the issue at this time just to kill it.

A ruling Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Tuesday called for a “Taiwanese Warren Buffett” to help the government make its case for tax reform. Warren Buffett and his now-famous call for more a balanced tax system are needed, in part, due to the political deadlock in Washington that is disabling the U.S. government. The KMT government, however, is controlling both the Legislature and the Presidential Office. It is a shame when the ruling party needs to call for a private individual to do what the party is entrusted yet unable, or worse, unwilling to do.

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