Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Gunning for Tax Credits




Representative Rosa DeLauro, from Connecticut's 3rd District, has introduced H.R. 226 in the 113th Congress. Raul Grijalva, from Arizona's 3rd District, is the co-sponsor.

H.R. 226 would give a $2,000 tax credit to those who surrender their so-called "assault weapons" to law enforcement authorities.  The tax credit is refundable, which is to say that if the tax owed is less than the credit, the IRS cuts a check to the taxpayer claiming the credit (there are some tax credits which are limited to the amount of tax owed, and are not refundable).

The bill's main flaw (other than being an unabashed attack on our Second Amendment rights) is that the weapon must be "legally possessed" in order for the credit to be claimed.  One must wonder how this poorly conceived legislation will do anything to remove the illegally possessed weapons from hands of criminals.

The other problem is that it is a tax measure.  If the Internal Revenue Code needs to be simplified, adding another provision to it is counterproductive.

Besides, taxation corrupts!  It is not difficult to envision all kinds of so-called "tax shelters" to game the system with this one.  Surely an item that technically conforms to the bill's definition of a specified assault weapon (the proposed legislation does not seem to require that the weapons be operative) can be manufactured and distributed for significantly less than $2,000, purchased, and turned in to the law enforcement authorities.

And while the laws enacted by Congress can be violated, the laws of supply and demand are inviolate.  Enactment of this tax credit provision will drive up the price of the guns, thereby increasing the profit margins in their manufacture.  How would that remove guns from society? [I know, I know.  The registration requirements, according to the gun-grabber advocates, will prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands.].


The bill is bad policy all around.  The tax pundits do not expect this bill to come out of committee (though nothing is a sure thing under the Dome in Washington).

The legislation should be shot down!


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