Congressman Cedric Richmond

Representing the 2nd District of Louisiana

Idea from Mary Anne Lawrence Cazaubon: Embrace a Flat Tax

June 2, 2011
The Peoples House

 The comments below are from Mr. Richmond's June 2, 2011 People's House speech. Read his entire set of remarks here. 

I will now touch for a second on Mary Anne Lawrence Cazaubon, who, by the way, is 72, and is a retired teacher. Before her teaching career, she worked more than the required quarters in order to draw Social Security. Between the two lives that she lived and the two jobs that she worked, she now lives on less than $1,150 per month. If there were a flat tax of only 10 percent, it would cost her, roughly, $115 per month. She says, even though she would have to spend every dime of her check every month, she would just have to do that. She also mentions, some months, she has to go without food, but she always makes sure that she gets her medicine for her heart and her osteoporosis.

That's the type of sacrifice, that's the type of predicament a lot of our families are in.

Ms. Mary Anne went further as she talked about tax and fiscal issues, and she was very clear to write this, a statement that I absolutely agree with: "Congressman, I hope you appreciate the fact that many of your constituents do support limited government and fiscal sanity. Our country is in real danger of economic collapse. Please don't just toe the party line and reject solutions to this crucial issue. Our Nation's fate depends on it."

I want to say, Mr. Speaker, that I think Ms. Mary Anne is absolutely right. I think that everyone in the country is calling for limited government and fiscal sanity. Also, I think that we have to recognize at the same time that as we cut and make very prudent decisions to restore our fiscal sanity that we have to invest in this next generation, that we have to invest in the future, that we have to invest in those things that spur our entrepreneurial spirit and our innovation, and in those things that are going to continue to make sure that we are the leader in every industry and in every category that we used to be the leader in.

After Ms. Mary Anne talked about the limited government and fiscal sanity, she also volunteered that she would like to see an indexed income tax without any exceptions for individuals or families and no incentives or exemptions to any industry or company, large or small. Here is the recommendation that Ms. Mary Anne came up with:

She would recommend a 0 percent tax for anyone with an income of less than $20,000, 5 percent for anyone with income from $20,000 to $40,000, 10 percent for any of those from $40,000 to $60,000, 15 percent for those from $60,000 to $80,000, 20 percent for those from $80,000 to $100,000, 25 percent for those from $100,000 to $150,000, 30 percent for those from $150,000 to $200,000, and 35 percent for all incomes over $200,000.

I think, Mr. Speaker, that this is very interesting because we're talking about a 72-year-old lady who survives on $1,150 per month, and she has taken the time not only to watch C-SPAN but to join in the conversation with me and the people's House to say that she understands that people who make more should pay a little bit more.