Tax season folks. People are waiting for their W2s in a couple of days, if they have not already been delivered or picked up – and then it is through the knee-deep paperwork – needless and time consuming.
Some folks are paying others to try to figure it out, while others are using tax programs on their computers or directly off the Internet. People are making money during the tax season on everyone else’s misery. And don’t bother asking IRS personnel about tax questions – some of them can’t understand it either.
If you want to see April 15th to be just another day – support those who have proposed the Fair Tax. There is an organization that is lobbying Congress and keeping track – aptly named – Americans For Fair Tax. Support them and keep pestering your representatives and senators in standing behind getting this legislation through – but not hurriedly and making sure the final bill has everything covered. The process will be a pain in the cummerbund, to say the least; however the results will be well worth it for all involved – including the government. Government, like businesses have an overhead and the problem with income tax is that it costs too much to process and collect. Hiring a private agency to collect is the type of answer to the solution that IRS can come up with and their suggestion for reform is break down the income tax reporting form at the end of the year to a more concise way of dealing with the annual headache – but never saying that the income tax system has not only outlived its usefulness, but has become an albatross.
There is no part of the administration of government that requires extensive information and a thorough knowledge of the principles of political economy, so much as the business of taxation. The man who understands those principles best will be least likely to resort to oppressive expedients, or sacrifice any particular class of citizens to the procurement of revenue. It might be demonstrated that the most productive system of finance will always be the least burdensome.
And, if you think the thoughts about the income system is something new – here is a statement from Albert Einstein:
The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.
And that is the guy who figured out E=MC2 – so it is obvious that the rest of us are lost.
Barry Goldwater, from the cadre of Republicans who were real conservative-constructionists stated:
The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government.
The Fair Tax will eliminate the need and the chance to cheat.
And from a contemporary professor of economics, columnist and on occasion a fill-in for talk radio hosts – Walter Williams:
Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another. We’re a private person to do the same thing, we’d call it theft. When government does it, we euphemistically call it income redistribution … Income redistribution not only betrays the founders’ vision, it’s a sin in the eyes of God. I’m guessing that when God gave Moses the Eighth Commandment, ‘Thou shalt not steal,” I’m sure he didn’t mean ‘thou shalt not steal unless there was a majority vote in Congress.’
On Ron Paul’s office desk in Congress, he has a sign posted –
Speaking of the Founders, as in the case of Mr. Hamilton and the remark made by Walter Williams, how about this one from Thomas Jefferson written in a letter to Joseph Milligan on April 6th 1816:
… For example. If the system be established on basis of income, and his just proportion on that scale has been already drawn from every one, to step into the field of Consumption, and tax special articles in that, as broadcloth or homespun, wine or whiskey, a coach or a wagon, is doubly taxing the same article. For that portion of Income with which these articles are purchased, having already paid its tax as Income, to pay another tax on the thing it purchased, is paying twice for the same thing; it is an aggrievance on the citizens who use these articles in exoneration of those who do not, contrary to the most sacred of the duties of a government, to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens.
This was in 1816 – and he is telling Mr. Mulligan and us today that taxing the people with both income and consumption tax is not what was intended and was the one of the reasons why America revolted from Mother England – over taxes. Of course, it most concerned taxation without representation; however, when was the last time any elected official from the local county to the Congress of the United States and White House where the people were asked, through referendum, about raising or adding a new tax? Is this not taxation without representation? True we are represented – but exactly WHO are they representing?
From the “Gipper” – Ronald Reagan, who was a student of American history and who became an part of it:
America was born in the midst of a great revolution sparker by oppressive taxation. There was something about the American character – open, hardworking, and honest – that rebelled at the very thought of taxes that were not only heavy but unfair. Today the proud American character remains unchanged. But slowly and subtly, surrendering first to this political pressure and then to that, our system of taxation has turned into something completely foreign to our nature – something complicated, unfair, and, in a fundamental sense, un-American. Well, my friends, the time has come for a second American revolution.
But that “revolution” never came, until later when Dick Armey tried to find a way to do away with the income tax system (in increment steps) and find a system that would be better for the people and the government. That system is the Fair Tax system. Put together after a research by leading economics experts and advice/ideas from folks who write policy letters from the great think tanks of American organizations, and now the banner has been picked up since Dick Armey’s first proposals by John Linder, Representative from Georgia. (The Fair Tax Act, the official name for the bill, is 132 pages and was designed to replace the present tax code of more than 50,000 pages). It was decided to go to the consumption tax, the tax that was suggested by the Founders.
Today, as Mr. Reagan explained back when he wrote the words above, and the warning received from Thomas Jefferson – we are paying both income and consumption taxes. And, you can readily see this in your daily lives:
You receive your paycheck, and Uncle Sam, as well as state governments, have already taken the amount they have prescribed to be your income tax from your weekly or bi-monthly check. Then you pay your electric bill, which includes taxes on the portion owed for electricity; the phone bill, which also includes taxes. You drive to the local fuel station and fill your tank – the taxes combined with federal, state and local average about 48-cents per gallon. Now, remember, you are using money left over from a previous taxation. Then the other things that must be paid – property tax, tax on license plates, tax on things you purchase (except for some states, like Wisconsin which does not charge sales tax on food items). Then there is the fees, which our beloved governor (Jim Doyle, of whom I did not vote for), has almost doubled in some cases the state government fees for processes that the government requires us to do – license plates for our vehicles, the over-the-counter fee for applying for license plates and title fees. There are fees to build a porch in your backyard, and fees to obtain a permit to do any construction, especially a house or garage. Fees are not just to cover the “cost” of government, but it is also taxation because they collect more than it costs to operate those bureaucratic offices that wouldn’t be needed if the citizens weren’t required to have licenses (vehicles, marriage, et cetera) and permits (building).
I believe that most Americans are overtaxed. I also believe we spend too much time figuring out how much money we owe the government. Every year many of us seek help to prepare our tax returns simply because our nation’s tax code is so large and complex that we don’t have the time or expertise to do it ourselves. From the Alternative Minimum Tax, which you pay if the government determines you haven’t paid enough taxes, to the double taxation of dividends, our tax code is full of different rules for different groups. I think that is fundamentally unfair. America should have only one tax code and it ought to apply evenly to everyone.
Under the Fair Tax system, there will be no percentage steps – the rate will be a flat rate for everyone. And, for those of you who are still brainwashed by the socialists who whine about the “rich” (who, by the way, create and maintain employment for the rest of us) – the wealthier Americans will pay more than others with a consumption tax, for the simple reason that they will SPEND more. And that is what consumption is all about.
John Linder and others who co-wrote the Fair Tax Act also figured in the need to exempt housing and food from the consumption federal tax. Present consumption taxes will remain, such as on alcohol, cigarettes, fuel, tariff (import and export fees), et cetera. In addition, monthly or quarterly, this has not been ironed out in detail, there will be a rebate for expenditures on consumption tax and a proportion thereof to people of a certain group of lower income citizens.
When you receive your paycheck, you will receive all of your money you earned – unless you have a deduction of some kind you chose to have done or a court ordered a deduction to pay a debt, child support, or whatever.
And, Social Security? Well, hopefully there will be an option by this time enabling citizens to invest a portion of the SS payments (who can really live off the present “retirement” checks?); and those payments or rather the expected income will come from the consumption system. Some state that the FICA deductions (Social Security) should still be deducted from your paycheck – once again these details must be worked out and added to the Fair Tax bill as an amendment before ready for the vote on it in the House and Senate and then signed into law by whoever is President of the United States.
I believe that all Americans should insist that this issue be entered in for discussion by the candidates who intend to be our President. It is important, and as Thomas Jefferson wrote:
Excessive taxation … will carry reason and reflection to every man’s door, and particularly in the hour of election.
Every time we talk about these taxes we get around to the idea of ‘from each according to his capacity and to each according to his needs’. That’s socialism. It’s written into the Communist Manifesto. Maybe we ought to see that every person who gets a tax return receives a copy of the Communist Manifesto with it so he can see what’s happening to him.
Calvin Coolidge was our 30th President of the United States, and he stated:
The collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny. The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful. Even President Coolidge (1923-1929) understood the principles of taxation. President Coolidge was the Vice President when President Harding died, and then in the middle of the night he was informed that he was the president. In 1924 he won reelection, his presidency ended just a few months before the Wall Street Crash, which began the era known as the Great Depression.
Let’s make April 15th just another day. Never think that it cannot be done or it is a waste of time to pressure members of Congress to do the right thing. We have wasted the people’s time and money enough since the inception of the 16th Amendment – it is way past the time to end it and return to the type of taxation that the Founders had recommended and establish. It is time to end the “days of wine and roses” with our tax money. It is time to end the frustration and confusion when dealing with complicated tax codes. It is time for a system that actually shows just what those we elect are spending and what they are spending it on. It is time for the members of the government to become liable for the policies and their deeds. It is a time to fix our backyard so we can be strong enough to help others fix theirs. It is a time to love and respect our nation and recognize the people within the nation for what they are and what they can be – Americans.
Now, pardon me, while I sit down and prepare my income tax return to see whether I will receive the money they shouldn’t have taken out of my check in the first place – or how much I have to spend because they didn’t take out as much as they wanted. In the case of the former, they have held my money without paying interest or late fees; something that IRS is quick and judicially enact on someone each and every year.
I support the Fair Tax Act – how about you?
Does your chosen or prospective candidate for the presidency support it as well?
Mine hasn’t, yet, but then again I never voted for either that representative or the senator that presently takes up space in Congress. But I will not give in, I will not let them ignore me, and I hope before my time comes I will actually see the 16th Amendment
become part of American history’s dustbin.