Skip to comments.Repeal That Infernal Tax Code
Posted on 04/17/2012 5:28:08 AM PDT by Kaslin
"April is the cruelest month. . . ."--T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Ronald Reagan said it back in 1983: "Our federal tax system is, in short, utterly impossible, utterly unjust and completely counterproductive . . . (it) reeks with injustice and is fundamentally un-American . . . it has earned a rebellion, and it's time we rebelled."
But what politician today would speak so eloquently, and all too accurately, about the country's irrational, insufferable, infernal Internal Revenue Code? (Except maybe for purely ceremonial purposes during an election year.)
Those in Congress who have made distinguished careers sneaking tricky little passages into the tax code to favor the special interests they represent, or just hope to solicit for a campaign donation, aren't interested in undoing this elaborate trap for the average taxpayer.
Why would politicians seriously challenge a system that so richly rewards them for their expertise in an arcane specialty?
Lest we forget, and so many do, that this republic was born of a tax revolt -- indeed, a mounting succession of them that climaxed in the Spririt of '76. Gosh, maybe that's why they call it the Tea Party.
But we the people long ago lost touch with our Revolutionary, and still revolutionary, roots. We've become inured to the injustice, inefficiency and general incomprehensibility of an encyclopedic tax code that by now passeth all understanding.
A whole priesthood of CPAs has multiplied to translate this gnostic creed, with all its daunting commandments and special dispensations.
Most of us don't object to paying our taxes. Living in the United States of America is not only a blessing but a great bargain. What we object to, or should, is how hard, how complicated, how expensive and sometimes just how plain hopeless it is to try to figure out how much we owe.
Awash in a sea of paper, or rather an ocean of electronic impulses in this internetted age, the American taxpayer needs . . .
But every sweeping new tax law Congress enacts -- always called a "reform" -- makes reform only more complicated and, if possible, more confusing. And makes the tax code longer. By now, it has grown as indecipherable as Hammurabi's. It might as well be on clay tablets.
Despite the perennial foofaraw in Washington about whether and how much to cut taxes, what really drives people nuts is the paperwork, the record keeping, the uncertainty.
Even if folks have an accountant, and by now an estimated 80 percent of us use a tax preparer, or at least some software, to figure out how much we owe, it's still a wearing process.
For the average American family, filling out a tax form has become like attacking a puzzle to which, often enough, there is no right answer. But we're all supposed to swear, on penalty of perjury, that we've done our best to find it.
What to do? Don't mend it, end it. Abolish the tax code and start all over. Think about it: Would anybody starting from scratch come up with a system so byzantine, so counterproductive, so insane as the one we're stuck with? Well, maybe Rube Goldberg.
So why not opt for a clean break with the past?
Yes, kill the monster. Drive it through. Abolish the Internal Revenue Code and begin anew.
Put this thing out of its misery and the taxpayer's. By a date certain. Say, December 31, 2013. The government would have until then to come up with a simpler, fairer substitute.
At this point, it would be easier to junk the U.S. tax code and start all over than to fix it, and certainly to understand it.
To rephrase a thought from Dr. Johnson, nothing so wonderfully concentrates the mind as the prospect of having to file your taxes by midnight tonight. Or get an extension and so succeed only in prolonging the pain.
First kill the Internal Revenue Code, and the way to create a simpler, fairer system might become clearer to all those politicians, bureaucrats and other unimaginative types who now say it just can't be done. But it can be.
There is no time like the present to abolish the Internal Revenue Code. Which is pretty much what I wrote on Tax Day in 2004 and 2006 and 2008 ... and just about every year since. And now have said so again on this Tax Day.
Never. never, never, never give up. Don't believe those who can always be counted on to do nothing about even the longest-running outrages. Just abolish the old tax code and the politicians in Washington would have to devise a new, better, simpler one. From scratch. They'll want to get paid, won't they?
It does no such thing! no form of income would be taxed under the fairtax. Only PERSONAL consumption is.Cite the part of the law that gives the "PERSONAL consumption" tax rate...You can't because it doesn't exist.
The law states the rate is 23% of the gross payments received..
IOW, the business gross INCOME is taxed..
And the CONSUMER, not you , pays it you idiot!
Great quote. Good, albeit disconcerting, to know this concern arose long ago and we’re so far into it we can’t recognize the issue.
Going cash-only is, of course, possible. Smart totalitarians realize they can’t control _everyone_ _always_, so they’ll grant you the delusion of anonymity (be it real or not) insofar as the overall approach persuades ever more people to embrace their own oppression. Over time, of course, your cash-only approach will grow harder to adhere to, and you too will someday scrawl “2+2=5” in the dust; I long had a cash-only mentality for the same reasons ... then one day realized I hadn’t so much as carried cash for months. The individual struggle for freedom amid a submissive culture is one of diminishing returns.
Indeed, I could not so much as not register my kids for Social Security, faced with the prospect of a huge fine in form of “lack of tax credit” to the tune of $20,000 each. I sigh, sign ‘em up, and hope the despotic system crashes in a fiery end ASAP.
You are wrong, it is uniform.
Each qualifying adult is rebated $11,170 and each qualifying child is rebated $3960.
That is uniform.
What you are referring to is whether the FairTax is fair. It is as fair as any tax system can be. A divorced custodial parent of 3 will likely have income from a non-custodial parent or in the case of a widowed parent will have social security.
But the discussion is bout its constitutionality and it is uniformly applied, therefore constitutional.
He or she is clearly a confused and disturbed individual.
Mixing up notions of consumer versus business taxes, non-uniformity in rebates applied to families versus uniform rebates applied to individuals.
He or she does not understand the FairTax basics and like a leftist democrat tries to confuse the issue or creates diversions to unrelated issues.
You guys are arguing semantics. OK, so the business is taxed upon its income at the point of sale; the consumer is imputed with the responsibility, but it’s the business that in fact receives the money and then sends a fraction to the feds. You can say the consumer pays the tax but the business collects & aggregates & submits it (making the business a tax collector).
So what? However it is done and whatever semantics apply, the feds confiscate trillions of dollars, waste most of the money in ways it is not granted power to, bill our grandchildren for >50% more spending on top of that, and do it in a manner where it may scrutinize & adjust each and every purchase made.
Sales tax, whoever is imputed as making the payment, is idiotic.
How about a different, more Constitutional, approach: reduce the IRS to a couple of guys working a couple days a year to receive, record, and deposit one large check from each state & territory. Let Congress decide what each state’s “fair share” is according to the Constitution, and let each state decide how it’s going to raise the money - or how it will push back with enough force of “NO!” that Congress will take notice and lower its demands.
I thought requisitions went the way of the Articles of Confederation. When did Congress, under the Constitution, ever receive and deposit one large check from each state & territory?
You think that will remain uniform for any meaningful length of time? Some self-identified group will lobby Congress to grant them greater rebates (and to reduce some other alleged group’s).
There’s lots of outrage about people making money off “refundable tax credits”, and additional outrage over the proposition of the government paying everyone a “living wage”. How then is it suddenly “sensible” for the feds to give a family of 4 $38,180 no strings attached? especially when anyone can work a high-paying job, and by operating exclusively in used goods and private sales pay no taxes regardless of income? How is this any different from the well-despised “redistributing the wealth”?
Lesseehere, work 2000+ hours a year for twice the income but have half of it confiscated (don’t forget _all_ levels of taxation), or do nothing and collect a check for half as much with no taxation ... same net, lots of effort vs. zero effort, gee I wonder which will encourage creation of wealth. Retail sales & the new goods market will collapse overnight.
Once Progressives realize this is a means to “guaranteed living wage”, they’ll be all for the FairTax - for the wrong reasons.
The Constitution does not provide for giving people “living wage” money just because they exist. Doesn’t matter if it’s dispersed uniformly.
Correct me with quotes/links/history if I’m wrong. Before the 16th Amendment, outside of tarriffs etc I’m not at the carbohydrate-hazy moment clear how the feds accumulated revenue. As the Senate and President were at the time selected by the _states_ (not directly by aggregate individual citizens), I don’t see a stretch to just issuing states a bill based on Congressional seats, and letting each state decide how that bill would be fulfilled (New York by taxing each via complex revenue codes, Alaska by a cut of oil revenues and no tax on residents, etc.).
I appreciate your research.
Pardon my continued suspicion of Congress’ ability to play semantics with what constitutes “uniform”. This IS a government which thinks it can prohibit lawful imputed reduction of demand in illegal interstate commerce.
Not true. The argument is about definitions. Every piece of legislation, every government law or ordinance, every contract has a list of definitions that are in effect. Definitions are important so that time is not wasted on those that do not read them and so that courts will apply law with meaningful intent.
Sales tax, whoever is imputed as making the payment, is idiotic.
Sales tax without income tax works just fine in many states including mine. It is a fact that in recessions sales tax revenues dip less than income taxes. Income taxes are difficult to administer and are more sensitive to economic conditions.
During recession the consumer needs to purchase certain items just to survive so there will always be a sales tax revenue stream that has this basic necessity sales thereby is less sensitive to economic downturns than income tax revenues. Sales tax revenues are much more stable and robust.
How about a different, more Constitutional, approach: reduce the IRS to a couple of guys working a couple days a year to receive, record, and deposit one large check from each state & territory.
Why not do it this way? Because it would be unconstitutional. What you are referring to is a direct tax which must be apportioned according to a census, a capitation tax. But you are proposing it be applied to the state level without apportionment which is unconstitutional because only income taxes are presently constitutional without apportionment and the States have no income.
Let Congress decide what each states fair share is according to the Constitution, and let each state decide how its going to raise the money - or how it will push back with enough force of NO! that Congress will take notice and lower its demands.
Again, what you propose is a direct tax on states without apportionment which is impossible. Direct taxes were written into the constitution to provide for large public works projects or for funding wars. If you are proposing a direct tax on states with apportionment then you are reigniting the conflict that led to income taxes without apportionment. Because average incomes are different in different states, you are in effect saying that poor people in one state pay as much as the rich in other states and even if the states try to lessen the burden on their poor, they still must come up with funds according to an apportionment census and so must tax the rich more. This is what drove the argument for income tax without apportionment. Direct taxation of incomes was the solution but because 'income' was never defined, it has turned into a game of who will be taxed. The FairTax resolves these problems totally.
You are welcome. The case law on uniform is extensive and well established. However, the word ‘income’ was never defined and has been abused beyond anything the Congress of 1913 could have ever imagined.
As for Obamacare, i.e. the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), it will likely with high probability fail on commerce and uniformity provisions of the Constitution BUT it may be deemed severable and leave Title IX of that Act as constitutional. That would be a nightmare.
Title IX of PPACA has taxes on health plans and on incomes to pay and redistribute. It is pure socialism and is likely the hidden ace in the hole for socialists while the country was distracted with individual mandates, Commerce and Uniformity Clause arguments. It is a massive tax increase that will still let the socialists dictate what is and what is not taxable as far as health. In other words they accomplish what they want which is to control our health behavior through taxation.
As many of our wise leaders have said, if the government controls our health behavior, they control everything including guns. In other words, America is fundamentally transformed just as Obama and his leftist ideologues set out to do.
Except that it gives our ever-more-intrusive federal government a peek at every single purchase made, which as the history of every federal tax system shows WILL be abused.
Upshot is that taxation sucks and is subject to take unconstitutional paths without consequence.
Maybe the better question is: why, after 225+ years of economic opportunity, the federal government isn't financially independent? and what could be done to make it so?
Creation of an efficient system of taxation was one of the reasons for the Constitutional Convention. I do know, having read the Virginia ratification debates on the Constitution, that the Anti-Federalists zeroed in on the direct taxing power as a great evil that would lead to our enslavement. They argued forcefully for the requisition system that did not work under the Articles. Federalists responded that to enforce payment against recalcitrant states would be to constitutionalize, to guarantee civil war.
Our government did just fine for 120 years collecting duties, imposts, and excises. A man could go through a lifetime without paying the federal government a cent.
THAT is liberty.
that proposal replaces the irs with NuIRS which is even MORE intrusive and more bloated. In addition it creates a NEW entitlement check that can only lead to MORE lobbying as k-street clients demand their product be included in the “prebate”.
THEN you SHALL have al sharpton et al demanding a “living prebate”.
The truth can be found in the nightmarish language of the proposal itself. EVERYONE must register. The federal government will determine what is or is not a family. The federal government requires the merchant to PROVE they are not an end user. and so on.
Really, what you need is a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT that rescinds the 16th and creates something new.
Remember, any percentage levy (an income tax is such) is the dead hand of the past reaching out to throttle the future.
We can still use cash.
Upshot is that taxation sucks and is subject to take unconstitutional paths without consequence.
That the downside yes, and why we need courts of law with good lawyers and good judges.
All of which you heckle about is unconstitutional when the 16th goes away and if the 16th does not go away, then the FairTax will sunset.
In other words, the FairTax and the 16h cannot and will not coexist. Therefore, all of you inanities are pointless.
You haven’t solved anything at all.
And, BTW, tax inclusive and tax exclusive rates are not hard concepts to grasp.
What is it you do not understand?
it can not just be a repeal, it must include a constitutional prohibition against an income tax or anything that functions as an incometax. (ie calling a rose by any other name...)
mere repeal invites a law reinstating WITH a sales tax.