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?
didn’t our current tax code start as a flat tax?
I’m sure that many of you have heard this one, but it was introduced to me today! I have a new favorite song:
“I hate taxes” by Robert Cray
He will NEVER figure this out but I’ll bet over the years Louie has converted more people to the fairtax by himself than all of us have!
Thass why I don’t debate him — I just let him run off at the mouth and send folks our way!
Hope all is well with you and yours.
It’s like asking a drug addict to give his stash to somebody else.
The tax code is the structural rot of our republic. Lobbyists of all stripes pay big-time to ensure it’s jiggered in their benefit.
The politicians aren’t about to kill their golden goose.
Yes, it started that way and it always grows to a complex pile of indecipherable statutes via a midnight amendment process.
In other words a Flat Tax never stays flat for long because the Flat Tax needs the 16th Amendment to be legal and the 16th allows Congress to amend the tax code at will.
The USA has had 5 major tax reforms since 1913 and each reform has made the tax code ‘flatter’ and ‘simpler’. And it always grows back into a monster because Congress has the license (16th Amendment) to do what ever they want with taxes.
Since the last tax reform in 1986 under Ronald Reagan, there have been more than 20,000 amendments to the tax code and a quadrupling of the number of tax lobbyists in DC.
The revolving doors between Congress and the IRS, between IRS and tax lobbying firms, and between Congress and tax lobbying firms are used by persons that form the Praetorian Guard of the Washington establishment.
The battle over freedom comes down to about 50,000 of these contemporary Praetorian Guards plus their surrogates in the NY media against 144 million individual tax filers. If we get a critical mass of these 144 million to understand the FairTax and stand their ground against the naysayers, then we win hands down.
But the DC Praetorians will use their allies and surrogates in the NY media complex to paint us as radicals and bigots of the Tea Party variety. They will smear us so often that anyone watching who is not educated to the FairTax and who is not aware of what the NY media does to brainwash them, these watchers will have a prejudice against us.
But it only takes on average about 3000 FairTax activists in each Congressional district to turn the Congress member to the FairTax. So we need to keep adding to our ranks.
The good news is that once a person gets it, gets the FairTax, it does not leave them and they can’t think of anything else. But they can get frustrated with the pace of progress. I always tell them the Income Tax took 52 years to become legal and the FairTax has only been out there a little more than 10 years, and it won’t take near as long to get the FairTax passed.
Taxman Bravo Zulu!
> “You think that will remain uniform for any meaningful length of time? “
Do I think the FairTax will remain uniform? It must if it is to be constitutional. Because in the legislation for the FairTax (H.R.25), the proposed law has a provision that sunsets the FairTax if the 16th Amendment is not repealed within a certain time frame.
Here’s the essential idea to understand, the Constitution with the 16th Amendment repealed requires taxes to be uniform. So the answer is yes the FairTax will remain uniform or else it goes away. How does this happen you say?
To be clear the FairTax:
1. Abolishes the Income Tax code, scraps it altogether.
2. Requires a stake to be driven through the heart of the Income Tax by requiring the 16th Amendment to be repealed within a certain time frame.
This number 2 above guarantees the Income Tax never comes back without apportionment, and apportionment puts pressure to generate all manner of non-uniformities when used to collect income taxes, so it ain’t gonna ever happen because without the 16th, all taxes must be uniform or else they will be stricken from the code.
What 1 and 2 above mean is that Americans will be enjoying life under the FairTax and then be told that the FairTax will go away and the Income Tax will come back if the 16th Amendment is not repealed. So the pressure will be on to perform 2 above.
> “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? “
The FairTax does not give a family of 4 (you are mistaken twice here, see below) the amount of $38,180. This amount is a consumption allowance based on purchasing essentials for living and is in fact the level at which FairTax federal taxation begins for this family structure.
First off your $38,180 applies to a family of six, a couple and 4 children:
The rebate is $8,781 ($2,569 for each adult and $911 for each child).
Secondly, buying used goods is a good idea for frugal families and people when it makes sense. But we are not going to buy used light bulbs, or used detergent, or used oil etc. Are you going to buy a used car for the rest of your life? Who will be buying the new cars?
We will buy many many new things just as do now and the price is going to be about the same! Say what? Yes, the price is going to be about the same. Because all the taxes applied up and down supply and production chains get pushed out down to the end of the chain to the consumer of the product or service and that’s where the FairTax NRST is applied.
Thirdly, the FairTax Rebate is not an entitlement, it is a reimbursement of National Retail Sales Tax (NRST) paid based on a consumption allowance for living essentials. If this rebate is increased it must be the same increase for every person, the same for grandma on Social Security as for billionaire Warren Buffett. It must be uniform for all because the repeal of the 16th will not allow for different rates and rebates.
You see all we are doing with the FairTax is just making the whole process simpler and more transparent. And the political class don’t like transparency anymore than cock roaches welcome light.
With the FairTax, we are pushing all the supply chain taxes down to the end of the line and we are paying just about the same taxes that we pay today but don’t see. For example, your employer had to pay a matching amount of your social security and also had to pay federal corporate tax. These taxes form a part of the cost of doing business so prices are inflated by federal taxes at each step for each business in the supply chain. These are called the hidden embedded taxes and they form on average about 23% inclusive of the price of a product or service before reaching the consumer.
To give a simple example, I go to Home Depot to buy a 2 X 4 piece of wood. It sits on the shelf at $2. I go to the cash register and pay $2 for it and no state sales tax if I am in Oregon.
Under the Fair Tax I go to Home Depot to buy a 2 X 4 and it sits on the shelf at $1.54. I go to the cash register to purchase it and there is added $0.46 FairTax NRST to bring the total to $2.
Lastly, private sales. One of the great things about the FairTax from an enforcement point of view is that it is easy to sting people on either side of a sale. Because with the FairTax it takes two people to cheat whereas with the Income Tax it takes only one.
The bottomline is that the FairTax wins the debate on every point but it is opposed by the political class because it take away their power to tinker with code and social engineer things for us. It takes their power away to cause us trouble.
what i can’t understand is how the ‘fair tax’ idiots could not see that having to EXPLAIN tax-inclusive it not ridiculously effing STUPID when you could more easily use the tax-exclusive rate LIKE EVERY OTHER SALES TAX
You cannot calculate ‘tax inclusive’ rate in your head
It also is a decpetively LOWER rate
In short - it is a lie for liars and liberals who LOVE the ‘fair tax’ because it is hidden
I want taxes to be as visible as possible and in your face as possible, to maximize people’s dislike of them
People should be taxed on their success.
I MEANT SHOULD NOT BE TAXES ON THEIR SUCCESS. Stupid mistake and I know I’ll get flamed for it.
This straw man “dustup” between “tax inclusive” and “tax exclusive” arose many years ago when the legislation was first introduced. It has been put to rest, except among those who refuse to understand economic language and concepts.
Here is what the FairTax web site FAQ has to say about it at
“I know the FairTax rate is 23 percent when compared to current income taxes. What will the rate of the sales tax be at the retail counter?
“30 percent. This issue is often confusing, so we explain more here.
“When income tax rates are quoted, economists call that a tax-inclusive quote: “I paid 23 percent last year.” For every $100 earned, $23 went to Uncle Sam. Or, “I had to make $130 to have $100 to spend.” Thats a 23-percent tax-inclusive rate.
“We choose to compare the FairTax to income taxes, quoting the rate the same way, because the FairTax replaces such taxes. That rate is 23 percent.
“Sales taxes, on the other hand, are generally quoted tax exclusive: “I bought a $77 shirt and had to pay that same $23 in sales tax.” This is a 30-percent sales tax. Or, “I spent a dollar, 77¢ for the product and 23¢ in tax.” This rate, when programmed into a point-of-purchase terminal, is 30 percent.
“Note that no matter which way it is quoted, the amount of tax is the same. Under an income tax rate of 23 percent, you have to earn $130 to spend $100.
“Spend that same $100 under a sales tax, you pay that same tax of $30, and the rate is quoted as 30 percent.
“Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that under the income tax, controlling the amount of tax you pay is a complex nightmare. Under the FairTax, you may simply choose not to spend, or to spend less.”
By the way, the only FairTax idiots I know are those who reflexively reject the FairTax, without studying it. Or ask stupid questions or make dumb statements or make asinine accusations without studying it.
The issue is FReedom, Mr. K, FREEDOM!
We will never be a truly FRee people so long as we have an income tax and an IRS!
You are wrong, it is uniform.Thanks for the link, it exposes your lie.
Family of 4: One adult (single mom?) + 3 children - $5,302 annual
Family of 4: a couple (of what?)+ 2 children - $6960.00 annual
Since 1 adult plus 3 children or a couple plus 2 children is too much math for you I wouldn't expect you to be able to figure that that's a $1658.00 annual penalty for a single mom with 3 kids.
It taxes the purchaser! You need a basic refresher on the Fair Tax.Nope, sounds like you need an education on the Fairtax, not a refresher.
The law states the rate is 23% of the gross payments received.
Do purchasers receive payments?
There's nothing anywhere in the law about what the tax rate is for the consumer/purchaser...only the business.
Good grief, we really are retarded aren’t we?
The uniformity is by INDIVIDUAL and not by FAMILY!
“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.”
The accountants use software to tackle the damn tax code too.
When your tax return is close to 9 lbs and you have to ship it in a box it is time for REFORM!
“Its like asking a drug addict to give his stash to somebody else.
The tax code is the structural rot of our republic. Lobbyists of all stripes pay big-time to ensure its jiggered in their benefit.
The politicians arent about to kill their golden goose.”
You are exactly right on all counts UNTIL WE the people take control of the politicians we will continue to suffer!
We will never again be a truly FREE people for so long as we continue to abide the Marxist inspired income tax and the IRS!
It also says that if you make RETAIL sales of NEW goods or services you are REQUIRED to collect the tax from the purchaser on every sale but I guess you ignored that part didn't you Louie!
The business is just a conduit and that is true whether or not the fairtax is in place!
For the benefit of someone else who may be reading this (not you Louie because I KNOW already that you are to stupid to ever understand it), A business has but ONE source of revenue and that is it's sales receipts. That being the case, EVERYTHING the business pays must, of necessity, come from that source! If you tax a business the tax can accrue to any one, or any possible combination of, only three places.
1. The tax is added into the final sales price of the good or service produced and passed on to the consumer hidden in price.
2. The tax reduces the wages and fringe benefits of the worker involved in the production process.
3. The tax reduces the R(eturn) O(n) I(nvestment) to the stockholders of the business.
There is literally no place else for them to accrue and in all cases they fall on individuals and NOT the business!
I'd go with the Steve Forbes no-loophole 17% flat-rate plan NOW and start a 2-3 year transition that at the end of the transition, we repeal the 16th Amendment and replace the income tax with FairTax.
bump and bookmark
bump and bookmark
The tax code is a weapon against the citizens.
Good grief, we really are retarded arent we?Were you saying something about retarded liar?
The uniformity is by INDIVIDUAL and not by FAMILY!
It's a "FAMILY CONSUMPTION ALLOWANCE" and each "FAMILY" has 4 "INDIVIDUALS" dimwit.
The UNIFORM monthly rebate is applied to each adult and to each child as follows:
The above amounts are added for each adult and each child in the family.
The Rebate amounts are UNIFORMLY APPLIED to individuals and if individuals form a household then the uniform rebates are simply added.