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A Simple, Easy Way to Protest Our Tax Code
3/31/2002 | DennisR

Posted on 03/31/2002 1:15:58 PM PST by DennisR

Well, I am almost finished with the most flagrant waste of my time--doing my Federal taxes. Just look at Schedule D to enter the worst nightmare of your tax-paying lives. For years, I have thought a flat rate would be best. The only deduction would be for charitable deductions, nothing else. Even Russia now has a flat rate tax of 13%! I think that's about 3% too high, but, hey, it's a step in the right direction.

Anyway, last night I came up with a great idea that might help politicians realize that they have to do something to end the insanity of a 46,000-page tax code. The idea is this: after sending in your 2001 tax return to the IRS, take your 2001 tax booklet and write "I want a 10% flat tax implemented by 2004," then mail it to one of your federal representatives. If they received tens of thousands of these booklets each year in their mail, maybe they would get an idea that we want simpliciation instead of punishment and distress.


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: flatrate; tax; taxcode; taxes; taxreform
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Any others want to join me? Any other ideas about making simple, easy, and inexpensive protests that will get our Congressmen and Congresswomen's attention?
1 posted on 03/31/2002 1:15:58 PM PST by DennisR
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To: DennisR ;Taxman ;COB1 ;Chief Negotiator
Gonna wrap mine around a lead dive weight and send it freight collect...........

Good I idea, I'll do it.....Stay Safe !

2 posted on 03/31/2002 1:19:37 PM PST by Squantos
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To: DennisR
Flat tax good, rate too low. I've heard different theories ranging from 17% to 23% on what the flat tax would need to be to cover current expenditures. Anything less, and people scream about services.

Also, if there is an exemption at the bottom of the scale, you get lots of cheating and lying all over again. You still have to have income tracking and income tax forms to take care of that group.

3 posted on 03/31/2002 1:20:40 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Squantos
Thoughtful, inventive, creative, and beautiful idea!
4 posted on 03/31/2002 1:21:18 PM PST by DennisR
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To: DennisR
Like Lemmings to the sea we go...

Thank you

5 posted on 03/31/2002 1:21:41 PM PST by Slam
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To: Pearls Before Swine
If you do not have exemptions at the bottom (which I would recommend), you do not need to worry about that. If you make $100 a year, you send in $10. If you make a million, you send in $100,000. The reason you make everyone pay taxes is because you appreciate things more when you have to pay for them. Everyone benefits from defense, roads, and so forth, so everyone should contribute.
6 posted on 03/31/2002 1:23:58 PM PST by DennisR
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To: Slam
If you used a computer tax program the previous year, you do not get the booklet.
7 posted on 03/31/2002 1:24:31 PM PST by Whispering Smith
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To: Slam
Lemmings as in "we simply do as we are told in giving government whatever they want whenever they want it?"
8 posted on 03/31/2002 1:25:22 PM PST by DennisR
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To: Whispering Smith
Hm...there is probably still time to get one at the post office. And if that doesn't work, mail in a section of the newspaper with the message written on the front.
9 posted on 03/31/2002 1:26:40 PM PST by DennisR
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To: Pearls Before Swine
I think we can all agree that the Feds spending about $8000 for every man, woman, and child in the country is just a wee bit too much. After defense and infrastructure, the responsibility of the Federal government drops off very quickly. So by having a 10% tax rate, we cut spending because we cut the amount of money available to the insatiable Federal government.
10 posted on 03/31/2002 1:28:36 PM PST by DennisR
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: SentryoverAmerica
I disagree. Yes, although the dregs of society get away with zero or no taxes, that is probably a small percentage of the population. A national sales tax is a very bad idea because capitalism is built on consumerism. No consumerism = no economy. And when you raise the price of something--which is what a national sales tax would do--you will sell less of it. Be that as it may, if you want a national sales tax, write that on the front of the tax booklet and send it in. Anything would be better than what we have now. I plan on sending my booklet in on the same day I send my taxes in.
12 posted on 03/31/2002 1:33:41 PM PST by DennisR
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: DennisR
Anyway, last night I came up with a great idea that might help politicians realize that they have to do something to end the insanity of a 46,000-page tax code. The idea is this: after sending in your 2001 tax return to the IRS, take your 2001 tax booklet and write "I want a 10% flat tax implemented by 2004," then mail it to one of your federal representatives. If they received tens of thousands of these booklets each year in their mail, maybe they would get an idea that we want simpliciation instead of punishment and distress.

That's a good idea. I got a buddy who everytime he cuts a check to the IRS writes "THE GOVERNMENT IS STEALING FROM ME" in the memo line. This probably accomplishes nothing except getting him a more extensive FBI file but I like it nonetheless.

14 posted on 03/31/2002 1:43:33 PM PST by Decentralize
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To: DennisR
Great idea, I will do it tomorrow.
15 posted on 03/31/2002 1:44:02 PM PST by Coleus
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To: DennisR
No consumerism = no economy. And when you raise the price of something--which is what a national sales tax would do--you will sell less of it.

There are presently about 100 seperate taxes levied on a loaf of bread before you get it at the grocery store. That is in effect a hidden VAT and doesn't seem to stop consumption much. Flat Tax=Good Idea.

16 posted on 03/31/2002 1:46:09 PM PST by Don Corleone
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To: Decentralize
Somehow getting the attention of the IRS does not seem like a good idea. :)
17 posted on 03/31/2002 1:46:29 PM PST by DennisR
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To: DennisR
...when you raise the price of something--which is what a national sales tax would do

Under a sales tax, prices will go up but so would disposable income. We would no longer pay income taxes.

I still like your protest idea.

18 posted on 03/31/2002 1:47:37 PM PST by jadimov
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To: Don Corleone
Which bring up another aspect of the flat tax. It would be the ONLY way the Feds could collect taxes. So all of the hidden ways they nickel-and-dime us to death (like Gore's internet tax) would be abolished.
19 posted on 03/31/2002 1:48:15 PM PST by DennisR
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To: SentryoverAmerica
"There is something fundamentally wrong with your premise that we should let the drug dealers, whores, and pimps and dishonest business people get a free pass on taxes while you and I tax slave longer than necessary each year to cover their asses." I am only recognizing and accepting the fact that dishonest people will always be with us. These people could still be arrested for avoiding payment of their tax bill--just like they can be today. And what happens when the black market for "national-sales-tax" items becomes prevalent? And believe me, it will happen. "Psst...buddy. How about buying this nice, slightly-used CD player without paying the NST?"
20 posted on 03/31/2002 1:50:49 PM PST by DennisR
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To: SentryoverAmerica
There is something fundamentally wrong with your premise that we should let the drug dealers, whores, and pimps and dishonest business people get a free pass on taxes while you and I tax slave longer than necessary each year to cover their asses.

Comments like this about our dedicated public servants are (un)warranted and (un)necessary?

21 posted on 03/31/2002 1:51:02 PM PST by Don Corleone
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To: jadimov
Yes, the right way to tax is up for debate, but the idiocy of our current tax code should not be.
If nothing else, we need to have a grass-roots protest, otherwise Congress will go on its own merry way of pork-barrel spending. This might be one way to do that. And there are probably plenty more if everyone throws in their ideas.
22 posted on 03/31/2002 1:53:48 PM PST by DennisR
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To: Don Corleone
...and to think that these folks have been elected!
23 posted on 03/31/2002 1:54:48 PM PST by DennisR
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To: DennisR
Here is the way to protest: stake your life, liberty and freedom on the line. Let them come after you with machine guns to collect a few bucks.
24 posted on 03/31/2002 1:57:55 PM PST by Buckeroo
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To: SentryoverAmerica; DennisR
12...probably a small percentage of the population...

13...it is NOT a small amount. It measures well into the billions...

Walter Williams
---According to the most recent U.S. Treasury Department figures, in 1997 the top 1 percent of income-earners (those with income of $250,000 and higher) paid 33 percent of all federal income taxes. The top 5 percent of income-earners ($108,000 and over) paid 52 percent, and the top 50 percent ($36,000 and over) paid 96 percent of income taxes. Guess what the bottom 50 percent of income earners paid?

full text at townhall.com

25 posted on 03/31/2002 1:59:04 PM PST by jadimov
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To: Buckeroo
Somehow having my body shot full of holes for a few bucks isn't that appealing. Sending the tax booklet in seems to be a bit better for my long-term health. (Does this mean I'm not committed to the cause?)
26 posted on 03/31/2002 2:00:22 PM PST by DennisR
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To: Pearls Before Swine; DennisR

I've heard different theories ranging from 17% to 23% on what the flat tax would need to be to cover current expenditures.

Here's how rates come out for a flat individual/corporate income tax, based on maintaining constant levels of revenue to pay the nation's debts etc. (not including SS/Medicare payments)

http://www.library.unt.edu/govinfo/subject/vital.html

Joint Economic Committee

Revenue Neutral Tax Rates for Alternative Allowances and Exemptions Under a Flat Tax
Standard Allowances Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4 Option 5
Single $13,100 $13,100 $ 6,550 $ 6,550 $0
Joint $26,200 $26,200 $13,100 $13,100 $0
Head of Household $17,200 $17,200 $ 8,600 $ 8,600 $0
Dependent Exemption $ 5,300 $ 2,650 $ 5,300 $ 2,650 $0
Revenue Neutral Tax Rate 19.9% 19.4% 16.8% 16.3% 13.1%

Source: Congressional Budget Office, 1995.

If it were to be a Flat individual income tax alone(without personal exemptions, or any deductions), the rate would be the effective total federal tax rate with respect to gross family income.

Total federal taxes as a percentage of gross family income is 23.5% (taxfoundation)

27 posted on 03/31/2002 2:00:55 PM PST by ancient_geezer
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To: jadimov
Doing the math in my head, I come up with 4%.

Basically what happens in this country is that you get punished for succeeding financially. The flat tax as I propose it would do away with this punishment and als make everyone with any income whatsover invest in the country.
28 posted on 03/31/2002 2:03:16 PM PST by DennisR
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To: *Taxreform
Check the Bump List folders for articles related to and descriptions of the above topic(s) or for other topics of interest.
29 posted on 03/31/2002 2:04:56 PM PST by Free the USA
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To: DennisR
Check out FairTax.org
30 posted on 03/31/2002 2:06:47 PM PST by Free the USA
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To: ancient_geezer
"Total federal taxes as a percentage of gross family income is 23.5%."

Good information. Based on the perceived waste that goes on in government, 23.5% is way too high. It would be my proposal that we work our way down to the 10% rate over a period of ten years or so. Even though the protest asks for a flat rate by 2004, it would not be until 2014 that we would actually reach the target of 10%. This would allow government time to cut and adjust as necessary.
31 posted on 03/31/2002 2:08:26 PM PST by DennisR
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To: DennisR
No wonder America is lost. It is because you don't stand up for your unalienible natural rights. Don't worry, you have a lot of company in America: they are called Republocrats.
32 posted on 03/31/2002 2:09:57 PM PST by Buckeroo
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To: Buckeroo
Does this mean you would sacrifice your body for a few more bucks on your Federal tax return? Just asking.
33 posted on 03/31/2002 2:11:38 PM PST by DennisR
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To: DennisR
If they received tens of thousands of these booklets each year in their mail, maybe they would get an idea that we want simpliciation instead of punishment and distress.

I have a better idea. Let's get those tens of thousands of people to just refuse to file. Then they would HAVE to do something. Until then, its a big yawn.

34 posted on 03/31/2002 2:11:41 PM PST by Samizdat
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To: Samizdat
It's not like I haven't thought of that before. It's just that if 10,000 people say they aren't going to file, but then 9,999 of them do...you figure it out from there. But maybe that is what it is going to take.
35 posted on 03/31/2002 2:13:34 PM PST by DennisR
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To: DennisR

Even Russia now has a flat rate tax of 13%!

Only on their individual income tax. The rest of their system is a European style income tax with VAT on steroids, along with a 32% Social Security tax plus 30-35% profits tax on individuals.

Somehow I think something is getting lost in most of the media's rendering of what is going on in the Russian tax system:

PART TWO OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION TAX CODE
by Alexander Chmelev and Evgeny Astakhov

While the article above describes the tax system as it existed in 2000, no substantive change has taken place since that time.

Putin has proposed additional changes recently but the Duma has yet to act on it, and it would only effect how small businesses (less than 20 employees) would be taxed.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/020328/russia_tax_reform_3.html

"Putin's proposal would cut the multiple taxes small businesses pay to just two: a tax of 20 percent on pure profits or 8 percent on turnover, and a pension tax, which would be reduced from 28 percent of salaries to 14 percent.

Certain service companies such as car repair shops, veterinary offices and cafeterias would be required to pay only a single, 15 percent income tax. "

***

"Businesses operating in Russia have long complained of the heavy tax burden. They are required to pay 35 percent taxes on salaries, which cover contributions for medical and social insurance, five percent sales tax, about 17 percent in value-added taxes, and one percent in road taxes. Then they are supposed to pay 35 percent on net profits left after other taxes are paid, plus various fees for meeting regulatory requirements.

Small businesses account for 10-11 percent of Russia's gross domestic product and employ 12 million people, according to the Russian State Council working group on small business. Putin and other top officials say they are committed to increasing those numbers and helping to create a middle class that could fuel economic growth."


36 posted on 03/31/2002 2:16:11 PM PST by ancient_geezer
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To: DennisR
I always file after April 15. I haven't been shot yet and I am 50+ years old.
37 posted on 03/31/2002 2:16:15 PM PST by Buckeroo
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To: Pearls Before Swine
If the current income tax was converted to
a "what if" flat tax, what would the percentage be?

Basically if you convert the whole income tax population into
a mythical one taxpayer, what is the tax rate they pay based on last year's numbers.< Br>

38 posted on 03/31/2002 2:18:29 PM PST by aabbccddeeff
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To: Buckeroo
Peace...but you do file, right? If you did not file at all, that would be a completely different story.
39 posted on 03/31/2002 2:18:36 PM PST by DennisR
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To: aabbccddeeff
According to a previous post, it is about 23.5%.
40 posted on 03/31/2002 2:19:26 PM PST by DennisR
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To: Pearls Before Swine
Flat tax good, rate too low. I've heard different theories ranging from 17% to 23% on what the flat tax would need to be to cover current expenditures. Anything less, and people scream about services.

Current expenditures are far and away too high, and most are grossly unconstitutional.

The country managed to survive for a century with an income tax of zero, and was then introduced with a "guarateed" maximum cap of 4%. Although the direct taxes are now about 20-30%, the things people buy with after-tax money were produced by tax-paying companies, and for which sales tax is collected, and people even have to spend after-tax income to pay for income-tax compliance, such as tax software, tax return preparation services, and so forth... I think the real tax rate ends up being something like 70% when you calculate how much of your labor pays directly for goods that you wish to buy, the balance is taxes somewhere or other.

An effective tax rate of 70% is clearly too high.

41 posted on 03/31/2002 2:19:30 PM PST by coloradan
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To: ancient_geezer
Thanks for the clarification. Even though Russia's is only on individual income, it is still a step in the right direction. We got here over decades of politicians putting in their own little laws and regulations--we'll have to get out the same way.
42 posted on 03/31/2002 2:21:36 PM PST by DennisR
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To: DennisR

Good information. Based on the perceived waste that goes on in government, 23.5% is way too high. It would be my proposal that we work our way down to the 10% rate over a period of ten years or so.

Sounds good, here's one plan that can lead to that:

23%........... NRST rate

14.91% ..... rate if Social Security and Medicare were privatized
14% .......... rate if Nat'l Endowment for the Arts were eliminated
11.9%........ rate if Dept. of Education were eliminated
10% .......... rate if welfare were eliminated
etc.

Hmmmmmm.......

The key is making the full tax burden visible to the entire electorate, right now we are caught in a political trap with the income/payroll tax system we exist under:

 

Walter Williams, World Net Daily, 10-25-2000

According to the most recent U.S. Treasury Department figures, in 1997 the top 1 percent of income-earners (those with income of $250,000 and higher) paid 33 percent of all federal income taxes. The top 5 percent of income-earners ($108,000 and over) paid 52 percent, and the top 50 percent ($36,000 and over) paid 96 percent of income taxes. Guess what the bottom 50 percent of income earners paid?

If you're among those who pay little or no federal income taxes, what do you care about tax cuts? Moreover, if you think tax cuts pose a threat to government handout programs, you might be openly hostile and support Al Gore's silly "risky scheme" talk. So many Americans paying little or no federal taxes makes for a natural spending constituency. It's like me in the restaurant: What do I care about extravagance if you're footing the bill?

The ability to hide or disguise taxation from the view of large sectors of the electorate allows the Congress to get away with the creation of the evergrowing monster that it fosters.

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
-George Bernard Shaw

Liberty and freedom have a price, responsibility. If that price is avoided there are no brakes on the growth of government, the ultimate result is the end of freedom through creeping socialism.

43 posted on 03/31/2002 2:21:43 PM PST by ancient_geezer
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To: DennisR;SentryoverAmerica
The only fair tax….is to have a national sales tax.

I think it is immoral to make every retailer in the country a tax collector.

The idea is this: after sending in your 2001 tax return to the IRS, take your 2001 tax booklet and write "I want a 10% flat tax implemented by 2004,"

I don’t believe sending the tax booklet to the IRS is going to get us much. However if a Senator was to get a few hundred tax booklets it might draw some attention.

Now if we could all agree on which Senator to send them to.

44 posted on 03/31/2002 2:22:05 PM PST by Pontiac
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To: DennisR;SentryoverAmerica
The only fair tax….is to have a national sales tax.

I think it is immoral to make every retailer in the country a tax collector.

The idea is this: after sending in your 2001 tax return to the IRS, take your 2001 tax booklet and write "I want a 10% flat tax implemented by 2004,"

I don’t believe sending the tax booklet to the IRS is going to get us much. However if a Senator was to get a few hundred tax booklets it might draw some attention.

Now if we could all agree on which Senator to send them to.

45 posted on 03/31/2002 2:22:09 PM PST by Pontiac
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To: Pontiac
The original suggestion was: "...mail it to one of your federal representatives," just as you suggest. Sending it to the IRS will not do any good. We each have two Senators and a Representative, so if it comes down to choosing one of these three, it should probably be the senior Senator. The news would obviously get to the other two in short order. Based on this, I will send mine to that illustrious senior Senator from the State of Washington, Ms. Patty Murray.
46 posted on 03/31/2002 2:25:24 PM PST by DennisR
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To: coloradan

I think the real tax rate ends up being something like 70% when you calculate how much of your labor pays directly for goods that you wish to buy, the balance is taxes somewhere or other.

Pretty close:

We must . . . End Tax Slavery Now; Nov '97
by Jarret B. Wollstein

HOW MUCH DO YOU REALLY PAY?

     According to the Tax Foundation, in 1994 the average American paid 22.4% of his or her income in federal taxes, plus 11.8% in state and local taxes - 34.2% total.

     But that's just the beginning! Dr. James Payne of the University of California found that in addition to direct taxes we also pay huge, hidden taxes including:

     For every $1 we pay in direct taxes, we spend an additional $0.65 in compliance costs. And even that figure doesn't include the cost of import duties, license fees and other government regulations. For a typical U.S. family, the real cost of taxes and regulations is at least:

Federal taxes              22.4% of income
State & local taxes      11.8%
Compliance costs        22.2%
Regulatory costs         12.7%

70.1% of your income is now consumed by government


47 posted on 03/31/2002 2:27:20 PM PST by ancient_geezer
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To: Pontiac
I suppose another option would be to send all of them to Majority Leader Daschle or Minority Leader Lott. Or the Senator who would have the most influence over taxation. I do not know who that would be. Anyone else know?
48 posted on 03/31/2002 2:27:48 PM PST by DennisR
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To: DennisR
Yes, I file. As I am required to perform my civic duties. I always file after April 15. My filing is simple: The government owes my federal taxes back to me. Signed, Buckeroo

They never pay, by the way.

49 posted on 03/31/2002 2:28:23 PM PST by Buckeroo
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To: DennisR
The question is not a flat tax vs the complicated mess that we have now. The right protest is to eliminate all the unnecessary spending so that we need no money from the income tax.

If the Federal government obeyed the tenth amendment, then a long list of illegal "services" would be eliminated and roughly 2/3 of the budget would go away. What is left can be paid for with various existing excise taxes and, maybe in war time, a small head tax collected by the states for the Feds in accordance to the original plan of the constitution.

50 posted on 03/31/2002 2:29:00 PM PST by Mike4Freedom
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