My Thoughts on Taxes
The Federal Individual Income Tax came about as a means to support the creation and maintenance of an Army. It was essentially, a means by which our country could fund national War. This means of revenue for the Fed, later became a secondary source of funding. The primary source being corporate income tax.
With the rise of the modern Republican party, and the subsequent fall of conservatism, that tax burden shifted radically to middle class America. In the sixties, almost two out of every three dollars were paid by corporate America. Now, the exact opposite is the case -with Corporate entities in the Bahamas, The Cayman Islands, Ireland, Malaysia, and elsewhere all driving through the truck-sized loopholes left in tax law as a result of the Nixon, and later, Bush Republican - lobbyists whose primary contribution to our society today remains the fact that most legislation is thousands of pages long - and not what we want. Lobbyism, I reiterate - is the fall of the Republican party. Whosoever would rise up in its place - to defeat and disintermediate this plague upon our country - would quickly collect the Independents, who now outnumber everyone else two to one. And things would be alot better. America is inherently independent. This is of course, written from the perspective of a political Independent.
That said. Individual Income Tax returns have been, in recent years - automated with the help of such applications as QuickBooks/ and Intuit Corporation's TurboTax. Nevertheless. It remains the exercise of hours if not days - getting everything straight and filing said taxes properly.
With the birth of my new little Nephew, so near tax day - I believe we should celebrate by making April 15th just another day. The function of Individual Tax Returns is long past. We should translate the entire process into a simple sales tax, automatically collected and credited to the US Government. Fair Tax.
The transaction processing engines already exist. To install Fair Tax, the automatic collection of all Federal taxes by way of a simple, flat sales tax - would be the work of six months. The entire IRS , as an agency - would be transformed. And people would neither have to school themselves in arcane tax law - nor deal with the obligatory (if you want to run the float on what you owe) race to post the April 15th deadline.
In the interest of disclosure, I once worked for Equifax and certain transaction processing engines that they operate would result in a big windfall for them. But so what? Someone has to do it. I am not getting anything from them to push this idea.
Taxes are a necessary evil - that doesn't necessarily mean that the torturous process of filing is an any way necessary. Filing taxes are a highly stylized and ritualized procedure. It is painful. And there is good pain, and bad pain. I think we should be highly selective about the kind of torture we elect to engage in. Ne c'est pas?
I have long held in model the tax system of Hong Kong - whose entire tax form is a single page. You write down what you made. You take 10 percent. And then you cut them a check. And get your receipt. Fair tax is an even more simple and direct means by which Federal programs can be funded - the transaction processing infrastructure is already in place.
We don't argue whether or not there should be taxes. Some of us argue if we are overtaxed. But the truth is, we are badly taxed - and there is a better way to do it. IMHO