by Steve Lancaster 5/7/14
Do you like the IRS? If you are a thinking adult of any age the answer most likely is NO! The revelations about IRS stonewalling of conservative groups 501 status are only a part of the mugging that is the IRS. Allegations of favoritism and targeting seem to travel with every administration since the Kennedy Administration, actually even earlier, but the amounts stolen were much lower. The few Americans who have positive feelings about the IRS are those who derive their income from the complex code of laws, regulation and serendipity, i.e. lawyers and tax accountants. Indeed, the code is so arcane a team of Talmud scholars could not make sense of it, how then is the ordinary tax payer, you and I?
Of course we cannot even ponder the Zohar of the tax code. If you are a small businessman there is rarely a day goes by that you are not paying or accumulating information in preparation of paying tax to some agency and even your best efforts do not keep you from the potential of the theft of your property by an agency out of control. Meanwhile your competitor down the street, because of ability to hire better lawyers, and tax accountants or because of political influence exercises a government created advantage.
This advantage, utilized by government from the city to the federal level is used to “encourage” business to locate, operate and employ residents in a specific area. The result of these tax advantages is to distort the market. Business whose executives would never consider operating in, for example, the arid deserts of Nevada, settle in Nevada due to a selective tax code that in effect pays them to do business.
In the 1980’s California utilized a business inventory tax, assessed at the end of the year. Nevada had no such tax so business in California would either forgo purchases of inventory at year’s end, delay delivery until after New Year, or in some cases pack the whole thing up and ship it to Nevada, of course it was only in transit so it sat in railcars in Roseville and Barstow and was then sent back. As long as the money saved in tax was greater than the money spent on the fiction that inventory is in another state it was a practical business decision, but completely useless for the purpose the business was created.
We could discuss for days stupid tax law and everyone who has owned or operated business from the home office consultant to Fortune 500 Corporation has their own story. During colonial days taxes on residents of the colonies were 3% to none at all. I seem to recall a revolution over taxes about that time, perhaps I am mistaken. Today the gasoline tax is five times higher and there has been no armed revolution, no one is marching on the capital with pitchforks and torches. We have become complacent and passive in the face of the most powerful government in history.
I do not know with what to replace the IRS, however, I do know that as long as the 16th amendment is on the books there can be little or no real change in the confiscation of our property by government. A flat tax, consumption tax, or fair tax are all better alternatives and I favor elements of each, however, the one caveat I reserve is that all tax incentives must be eliminated everybody pays including churches, synagogues and the church of scientology. No more 501’s, the government is not the bringer of cash incentives for good works, support private schools or encourage home ownership or any one of the thousands of “incentives” in tax law. So, a 28th amendment repealing the 16th amendment and a 29th amendment specifying:
Whatever the rate it must be frozen and cannot be increased by any act of congress, regardless of the cry for more funds. Congress however, will be given the authority to lower the rate which then becomes the new top. Thus, the ability of the federal government to spend is directly linked to the productivity of the American people.
Federal budgets as a consequence must be balanced to actual expenses, no more budgets with automatic increases.
Cabinet departments whose sole purpose is to spend money will be eliminated. Perhaps critical departments like defense, law enforcement and courts will be assigned a percentage of revenues.
Perchance our elected officials would become more concerned about how money is spent instead of the Kabuki Theater of annual budgets that no one looks at except to add spending for their district, bridges to nowhere and yet another Robert Byrd highway in W. Virginia.
I have a pitchfork and a torch, anyone ready for the barricades? • (853 views)