Thursday, December 10, 2009

Taxation with Manipulation

Why is the United States tax code so complicated? One might think that our elected representatives could manage the chore of taxing people with a few relatively simple and easily understood words. Instead Americans are subject to thousands of pages of ever changing regulations. What possible use are all those regulations?

There have been several calls in the recent past for simplification of the tax system in America. They seem to have boiled down to two options: the fair tax and the flat tax. The fair tax (HR 25,/S 296) is a sales tax. It is paid once, at the point of purchase. The flat tax is a system whereby everyone is taxed the same percentage of their income. The rich would pay more because they make more. Both plans contain provisions by which those below the poverty level would receive a refund. There are a number of concerns with both of these plans, mostly regarding changes to the status quo and how those changes will affect the nation.

Will America see either one of these proposals come to a vote, much less enactment? It’s doubtful for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that the tax code is being used to influence the behavior of American citizens. The tax code is used as both the carrot and the stick. It rewards “good” behavior and it is used to punish “bad” behavior. The definition of “good” and “bad” is often dependent upon whomever is in power at the time. How much would a beer or a pack of cigarettes cost you without the “sin tax”? Would you really donate as much to that charity if it wasn’t the end of a year in which you needed another tax write-off? How about installing those new, energy efficient windows-they ones approved for the tax break?

Another reason the tax system hasn’t been simplified is because the current tax system isn’t just being used as a way to collect revenue for the government and influence behavior. It is a sword of Damocles hanging over the head of every American citizen. It is one of the largest and most effective law enforcement tools the government has. How can individual Americans scrutinize the thousands of pages of tax code that are changed and amended every single year to be sure they have done everything as they should? What American does not feel the least bit of trepidation when the time comes to sign their tax returns certifying that “to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct, and complete”?

Is this really an appropriate use of the tax system? Do the words ”to promote the general welfare” grant authority to the government for this kind of social engineering, experimentation and tyrannical oversight of our personal finances? Common sense and the most cursory of readings of our founder’s writings indicate otherwise. And yet, should any of the current healthcare proposals be passed, Americans will all be making healthcare choices determined by the fact that we will all be subject to being “taxed” for not obtaining “government approved healthcare.” We may even go to jail for non-compliance. Not to promote the general welfare, but to implement the policies of a president and administration who believe that the fruits of our labor should be “redistributed” according to their values, not ours.

Belanne Pibal is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.


Northpal said...

Bring Evelyn Schwartz home for Christmas. She has been abducted by Adult Protective Services, despite being of sound mind and body, despite having a caretaker and a power of attorney.

"I am sore wounded but not slain
I will lay me down and bleed a while
And then rise up to fight again"

Your fellow Patriot
Joe Northpal

Call Me Mom said...

Thanks for stopping by Northpal. I did look at your links. I would prefer that you had a comment about the post rather than spam for your cause, but I wish Evelyn all the best.

Call Me Mom said...

In general, folks, if you are going to do that sort of thing, at least be polite enough to let us know you read the post.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Northpal said...

Call Me Mom
Of course you are right, I guess the urgency of whats happening to the republic and our elders just got the better of me.

Call Me Mom said...

Thank you Northpal,
and a Merry Christmas to you and yours.(In spite of the malfeasance of the 111th Congress.

Call Me Mom said...

望 ,
Please don't leave that sort of link here. It has been removed ...and shame on you.

Northpal said...

This will be challenged at supreme court level.
It is unconstitutional, any rep that voted for it is a traitor and must be removed.

Call Me Mom said...

It is my fervent hope that the American people will ignore the healthcare legislation due to it's unconstitutionality and that it will not only be challenged at the supreme court level, but legislatively as well.

At such times it is good to remember that we customarily have weekends and holidays off from work, not because the government or employers chose to have that be so, but rather because the people would not work on any day that they believed belonged to the Lord. We the people do have the authority, what we need is the united will to exercise it.