07.01.2008 0

Complicated Tax Code Inspires Government Solution

  • On: 07/20/2008 17:37:02
  • In: Taxes
  • How would you like to have your “friends” at the IRS dictate what you owe them – without you and your accountant even offering the meekest suggestion about deductions and write-offs? And, while you’re at it: how about letting Torquemada to select the way you depart this veil?

    Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has come up with a scheme that would allow the IRS to act as accountant to the 40% Americans who file the 1040EZ and 1040A tax forms. As cause for this attempt at government expansion, Rep. Weiner explains that it would allow the IRS to compute the tax money owed to them, thus freeing the taxpayer from having to do so themselves.

    Forcing taxpayers to spend endless hours figuring out the tax code is bad enough. Now, Mr. Weiner apparently believes we need to let legions of squinty-eyed, flinty-hearted IRS pencil-pushers probe their labyrinthine codes to figure out how best to bilk us out of every hard-earned dollar. And then simply send us the bill – doubtless to be paid in full upon presentation.

    In contrast to this is Newt Gingrich’s suggestion in a recent article, “Saving Time and Money.” Gingrich, along with co-author Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX) proposes to solve the problem Weiner contends his is addressing simply by deflating and defanging the tax code.

    A much-simplified flat tax, in which the individual could figure out their taxes on a single sheet of paper would not only save time (and money) on the part of the citizen, it would help cut government spending on tax gathering, enabling the entire process to be streamlined and made much more cost-effective.

    According to the National Taxpayers Union, individual taxpayers will log over 3.5 billion hours (valued at over $92 billion) working on calculating and paying their taxes this year. Remember, these are non-productive work hours. No product is produced. No capital is created. Clearly, this number is far higher than it should be. And, while giving the IRS the authority to act as accountant may cut down on the hours spent preparing tax forms, it will most certainly do anything but reduce the already high taxes burdening American citizens.

    Perhaps Clint Eastwood, speaking of the flat tax in an interview with the New York Daily News, said it best: “All of a sudden, what do you have? You have the whole tax system run by a little old lady on a home computer, doing the work of all these thousands of bureaucrats and accountants. Passing that would be amazing, wouldn’t it?”

    Yes, it would be amazing. And, so is the thought process of any Congressman who thinks that Torquemada would make the ideal tax collector.

    ALG Perspective: Rather than simply simplify the tax code, Rep. Weiner is taking advantage of the complex, convoluted code in order to incrementally expand the reach of Big Government. The only viable solution is to simplify the tax code – using a mechanism such as the flat tax – while simultaneously reducing the (then-unnecessary) bloated bureaucracy of the IRS.

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