If you didn’t know already, it’s tax season.
Not that you don’t pay tax all year-round on virtually everything you do, but this is the time of year where the income tax rears its time-consuming and expensive head.
It’s a time that nearly everyone dreads—including the tax compliance industry.
Even though they are terrorized by the federal income tax system, most people in the United States can’t imagine the world without it.
I try to understand this acceptance of a terrible situation by seeing it as either mass brainwashing or the Stockholm Syndrome on super-steroids.
It goes to show that once a belief, no matter how irrational, is ingrained into the subconscious, it usually takes an awfully painful mental experience to change it.
I mentioned the need to repeal the income tax to some friends over the weekend as part of the dinner talk about the politics of tax reform.
I suggested that a consumption tax would be a lot easier for the government to administer and for the public to comply with. There would be no more tax season necessary.
As I suspected, this proposal was not well received.
“This would be regressive and hurt the poor.”
“I need the mortgage interest deduction.”
“My accounting practice is 80% tax return based. If there was no income tax, then I would be out of business.”
“How would charities be supported.”
“We need to keep the tax credits for sustainable energy and stop climate change.”
Ever since the federal income tax was foisted on the American public by Congress in 1913, we have been indoctrinated to believe that life as we know it would end without the income tax.
But imagine if it no longer was necessary to keep ever receipt from every place you spent money so you could prove to some tax bureaucrat you are entitled to a deduction.
What would your life be like if you didn’t have to pay accountants and lawyers to fill out stacks of complicated forms which you don’t understand?
How much better would be your stress level if you didn’t have to fear your life being turned inside out by being audited—and possibly being put in jail?
Looking at this another way, what would the economy be like if Congress’s access to tax revenues was connected to the consequences of their spending?
Right now, the income tax system operates as the cover structure enabling unlimited tax and spending by the Washington, D.C. political establishment.
The income tax system not only funds horribly corrupt politicians, it acts as the enforcement mechanism against anyone who poses a risk to the political establishment’s status quo.
Does anybody think they are getting fair value—or any value-- in the services provided by the government?
It is not an accident, that the words “drain the swamp” motivated a lot of voters in this last presidential election.
That swamp will start draining when the flow of tax dollars is controlled by the taxpayers instead of the politicians.
With that, you can imagine an America that is great again.
Denis Kleinfeld is known as a strategic tax and wealth protection lawyer, widely published author and creative teacher.
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