Tags: denis | kleinfeld | Americans | Taxation | Blues

Americans Have the Taxation Blues

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Monday, 18 Apr 2011 08:03 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Are you convinced that we Americans have a voluntary tax system and it is the price we pay to have a civilized society? Is there something wrong in Washington when politicians all claim that we need a fairer tax system while at the same time loading every tax bill with such complexity that neither the Secretary of the Treasury nor the head of the IRS can do their own tax return? Do you do your own tax return?

It seems to many Americans that the power of the politicians in Washington comes from their ability to provide tax benefits on their voting constituency coupled with the power to spend tax-and-borrowed money on the same favorite group of supporters. In Washington, this is called good "policy" while to ordinary folks this would be treated as bribery.

This is not a rebuke of the various agencies like the IRS and all the other federal agencies and departments. They are merely carrying out the legislative orders of the Congress and the president. The problem of taxation — and spending priorities — in Washington is not operational but political.

I have many of my colleagues and friends who buy into the mantra that each taxpayer must pay his or her "fair share." The words "fair share " seem to have a narcotic effect on people who otherwise have some pretty sharp critical-thinking skills.

I do believe that the "fair share" theory sounds identical to Karl Marx, who stated that the state should be supported by each according to his ability and to provide to each according to his need. His economic concept was called "socialism." That has been a failure everywhere and it is failing here in America.

So what does "fair share" mean? Let's suppose someone walks into the local fast-food joint for a hamburger. Does the server say, "Well, you're rich. so your burger will be $40." Or does the same server say to the next customer, "Well, you seem down-trodden so we'll give you a free hamburger and fries and a refund of $3.00."

The concept of equality, which is the foundation of the United States, is diametrically opposed to the concept of fair share.

Not only are regular citizens overpowered when dealing with the tax system, but so are the multinational corporations. In the view of the "fair share" crowd, multinationals should not be allowed to make profits that are not heavily taxed.

Forgotten, of course, is just who are those profit-making corporations. They are us. Those multinationals are owned by millions of shareholders who bought the stock. These are shares that are, for example, in the pension and retirement plans on which retirees will look to their own future financial security so they don't have to depend on Social Security from the government.

Even death does not stop the intrusion of taxation. From the political point of view, accumulated property of the taxpayer that represents a lifetime of already-taxed hard work is merely another opportunity to tax all over again.

Clearly, the American economy is being crucified by the current income-tax system. Income-tax systems have been tried throughout history and they always fail. Our current tax system is obviously failing for both the government and the taxpayers.

The fact is that ultimately, all tax systems — progressive tax rate systems, flat tax systems, VAT systems — result in being a consumption tax in the end.

Adopting a consumption tax would do two things that would be very beneficial for the America economy. It would be simpler for the government to administer and it could be applied equally to all taxpayers. And, maybe, just a bit of a brake on the politicians from manipulating the tax system for their own political gain.

Tax has always been an underlying cause for revolutions. It appears that we are seen somewhat of a revolution even if it is only an incipient political one right now.

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Are you convinced that we Americans have a voluntary tax system and it is the price we pay to have a civilized society?Is there something wrong in Washington when politicians all claim that we need a fairer tax system while at the same time loading every tax bill with...
denis,kleinfeld,Americans,Taxation,Blues
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2011-03-18
Monday, 18 Apr 2011 08:03 AM
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