“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”
I, like many other good citizens from this great country of ours, left it to the very last moment to mail off this year’s tax return. As I entered the local post office and saw the long line, I once again promised myself that next year would be different. I really would make the effort to get them off before the last minute rush.
As I moved slowly towards the front of the line, I began wondering, in this day and age is this really the best system our great and wonderful leaders can come up with. After all, we now live in a world that allows a satellite miles above us to read a number plate. We can get the worldwide web on our cell phone, download TV programs that we may have missed or just want to save onto our iPods.
The original tax laws introduced in 1913 were a very simple affair. They began with tax brackets ranging from 1 to 7 percent – a far cry from today’s levels. The IRS tax codes, regulations and guidelines now have well over 9 million words. No wonder there’s so much confusion. Is there truly anyone who really understands this monster. Let’s put this into some form of prospective. The Declaration of Independence has a little more than 1300 words. The Constitution which has served us well for more than 200 years comes in around 5000 words and the Holy Bible makes do with less than 800,000 words.
The Office of Management & Budget estimated in 2004 that we as a nation spent over $200 billion on compliance cost. At a time when the nations manufacturing industries, the foundation of any good economy, are all struggling against cheaper imports, shouldn’t our leaders be using that money to create “Jobs” for their citizens. Most experts agree that $200 billion would create well over 3 million jobs, which of course creates sales of consumable goods which creates more jobs and sales taxes.
From the moment we wake up in the morning we are being hit by taxes. Everyone is at it — turn on the light (electricity taxes), run the shower (utility taxes) and my personal favorite the telephone taxes, all 6 million of them, or that’s what it seems to me every time I receive a telephone bill.
Has the time come for a simple Flat Rate Tax, something we can ALL understand. There are many countries all over the world who have used this simple to understand and cost effective way of collecting taxes to revitalize their economies. Let’s just imagine for a moment what it would be like if we could complete our tax returns on one simple piece of paper. A Flat Rate Tax for individuals and a Flat Rate Tax for businesses. The same rules apply to all regardless of size of income. We all pay the same rate. Most of the successful countries have levied Flat Rate Taxes of less than 17%, with a stating level that protects the lower income groups. Could life ever be that simple again? Would our Leaders really want us to understand what they were up to? And then there’s those lobbyist. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.
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