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Trashing the US Tax Code - for the sake of the family


THE FEDERALIST BRIEF
The Internetīs Conservative Journal of Record
Date: 23 JUNE 1998
Volume # 98-25.brf

FAMILY ISSUES IN BRIEF

OF DEATH AND TAXES

Tax lawyers, accountants and their Democratic water-fetchers are crying foul! The Republican-led House has approved legislation to kill the current tax code by 2002, and replace it with one of several "simple and fair" options now being considered. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott says the Senate will take up similar legislation. "We will then be able to see who is serious about replacing our rat's nest tax code and who wants to defend the current tax system," Lott says. Rep. Steve Largent, the bill's main sponsor, says, "It forces Congress to quit talking about comprehensive tax reform and start doing something about it."

The Gettysburg Address is 269 words in length, the Declaration of Independence is 1,337 words, and the Holy Bible is only 773,000 words, but the US tax code has exploded, from 11,400 words in 1913, to 7 million words today. The IRS sends out 8 billion pages of forms and instructions annually, and there are now in excess of 480 different tax forms. Even the 1040EZ, the "simple" form, has 33 pages of instructions. It is estimated that taxpayers spend $200 billion and 5.4 billion hours in efforts to comply with federal tax regulations and filing. Sixty percent of taxpayers retain professional services for help filing their returns.

Currently, federal, state and local taxes consume 38.2% of the two-earner family's median income, more than those families spend annually on food, clothing and shelter combined. "[T]ake a few minutes with your tax return to compute how much of your labor belongs to government. You may be surprised how much more you have in common with a slave than with a free person," says columnist Paul Craig Roberts.

Replacing the current tax code is potentially the most important family legislation of this century. It is important because, if the current tax system is replaced by a flat-tax postcard or point-of-sale national sales tax, the American people will, for the first time in sixty years, understand in the simplest terms the true cost of government. And better informed taxpayers make better informed voters. Political power is a function of a politician's ability to tax and spend. Both Republican and Democratic big-spenders are running scared. Their special interest pork-barrel constituencies are at risk of being "outed" by a system of taxation that will paint fluorescent bullseyes on wasteful centralized government bureaucracies, and the social engineering which has devastated millions of families.

Bill Clinton has, of course, promised "to do my best to beat it." Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are demanding that Mr. Clinton veto any measure to eliminate the current tax code. Mr. Clinton says, "If you voted to get rid of it without saying what the replacement was, you would put individual Americans and families in an uncertain position about their investments and health insurance." Those very words demonstrate the problem with the current system. Mr. Clinton, and generations of like-minded Sociocrats, have used the tax code as a vehicle for economic and social engineering. The very notion, that sunsetting the current system creates uncertainty, demonstrates the extent to which the current tax system
intrudes upon American family's economic privacy.

The two leading tax-overhaul proposals are a 17% flat tax, sponsored by House Majority Leader Dick Armey, and a 15% national sales tax, sponsored by Rep. Billy Tauzin.

To tax-reform opponents in Congress, Newt Gingrich says, "Go back home to your small businessman and your small businesswoman and you tell them why you didn't want to help relieve them of the tax burden and . . . all of the attorneys' fees and all of the accounting fees. . . ."

For more information on Flat-Taxation, link to: http://flattax.house.gov/

For more information on a National Sales Tax, link to:
http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-272es.html

For more information on why both alternatives are better than the current system, link to:
http://www.heritage.org/heritage/library/categories/budgettax/bg1134.html

 


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The Federalist is a concise, highly acclaimed email journal of anecdotal rebuttal to contemporary political, social and media liberalism. Compiled each week by a national editorial board, The Federalist’s highly condensed format provides efficient access to a wide spectrum of reliable information from reputable research, advocacy and media organizations. Its content is carefully selected to provide Constitutional Conservatives with a brief, informative and entertaining survey and analysis of the week's most significant news, policy and opinion.

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Last updated:
1999 06 04
2001 01 31 (format changes)