|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:
For more information on why both alternatives are better than the current system, link
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