You may remember last spring when I tried and failed to add up every cent I would lose to taxes in 2005 in my columns “Death and taxes, but mostly taxes” and “Death and taxes 2: the wrath of Don” which, sadly, was printed under the headline “Death and more taxes.”
My predictions for my federal and Ohio income tax liability were wrong. I passed the candidacy exam in physics, yet I still could not do my taxes without those stupid forms.
This proves our current tax laws are too complex for anyone to be certain the laws are fair.
In order to fix the babbling, incoherent mess that is our tax laws, the federal and all state constitutions should be amended as follows:
No tax shall be laid except upon retail sales. All goods shall be taxed at the same rate except those deemed most essential.
At face value, this plan has the following benefits:
1. Wholesale taxes are forbidden. If not, consumers would pay two taxes on the same thing.
2. By requiring a uniform tax rate, special interests cannot obtain higher taxes on goods they do not like.
3. Allowing exceptions for food, clothing, housing and utilities is the substitute for the standard deductions that everyone claims on their tax returns.
Income taxes become complex due to claims of fairness. There is no shortage of excuses to claim deductions. As it turns out, these deductions are not sales. Charitable donations, payments on mortgages, student loans and any other loan are not sales and not taxed.
Retirement savings are not sales and not taxed. Current laws require special accounts like Roth IRA’s. I allow the standard checking account to work if you so choose.
Socialist readers should be happy to know buying and selling stocks is a sale. You get to keep your capital gains tax.
Furthermore, sales taxes do not discriminate against homosexuals due their inability to legally marry.
Anything you want. You got it.
Some may object that the federal sales tax alone would be 20 percent.
That’s exactly the point!
Once the people know exactly how much money they are losing, they will be empowered to question the government’s spending habits and hold their representatives accountable for abuses. Any program or agency that is unconstitutional, or at least wasteful, must be repealed if the politicians want to keep their jobs.
Simple laws are honest laws. Complex laws are deceitful laws. Hence, my plan is superior to the current system.
When I did my taxes two weeks ago, I decided to protest. When I saw the line labeled “occupation” at the bottom of my federal 1040EZ, I wrote “Fifth Amendment.” My occupation has no impact upon my tax liability; therefore, the government has no right to know.
I encourage everyone to protest with me. In fact, do your taxes today. You’ll get your refunds sooner.
Don Norvell is a physics graduate assistant and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]