Taxes

Ted Cruz Is Right About Taxes

The Internal Revenue Code's headache-inducing complexity is a scandal.

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If you have not done your taxes yet, do not count on getting help from the Internal Revenue Service in answering any last-minute questions that may arise. The IRS estimates that only half of the anxious and bewildered taxpayers who call the agency this year will get through to a "telephone assistor," and those who do "could easily wait 30 minutes or more for limited service."

Those numbers reflect a deeper problem that Ted Cruz tapped into on Monday, when he announced that he is seeking the Republican presidential nomination. Although the Texas senator's dream of "abolishing the IRS" may be unrealistic, especially given the tax reform plan he favors, he is right to focus on the Internal Revenue Code's excruciating complexity as a scandal crying out for reform.

"Instead of a tax code that crushes innovation [and] imposes burdens on families struggling to make ends meet," Cruz said, "imagine a simple flat tax that lets every American file his or her taxes on a postcard." Flat-tax proponents, including several Republican presidential candidates, have been asking us to imagine a postcard-sized tax return for more than three decades. If it still sounds far-fetched, that is only because we are sadly accustomed to jumping through hoops for the privilege of parting with our money.  

"The most serious problem facing U.S. taxpayers is the declining quality of service provided to them by the IRS when they seek to comply with their federal tax filing and payment obligations," says the Taxpayer Advocate Service ("Your Voice at the IRS") in its latest annual report to Congress. "Even when a taxpayer manages to get through to a telephone assistor with a question, the assistor may not be able to provide an answer."

That's because the IRS decided in 2013 "it would answer only what it terms 'basic' questions, declaring 'more complex' questions that it previously answered 'out of scope.'" In other words, the less likely you are to resolve a tax compliance question on your own, the less likely the IRS is to help you.

You can, of course, consult a "tax professional," who makes a living by helping perplexed citizens figure out how much they owe the government. But the very existence of this occupation is an indictment of our byzantine tax system, which is so complicated that even the IRS is reluctant to answer questions about it yet imposes civil and criminal penalties on people who fail to comply with its numerous picayune requirements.

This complexity is not merely, as Cruz observes, inconvenient and inefficient, diverting resources that otherwise would find more productive uses into tax compliance and avoidance activities. It is fundamentally unjust, undermining the rule of law by requiring obedience to inscrutable commands.

Cruz's solution—a single income tax rate with deductions limited to charitable donations and home mortgage interest—would be a step in the right direction. But retaining any deductions at all is an invitation to escalating exceptions, and keeping the income tax would mean keeping the IRS or something like it, contrary to what Cruz implies.

By contrast, a national sales tax, an approach Cruz also has endorsed, would make "abolishing the IRS" feasible and a return to something resembling the current tax code less likely, with the additional economic advantage of taxing consumption rather than savings and investment. In 2013 Cruz cosponsored the Fair Tax Act, which would have replaced the federal income and payroll taxes with a 23 percent sales tax, collected by a new Treasury Department agency with help from state revenue departments.

Both of these approaches would require exemptions or rebates to avoid large tax increases for people of modest means, which would entail a certain amount of intrusiveness and administrative complexity. But they would still be far superior to the current system, which leaves taxpayers not only on the hook but on the line, vainly waiting for the government's help in filling the government's coffers.

© Copyright 2015 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Why should only people that buy a house or give money to a ‘charity’ get a deduction?Why not a flat tax with the first 20000 or 25000 dollars exempt? No favoring certain choices.

    1. Because then politicians can’t use the tax code to reward certain behaviors and constituencies and punish others. Which is a power they will never give up.

      1. Ding ding, we have a winner.

      2. a power they will never give up.

        A power they will never voluntarily give up.

        -jcr

        1. Is that a whiff of gunpowder I detect?

        2. A power they will never voluntarily give up.

          *continues to cast lead into balls for trusty Brown Bess musket*

          1. *continues to cast lead into balls for trusty Brown Bess musket*

            Which of course is the only thing the second amendment protects. For the National Guard.

            1. Dammit! I knew I shouldn’t have retired!

              *prepares to turn musket in*

              1. “Oh, I thought you said ‘muskrat’!”

                1. Muskrat Love….mmmm, Toni Tennille….

                  /old man

    2. But then how would our betters in Washington practice their social engineering?

    3. Better yet, a national sales tax of 4%. No income, capital gains, import or export duties, nothing else at all. That’s plenty to cover the government’s constitutional duties.

      -jcr

      1. The Free Shit brigade will never allow that to happen.

        1. Neither will the hordes of accountants and attorneys involved in tax compliance.

          1. John recently made the point that “having a job” =/= “being productive”. These hordes merely add to the weight dragging the country down.

            1. WTF are you talking about? If I pay you to dig a ditch and then pay you to fill it in, that’s productivity! Don’t you guys know anything?

              *goes back to writing hipster slam poetry based on Victorian prose*

              1. That’s a good point, Scruffy.

                If I pay you to cash a check, that’s even *more* productive, since we *both* have more money.

          2. Hey, don’t lump us in with the attorneys.

      2. Oh, please God, not a national sales tax! I’ve delt with state sales tax collections, and they are no better than the IRS. If you think for an instant that a national sale tax service would be LESS intrusive than a national income tax service, I want to hear aboit the planet you live on. Are the seas tangarine colored?

        Then there’s the obvious problem that if a Sales tax was instituted, some Congresswine would push through a measure to keep the incme tax “for the transition period” and we’d get stuck with BOTH…….AND a VAT in the end.

        No. No sales tax.

        1. I have ranted exactly that a few times, and always geta knee-jerk response that only consumption taxes don’t discourage productive behavior.

          I prefer a land property tax because it can be paid anonymously and limits its intrusion to area. If it were to be based on actual value, it would be intrusive in snooping into sale values or requiring assessors, but there is another way: leave the value self-assessed and limit all insurance payouts and damage claims to that assessed value. The lowball self-assessed values wouldn’t matter since everyone would do it, and property tax rates (for city, county, state, and federal) would be adjusted accordingly.

          1. If you are saying “Land Property Taxes” then insurance really isn’t good leverage for the process. Virtually no one takes an insurance payout on land. They take payouts on the improvements, sure, but that is rarely the cost of purchasing the property over again, but rather the cost of rebuilding improvements.

            Basically, you don’t insure the value of land property, but the expected cost to make it whole again. The only way you can really judge the value of a property is to see how much people are trading it for.

            Not that a property-tax-only scheme is really a bad idea- just that insurance is not an effective proxy for value.

            1. Well, yes, I thought it was obvious I meant everything on the land. Whether that would be buildings only, or whether someone might think it included cars parked there, housing contents, etc, I don’t much care. The point remains the same: cap how much damages can be awarded to keep self-assessments reasonable, all such self-assessments will stabilize, property tax rates will adjust accordingly, and life will continue.

          2. scarecrow- I like this idea with one extra.

            You must be willing to sell for your “self-assessed” value at any time- or pay the last three (five? ten?) yrs of taxes on your new “self-assessed” value.

          3. The Sales tax proposed by the Fair Tax bill is not a VAT and the bill includes the repeal of the income tax and dismantling of the IRS. (see https://fairtax.org/faq )

            Proposing a property tax is about as un-libertarian as can be, IMO. To me, property taxes are the second most egregious type of tax after income taxes. They basically erode property rights. How can you “own” real property if the government can take it away from you for not paying taxes on it?

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  2. Fine, I’ll bite on the “national sales tax”. Just as soon as Washington abolishes the income and payroll tax.

    More likely, those fucking parasites will just say “Oh, sure we are abolishing those in OUR VERY NEXT SESSION!!! We just have to pass this national sales tax (or VAT or whatever) first!”

    And then we are stuck with both. Kind of like how the stimulus became the baseline for all budgets thereafter.

    Fuckers…

    1. Repealing the 16th would be even better. So long as the constitutional authorization exists, it is a certainty that the income tax will eventually exist as well.

      1. That said, incrementalism may be a good way to go in this particular case. If it can be demonstrated that much simpler tax could replace the revenue of the income tax, people would probably be more amenable to doing away with it.

        1. Agree on the incrementalism (it works for the SJWs, so why shouldn’t wer do it?!?!) but I am not gonna put all those taxes in place in preparation for a “repeal” that never comes…

          But yeah, repealing the 16th would be ideal…

          1. Incrementalism tends to only work in the government growth direction.

        2. Yep, and I’ve been saying that for years, but everyone wants an instant solution that ‘fixes everything in the next fiscal year.’
          Morons…

          It took generations to dig the hole that SocSec is in today. Phasing it out over at least one ‘working career’ of, say, 40 years might work. Workers and employers knowing that their benefits would drop 2.5% per year should be able to make incremental adjustments to weather that “storm.”

          Likewise, phase out mortgage interest deductions over the “average term of a mortgage” or even over 20-30 years, if you’d prefer… where everyone knows up front that in 30 years their interest deduction will dwindle to zero but it won’t fall off a cliff next year.

          My theory: any individual or company that can’t adjust to those kinds of incremental changes doesn’t deserve to enjoy them in the first place! Yeah, cruel, eh? Maybe some ‘tough love’ is due.

      2. Correct! Whether the Sixteenth Amendment ever truly was ratified is questionable; nevertheless, operationally and legally it exists enforced by the American version of the Gestapo known as the IRS. To reform taxation, the first step must be repeal of the worst legislation ever inflicted upon this nation … this nation now on fire (www.nationonfire.com).

        1. Quibbling about the ratification of the 16th amendment marks you right off the bat, but to equate the genocidal Gestapo with the merely bureaucratic IRS, and to call income tax legislation worse than slavery or Jim Crow segregation just shows your ignorance.

          You’ve probably been told a million times to stop your exaggeration. It’s good advice.

    2. The Fair Tax Bill of 2015 calls for repeal of the 16th Amendment, thus preventing the concurrent existence of both income and a national sales tax. (see http://fairtax.org/ )

      From the FAQ page on that site:
      “No current supporter of the FairTax would support the FairTax unless the entire income tax is repealed. There is a separate bill, HJR 16, which repeals the 16th Amendment to the Constitution but it must go through a different adoption process than HR 25. HJR 16 has to be passed by a two-thirds vote of members of both the House and the Senate and be approved (or ratified) by three-fourths of state legislatures (38). We are currently laying the organizational groundwork for this push and have already started the educational process at the state level.”

      Also, the Fair Tax is NOT a VAT. (See the FAQ page for that distinction as well)

  3. he is right to focus on the Internal Revenue Code’s excruciating complexity as a scandal crying out for reform.

    FAKE SCANDAL!

    Seriously, do not reelect any incumbent until these clowns *implement* “a postcard-sized tax return”.

    *And* abolish withholdHAHAHAHAHAAA!! Damn, couldn’t quite get it out!

  4. There won’t be any real tax reform. The fuckers will play with the rates a point or two like always – nothing else.

    and Good Morning Peanuts!

    1. Welcome to Retardation: A Celebration. Now, hopefully with this book, I’m gonna dispel a few myths, a few rumors. First off, the retarded don’t rule the night. They don’t rule it. Nobody does. And they don’t run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

      1. It must give your little life some meaning every day to follow me around posting nonsense.

        1. Were you born a fat, slimy, scumbag puke piece o’ shit, or did you have to work on it?

      2. It is a clever trollbot. It posted a random selection of words related to the topic that it knows will elicit responses, and did so in a seemingly agreeable manner.

        Don’t be fooled.

        1. Artificial intelligence?

          1. artificial derpness…

  5. WASHINGTON (AP) ? Sen. Ted Cruz could soon be buying his family’s health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, a law the Republican presidential candidate has vowed to repeal should he win the White House.

    http://news.yahoo.com/cruz-buy…..cAVmXQtDMD

    He could just go directly to an insurance company. Strange guy.

    1. Dreams are a great thing, but you know something? They take a lot of energy. But that’s OK. There’s a job waiting for you down the block from your house that doesn’t require a thought in your head or a hope in your heart. So come on down and work for the artificial flower factory. Why fight it? OK? Thank you.

    2. Yeah, I saw that last night. This beady eyed fucker has to be the biggest hypocrite in DC… That’s saying a lot.

      1. He’s the biggest in texas- and we’ve got both bush presidents!

      2. Cruz can suck it, but he has to do so because of a law passed to force Democrats in Congress to use the piece of shit ACA themselves–it says so right in the article.

        So shrike is fucking lying again.

        1. “So shrike is fucking lying again”

          *Shocked look crosses face. Sits down and fans self*

          1. I’m sorry you had to find out this way. [hugs]

          2. playdoh and hot cocoa, STAT! and someone get a damp cloth to put on his gazers.

        2. Bullshit.

          his family could get its coverage directly from an insurance company at what would likely be a far higher rate than is available via an exchange. Doing so would mean Cruz would not get the contribution from his employer to help offset the full cost of his coverage.

          The mandate is shitty but you just need to buy insurance – not necessarily from the exchange.

          1. I needed insurance for a month while I was in between jobs. Buying through the insurance company was cheaper than the exchange.

  6. I hate shrieking in the morning.

    I understand that trolls support an 8% tax on everything.

    Me – burn the fucker down and start over. It’s too late.

  7. PS I keep mixing up Cruz and Rubio. So I’ve decided that, clearly, I’m teh racist. Therefore, I’ll get some of my cousins who are 1/2 Messican on my team. Think that penance will make up for it.

    Almanian for President – 2016
    “I probably won’t make it any woirse”

    “AND I’ll get some of my SMOKIN’-hot 1/2 Mexican cousins into my administration for the optics.”

    1. ** “Spell checker not included”

      1. I thought you were affecting a Brooklyn accent.

        1. OHHHH! Youse got me!

    2. Sounds like you are all ab out amnesty on a sliding scale of hotness. Finally a platform I can get behind!

      1. If you’re the red-blooded male I KNOW you are, you’ll want to get behind…my cousins.

        /white slaver

      2. “Welcome to America. No Cover Charge for Hotties.”

    3. SMOKIN’-hot 1/2 Mexican cousins

      Pics. Then I’ll consider supporting your campaign.

  8. we are sadly accustomed to jumping through hoops for the privilege of parting with our money.

    *** dons Judge robe ***

    What if everyone submitted their tax return “in good faith” *without* “jumping through hoops”?

    *** doffs Judge robe ***

  9. I hate this guy. I don’t hate him as much as, the current guy, but I hate this guy. He’s an embarrassment to the state of Texas. His rhetoric is silly at best and dangerous if taken seriously. He is, a moron, as evidenced by the fact he thinks he has a chance in hell at being president.

    That being said, I hate the irs too- despite never having a single experience with them beyond doing some paperwork. I hate any progressive tax scheme, and I think I blame them for it.

    1. despite never having a single experience with them beyond doing some paperwork

      My experiences “beyond” are entirely consistent with the prevailing view that they are incompetent and vindictive.

  10. Why in the hell do dolks keep bringing up, “this way of taxing individuals will either bring the same revenue, or even more tax revenue”??

    There are many who don’t like the performance of their “representatives” or the horrible services, and would like less, or even none of their money to go to the state.

    Folks keep carrying on about how some new extortion system would be better cause the right folks in fancy suits will finally get it right this time. Why should folks be rewarded for continual failure?

    1. “Why in the hell do dolks keep bringing up, “this way of taxing individuals will either bring the same revenue, or even more tax revenue”??”

      Because there is a vast parasite constituency that lives off of other people’s money. And that constituency recycles some of that money back to politicans to keep the federal tax money gusher flowing.

      If the federal government’s activities were cut back to what the Constitution actually permits it to do, the federal government could abolish the income tax and go back to funding it’s costs via excise taxes as it had been doing before the income tax was created.

  11. What a fucking crazy wingnut. Probably a Ted Cruz fan:

    On Friday, “Trunews” host Rick Wiles aired a speech that Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty delivered at the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast earlier that day, in which Robertson offered gruesome details about how an atheist father would react to watching intruders behead his wife and rape and kill his two daughters while they also cut off his penis …. which would supposedly somehow prove a point about following God’s laws.

    “I’ll make a bet with you,” Robertson said. “Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him. And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot them and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him. And then they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now is it dude?'”

    Robertson kept going: “Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if this [sic] was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.'”

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org

    1. What’s the point PB? I don’t think you’re going to find many people on these boards espousing the views of the cast of DD.

      Shall I share a link to a story about the time Morrissey said people who consume animal meat are just as evil as pedophiles? That would make us all feel better about ourselves, right?

      1. Don’t bother, he won’t quit

      2. A keystone of his delusional complex is he thinks he has found a hidden redoubt of GOP fans and he is valiantly trying to unmask us.

        I understand the impulse to attempt to reason with him, but it is futile. He’s found a rich feeding ground for his madness and he’s not going anywhere as along as he still getting attention.

      3. There is no point to it’s existence.

      4. Moral posturing a progs main activity.

    2. Someone should read him passages from Judges:

      “20 “You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.” 21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.

      22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”

      23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this disgraceful thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But to this man, don’t do such a disgraceful thing.”

      25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.”

  12. There’s still shrieking. Can a brother get a Trigger Warning? We barely get then 8% of the time.

    Also, fried chicken

    1. ‘tard warning!

      8% chance of EXTREME ‘tardedness!

      That better?

      1. Ok. I’m relatively new here, so I have to ask. What’s with the 8% response to PB all about? I’m assuming it’s a bit of teasing over quoting faulty statistics. Please fill me in.

        1. He said something stupid involving 8% and the ACA. Don’t remember the specifics at this point, but doesn’t really matter.

          1. So engaging PB in any way, shape or form is a complete waste of time. Duly noted.

          2. He quoted weasel statistics trying to prove that more than half the country approved the ACA. 8% was the actual number of people who wanted to keep the ACA with no modifications.

    2. And cake!

  13. A national sales tax?

    Let the liberal screeching about it being “regressive” commence.

    1. The love regressive taxes so I don’t see what the problem is.

      1. Plus, the VAT sticks it to the evil corporations every step of the way!

        1. Ugh, I dread the possibility of a VAT tax.

          1. Cheer up, Scruffy! It’ll be *in addition* to everything else!

    2. Science says, “Taxation is a form of punishment. Punishment is a form of negative control. People dislike negative control.”

      Whatever the system of taxation, somebody will screech. A national sales-tax, however, is the simplest and fairest form of taxation. It punishes consumption not production. Everyone receives basic benefits from the federal government … militarily if nothing else. Everyone should pay something.

      1. Every national sales tax proposal I have seen somewhat seriously introduced comes with provisions to make sure the poor don’t get hit too hard with it. Which involves setting up an agency as or more complex than the IRS to administer returns. Which is sort of ironic.

        1. The Fair Tax, which is probably the most well known of the national sales tax proposals, gives a pre-bate to every household, equal to the sales taxes on goods spent at the poverty level.

          This abolishes the need for most of the IRS (there would be a smaller agency dedicated to auditing businesses collecting sales taxes- though they trust states to use existing infrastructure).

          So, your analysis is incorrect to say the least.

      2. Since when did theft and extortion become acceptable? Why should comsumption be punishable? The first paragraph was accurate but your mind wondered off into statism to finish the comment. When you say “everone should pay something”, you sound like Obama and his “fair share”.

    3. In Pennsylvania, we have a 3% income tax with no deductions, which can be filed on a post card. Then there’s a 6% sales tax, which excludes clothes, groceries, medicines and a few other things…what would make up the majority of purchases for lower income folks.

      If there were a national sales tax, I would insist on abolishing the income tax. A sales tax with exemptions could be collected by the states (who do it now) and then forward a portion to the US Treasury.

  14. “You can, of course, consult a ‘tax professional,’ who makes a living by helping perplexed citizens figure out how much they owe the government. ”

    I like this sentence more: You can, of course, consult a “tax professional,” who makes a living by helping perplexed citizens figure out how much their government wants to take from them.

  15. Fat Chance!

    In The USA, the first tax-return in 1914 was one page in length. The highest marginal rate was 7%. In the dollar of today, that highest rate began at a taxable income of $11-million. By 1917, the highest marginal rate had accelerated to 75%; later to more than 90%.

    Who are the villains? Those being taxed, or those taxing?

    Tax-avoidance is not tax-evasion. Tax avoidance is legal and established by the tax-bandits themselves.

    Corporations are not people. Corporate taxation is double-taxation. In the end, people, as consumers, pay anyway.

    The IRS is the American equivalent of the Nazi Gestapo and the Soviet KGB. In fact, today in Russia, Putin’s government uses the laws of taxation to destroy his political enemies. Sound familiar, Mr. Nixon … oops, Mr. Obama?

    The only true way to reform the income-tax is to end it (www.inescapableconsequences.com). The flat tax on income would make life simpler but no safer. The only reasonable solution is a national sales-tax.

    Can we end the income-tax? With 50% of Americans paying no federal income tax? With 60% of those who do pay federal income-tax receiving more back than they pay in? Fat Chance!

    1. Then dig that puppy out of the national archives (assuming it hasn’t been stolen) and slap a 2015 on it! 1914? So we funded our WWI effort off it?

      But as much as I hate to admit it, some WaPo editorialist pointed out that the complicated part of doing taxes is figuring out what the hell constitutes “income.” That’s where your schedules and worksheets and all that whatnot comes in. Calculating your rates is a three-second lookup.

      I want to hear more about the horrors of the VAT, because that’s where I’m leaning.

  16. The proboem is not the tax system. The problem is the SENDING system, the taxes are a symptom.

  17. Deciding whether to keep our current progressive income tax, or replacing it with a flat tax, is like trying to decide whether you want a pineapple, or a banana shoved up your cornhole.

    You can quote me on that.

    1. I intend to paraphrase it, substituting “tail pipe” for “cornhole”, concluded with an Axel Foley guffaw.

      The ultimate goal being for “I Aint Fallin For No Banana In The Tailpipe” becoming the rallying cry of the American Tax Revolution of 2017.

      1. HAHAHA !!! I love it ! =D

        1. Why would you put anything other than corn in your ‘corn hole’? Talk about Ag subsidies!

  18. Why does a simple tax imply it must be a flat one? I do my own (fairly complicated) taxes and use a software package to prepare one so calculating my tax rate is done by an algorithm. Before I did them electronically, I looked up my tax rate using a tax table. I could devise a highly progressive tax system that was just as easy to figure out as a flat tax. Perhaps mr. Cruz is pushing another agenda.

    About that 23% rate, that means when you make $100 you pay $23, right? Because I’ve heard that I’m calculating my tax rate incorrectly from its proponents. One more question: under a flat tax who would pay more in taxes and who would pay less? I’ve had trouble getting flat tax supporters to admit someone somewhere is going to pay more in taxes so I wanted to ask you guys. Thanks.

    1. I think you touch on one of the problems with a flat tax. Most of our complexity in the tax law isn’t determining your tax rate, it is in determining your income.

      People think that you get rid of deductions and such and determining income is easy. But it really isn’t. There are still all these off cases like for capital purchases depreciation and the like. So a flat tax in many ways is a red herring for tax reformers.

    2. Many very wealthy people who can use various charitable donations of time, money, and materials, and have tax specialists to maximize their tax avoidance, would be paying more.

      Across the rest of the spectrum it’s hard to say since the current system is so convoluted and there are so many different rates and deductibles. But you knew that. Your question simply reinforces how ridiculous our byzantine tax system has become.

      1. Here is a perfect example- you own a company and that company spends money on things like lodging for executives and transportation. That company deducts that income from its revenues as costs of business, and so it is not taxed.

        But is that lodging income for the rich person whose house is paid off in lieu of salary?

        You are incorrect if you think that rich people will suddenly pay more. They will do everything in their power to not recognize income, and the middle class will see themselves stiffed. In addition, we will do nothing to address the problem of complexity in recognizing income- flat tax against it or not. The IRS will still be required to adjudicate what counts as income, and will still require all sorts of abusive power to ferret out who is recognizing income correctly or incorrectly.

        1. that is why a Flat Tax is stupid. Start with fairtax.org and make a few tweaks. Done. Simple.

          1. No, the Flat Tax is still an income tax. Maybe you should acquaint yourself with the difference between the Fair Tax, a very specific plan for a national sales tax, and a Flat Tax which is a single tax rate to be applied against income.

            Again, the failing of a Flat Tax is that it still taxes income, which is still extremely complex to ascertain and still subject to abuse and cronyism.

        2. then do a sales tax, rich people spend money

  19. C’mon guys. Ye olde income tax is an excise tax on federal privileges. Blackstone identified such a tax in the 18th century. America adopted it in the Civil War. No, you don’t have to repeal the 16th Amendment, because Congress always had the power to tax its own privileges and didn’t need the 16th to do so. The 16th only clarified that taxing privileged rents and dividends was not a direct tax on the property itself.
    The income tax was unconstitutionally expanded in WWII, you know, with Donald Duck encouraging workers to voluntary pay it for VICTORY. Then when we found ourselves numero uno after the war we kept the damn thing so we could fight the commies, and later create a “Great Society”.

    What can we do? We can talk about due process of law. When they government coerces you into tax court, which has a 97% victory rate, they are coercing you out of your 7th Amendment right to a civil jury trial. We need to stop the $5000 “frivolous penalties”. We need politicians who will at least stand for the right to a face to face hearing in tax collection.
    We need to join the Occupy Left by telling them the income tax is a tax on federal privileges, and why not tax the privileged rich? Libertarians have to understand there is nothing wrong with taxing the rich, or corporations, who earn their money through privilege.
    Until CRUZ and RAND and Johnson grow some balls and start telling the truth this is all simply election year bs.

  20. C’mon guys. Ye olde income tax is an excise tax on federal privileges. Blackstone identified such a tax in the 18th century. America adopted it in the Civil War. No, you don’t have to repeal the 16th Amendment, because Congress always had the power to tax its own privileges and didn’t need the 16th to do so. The 16th only clarified that taxing privileged rents and dividends was not a direct tax on the property itself.
    The income tax was unconstitutionally expanded in WWII, you know, with Donald Duck encouraging workers to voluntary pay it for VICTORY. Then when we found ourselves numero uno after the war we kept the damn thing so we could fight the commies, and later create a “Great Society”.

    What can we do? We can talk about due process of law. When they government coerces you into tax court, which has a 97% victory rate, they are coercing you out of your 7th Amendment right to a civil jury trial. We need to stop the $5000 “frivolous penalties”. We need politicians who will at least stand for the right to a face to face hearing in tax collection.
    We need to join the Occupy Left by telling them the income tax is a tax on federal privileges, and why not tax the privileged rich? Libertarians have to understand there is nothing wrong with taxing the rich, or corporations, who earn their money through privilege.
    Until CRUZ and RAND and Johnson grow some balls and start telling the truth this is all simply election year bs.

    1. Libertarians have to understand there is nothing wrong with taxing the rich, or corporations, who earn their money through privilege.

      Corporations do not pay taxes. They collect taxes from shareholders (as lower dividends) and their customers (as higher prices).

  21. Is Cruz seriously proposing getting rid of the mortgage deduction, children credits, charity deductions, etc., in order to have his “postcard” tax return? I’m not seeing that anywhere. Hm. Then he is spouting nothing more than spineless red-meat rhetoric like the political hack he is.

  22. OT: Cruz on Climate change

    I think debates on these issues should be driven by the science and the data and the evidence. Global warming alarmists don’t like to confront the actual evidence because it does not support their apocalyptic theories.

    “]Specifically, satellite data demonstrate there has been no warming over the past 17 years. That’s despite the fact that the computer models relied upon for this theory showed there would be significant warming, and yet the actual data don’t back up those flawed computer models. []

    Now you don’t hear them talking about global warming, you hear them talking merely about climate change. The reason for that alteration is because the data demonstrate the Earth is not warming. And I would note whenever anyone makes that point, you immediately get vilified as a quote-unquote ‘denier’ without anyone actually refuting the facts.

    And the language of denial is revealing because one usually hears of deniers in the religious context, dealing with heretics. And much of the global warming hysteria is pushed forth as a religious truth that no facts can dare contravene.

    It is altogether worrisome when you have scientists treating matters ? denouncing those pointing to the actual facts and data as deniers. [].”

    1. Curry runs a good blog. She is a top notch scientist as well.

  23. A flat tax will not eliminate the IRS and without eliminating the IRS we will be in the same boat. Fairfax.org is the only one that eliminates the IRS while making sure those who don’t pay taxes now will have to pay at the point of purchase. Before anyone slams this from what they have “heard,” go to the website, read what it says, then if you disagree at least you’ll be informed as to what the Fair Tax Act is and will not speak out of ignorance.

  24. There’s something I’ve always wondered about the consumption tax…

    Wouldn’t massive black markets of “tax-free” goods crop up everywhere, thus reducing the ability of the government to obtain revenue for legitimate government purposes?

    Don’t get me wrong: I’m not some proggie shitkicker here to start crap; I’m a libertarian who is pondering other systems of taxation and trying to see the benefits and drawbacks of each.

    1. Majority of sales go through a relatively small number of retailers, so enforcement is easier. You also start to capture other black market activities today. If someone is paid cash there’s no income or payroll tax today and obviously illegal activities aren’t taxed. Now those people will have to pay sales tax when they buy something so you’re much more likely to have less evasion (already 100%) on what is already a significant black market (~8% of GDP).

  25. I don’t get this tax thing. Just divide the budget up by 400 million (or whatever we’re up to). Every citizen owes their share. The rest is all bullshit.

  26. How can any taxation be fair??? WTF. Yet if someone taught their kids these actions, and had them break in someone’s house, shove a gun in their mouth, ordered them to pay up or else they would imprison them and take everything they had, this individual wouldn’t like it.

    Anyone here advocating these various schemes of extortion wouldn’t like them or their families to be subjected to such violence either. And some of these folks even have the nerve to say they support freedom, liberty and the NAP……of which taxation is antithetical to these very rights and principle.

    Freedom: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

    absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.

    the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.

    the state of being physically unrestricted and able to move easily.

    the power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.

    Liberty:
    freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.

    freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.

    freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.

    1. Like you Vampire this is why I tend towards anarchy. At least rational anarchy. Honestly a flat tax, national sales tax, or a negative income tax would be better than what we have now. Still, it’s like like trying to decide whether to stick a pineapple, or a banana up your tail pipe.

      1. Sometimes you can’t even bring up anarchy without people flailing their arms and making weird sounds saying how there would be chaos. Yet they ignore the chaos that surrounds them and is created by the state, along with the violence and coercion that goes along with it.

        Money, healthcare crisis, education crisis, energy crisis, crumbling infrastructure crisis, and on goes the list.

        1. I would say that anarchy is a natural. Government is a merely a reaction in order to protect life, and property from chaos.

  27. /knocks on mic Are you stil in the room Hihn ?

    1. He may be here, but the lights definitely aren’t on. I think he’s a Bartlett drone or maybe really Bartlett.

      1. Who is Bartlett ? You have my interest.

  28. Bruce Bartlett. He’s always bitching about a strawman version of the Fair Tax that the voices in his head whisper about.

    Kotlikoff has done some good analytical and modeling work on a consumption tax and destroys the BS that Bartlett and ppl like Hihn like to trott out.

    http://people.bu.edu/kotlikoff/New Kotlikoff Web Page/Revised Kotlikoff on Barlett 1-15-08.pdf

    1. Thanx man. =)

      1. The link ks kinda screwed though.

        1. Reason horked it. Try this.

  29. Yes & No

    “An error lurking in the roots of a system of thought does not become truth simply by being evolved.” -John Frederick Peifer

    “Both of these approaches would require exemptions or rebates to avoid large tax increases for people of modest means, which would entail a certain amount of intrusiveness and administrative complexity.”

    Yes, repeal the Sixteenth Amendment.

    Yes, abolish the IRS.

    Yes, institute a national sales tax.

    No, do not institute a “flat tax” on incomes.

    No, do not allow exemptions else you re-create that which you wish to destroy … governmental tyranny.

    Science says, “Behavior has its consequences.”

    Context and consequences (www.inescapableconsequences.com).

  30. Taxation is theft. Period. There is no such thing as a fair taxation method. Period.

    Only a completely voluntary method of funding is “fair.” Allow us to vote with our wallets. Maybe a Federal Lottery?

  31. No deductions, period, Ted. And, charitable contributions translates to deductions for people who give to churches. I don’t care if they do–if all deductions go away, then donations to churches should be included as going away. Every time someone like Cruz tries to pull the flat tax scheme, I ask them about charitable contributions. And, generally, they say they should be excluded from elimination. What hypocrisy.

    1. No deductions,$25,000 personal exemption or maybe a little more.

  32. The Flat Tax is the way to go-remove all those loopholes for those favored few-who are now very many.

  33. We tried something close to a flat tax under Reagan–only three brackets. The only answer is the Fair Tax.

  34. Amendment Five: “No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…” [unless being compelled to do so by the Benevolent Order of the IRS under a flat or any other form of income tax.]

  35. “Both of these approaches would require exemptions or rebates to avoid large tax increases for people of modest means, which would entail a certain amount of intrusiveness and administrative complexity. ”

    Not true of the Fair Tax. Every American (adult, I assume) gets a “prebate” that covers taxes on spending at the poverty level. By giving that prebate to everyone, it eliminates the need for any “intrusiveness” whatsoever.

  36. To All Who Wish For Morally Responsible Governance…

    All forms of taxation must be abolished. No government can ever be good enough to choose how much money it wants.

    However, people can be pretty good about funding for good causes. Like National Security. Like Streets and Highways. And maybe a couple more. But the choice NOT TO PAY THE GOVERNMENT must be an option.

    For those who wish to donate: Local and National Lotteries are the only answer. (If you win, you can turn it down, but it would be better to leave it in the private sector.) With the entire country engaged in voluntary giving to a much smaller government we would probably be prone to giving to much!

  37. A Flat tax will require a constitutional amendment to make direct taxes legal. This is an incredibly foolish idea. The politicians are not looking past the ends of their very long noses.

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