A Few Tax Day Thoughts

From Jane Galt:

All this useless activity is so that our politicians can look like They
Care by giving tiny tax breaks to all of their favorite people--that is
to say, the people who vote for them and give them money. All of these
tax breaks, almost without exception, do the most good for the people
who least need them. Meanwhile, they waste time for the rest of us,
distort the economy, and require us to pay extra people to process tax
returns. It's lose-lose-lose all around unless you owned a seal-fur
farm between 1987 and 1991.

She also outlines her alternative tax plan.

From the Beatles (yes, those guys)   (Beatles, Robin Hood, and of course they perform the song)

From yours truly, the five worst traits about taxes

  • Scott Wiggins

    Some random comments on taxes:

    1. I spent four hours doing my mothers 1040 so she can, hopefully, collect GW's 300 bucks for economic stimulus. My mother is on Social Security of about $750 per month and she collects $120 per month from an insurance annuity. Four hours by the time I collected the forms, instructions, made a few phone calls for help and filled out two worksheets. Why four hours for someone taking in ten thousand a year in income?

    2. As a real estate investor, I pay about 30% more for property taxes on rental property since I don't get a homeowner exemption. I don't see how I am receiving equal treatment under the law just because I am not living in the property.

    3. In one county in which I own property, my taxes have gone up 80% in the last five years and we are now due for a reassessment.

    4. County tax boards always "aim low" on the valuation placed on your home for tax purposes. They do this because they want the owner to feel like they are getting a break because the tax board has assessed or valued their property at less than market value. It prevents angry homeowners from petitioning for a lower assessment since the taxing authority will show the owner that his house is assessed below market value. In the end, it doesn't matter because they will apply the millage necessary to get the figure they want...It is in fact a shell game. They could assess your house at one-dollar and apply enough millage to get whatever figure they want.

    5. The government uses the ten thousand page tax code for social engineering. Promoting homeownership is one bit of social engineering that the government has been into for decades. And, we have had decades of taxpayer bailouts for HUD and VA foreclosures for instance. How much of today's housing crisis was precipitated by the government tax code which allows substantial deductions for homeownership? It encourages those who can't afford a home or who are not responsible enough to manage a home to try anyway for the tax benefits. Tax benefits for homeownership certainly had a lot to do with the creation of suburban America as Americans left the cities for homes in the suburbs...Which had the ancillary effects of urban sprawl, traffic problems, and dependence on the automobile which brought another whole set of problems like pollution, wasted energy resources, and the burgeoning of the insurance and legal industries which are just another tax on Americans. So much for social engineering.

    6. As long as the bottom 50% of income earners pay little or no tax, the tax code will eventually deteriorate to pure government enforced theft. Those paying little or no tax have absolutely no natural incentive to ever support lower taxes. On the contrary they have a natural incentive to vote for leadership which continues to build the welfare state. Todays fringe benefits are tomorrow's expectations...Social Security preceeded Medicare, which preceeded Medicaid, Welfare, Aid to families with dependent children, HUD, Government projects, section eight housing and so-on and so-forth...What is next? Nationalized healthcare is certainly on the horizon. What will be the next generations fringe benefit?

    7. As a small business owner, I spend about 120 hours per year doing accounting. Three weeks of lost productivity. Additionaly, I will pay my accountant to prepare my return. My accountant will get another 1-2% of my takehome salary...If my situation were typical, how many billions of dollars of lost productivity are expended each year just to meet the IRS's demands to take our money? Does the current Tax code impose a hidden tax on all of us through lost productivity and accounting expense? Another five percent, ten percent on top of roughly thirty percent of our income the government is taking? Ten percent GDP is around 1.3 trillion dollars.

    8. If I can travel the world on my mastercard; rent cars, purchase merchandise, and stay in hotels in various exotic destinations, and then come home to a bill recieved on time and correct to the penny, why in hell do we need a ten thousand page tax code? We have modern technology. Most of which was even pioneered by American business. If the Federal government wants three trillion dollar a year, just take it via consumption, excise, VAT taxes, or other means. I don't want to do the math for you.

    End of rant...Will repeat next April 15th as required...And, I'm sure it will be required.

  • http://scottthong.wordpress.com Scott
  • Scott Wiggins

    I don't think it can be overstated that America needs the Fair Tax final solution before it is too late. Our increasingly statist society is on a bridge to no where...The fair tax would do wonders for getting us back on azimuth and glideslope...On and on as we used to say in the flying business.