Note: This article was first published on Tax Day 2018 and is being repeated today, as it still applies 100%. I will continue to remind everyone of these things on every future Tax Day until the system is fixed, once and for all.
I’m a bit ornery today, just as I am every year on the day the taxes are due. In fact, all of April is pretty much ruined for me. April Fool’s Day is the perfect way for it to begin.
As soon as we get into April, I have to start working on gathering everything together to prepare my taxes. It takes precious time away from working on my business, working on my hobbies and other activities, and spending time with my family.
That puts me in a foul mood, even before I get to the final amount that I have to write the check out for in order to comply with a tax system that is so totally corrupted and incomprehensible that there is literally not a single person on Earth who can understand it.
And then it takes me the rest of the month to “get over it” enough to at least not think about it all the time.
Most people don’t have this problem, which I believe is a big reason why we can’t make the changes that are really needed. Most people have their taxes deducted from their paychecks automatically and never see that money. Most people then actually look forward to tax season because most people get a refund. And most people treat it as some sort of bonus windfall that they can use to buy fun stuff. Most people don’t realize that it’s not free money they are getting, but it’s actually money they lent to the government to use for the full year…a loan they gave the government at no interest. This is money that they could have used during the year to expand the economy, or simply to invest and at least get some interest from it.
What a racket. What rubes we are.
But many of us don’t have the luxury of blissful ignorance. We have to pay much closer attention, those of us millions of small business owners and self-employed individuals. We have to very consciously write out checks for every penny that we owe for taxes. When you have to do that, you realize just how much they are gouging us for.
And it makes you ornery.
The Founders understood the problems of taxing individual incomes. They understood the consequences and the conflicts that would create. So why do we have it now and what problems has it caused?
Enter the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1913, This gave the federal government the power to collect individual income taxes:
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
And it’s gone all down hill since then.
It’s no coincidence that this is the same period of the rise of Progressive politics with Woodrow Wilson coming into the Presidency. The 16th Amendment, along with the 17th Amendment (changing the way we elect Senators to a direct popular vote), which was ratified the same year, enabled the full implementation of the Progressive agenda.
Allowing the federal government to collect individual income taxes, and essentially placing no limitations on that, caused a huge balance of power shift from the states to the national government.
He who controls all of the money, controls all of the power.
Guess what comes along with the consolidation of all of the power and money? Yep…corruption and undue influence and crony capitalism.
Which is exactly how the IRS tax codes have become so completely corrupted. Special interests have influenced the entire process, carving out special tax treatments for themselves.
So now, we are stuck in a system that takes trillions of dollars out of the private economy and gives it to the government to decide how to spend it. And we all know how that’s working out.
But that’s not the only problem. When you consider all of the time and the money spent on just preparing tax returns.
According to TaxFoundation.org:
All said, Americans spent over 3.24 billion hours, which is about 369,858 years, preparing and filing tax returns in 2012. Considering individual, business and employment taxes, this costs $37 billion annually in compliance cost for federal taxes alone.
Just imagine how much positive effect that time and money could have if it was applied to much more productive endeavors!
Yet, we’re supposed to be happy about the tax cut that the Republicans and President Trump are crowing about. A tax cut that does nothing to solve the real problem and is 100% guaranteed to be only temporary in any case.
So many people are seeing the benefits of the Tax Cut Bill. Everyone is talking, really nice to see!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2018
Gee, thanks for tossing us a little bone. Seriously, if that’s all we can get from the Republicans to solve this immense problem when they control all of government, then it’s time to rethink things.
In the meantime, enjoy the rest of this #@*%#in’ Tax Day!