Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Happy" Tax Day 2008

In the theoretical sense, I don't have a problem with taxes. I appreciate roads, police officers, public libraries, and know that with no defense or national security spending we would not have the freedoms that we have today.

In the practical sense, I can't stand taxes. It's pretty depressing to see pay stubs with taxes taken out. It's depressing to buy something, and then be charged more for it. It's depressing to try to be semi-knowledgeable about how to save for the future in light of various tax laws, etc.

Overall, taxes are generally depressing, I imagine they've been so since the beginning of time...except of course in the days of early civilization if you were the corrupt official collecting the taxes...but of course that is a different story. (Remember, when Jesus was walking the earth...remember those sinners and tax collectors).

On the theoretical level, I found it acceptable to have to write a check to the US Treasury this year for Tax Day. I understood, it was taxes I hadn't paid out of my paycheck, and thus I needed to "settle my account," in essence. There was no penalty, just a necessary act. On the practical level, writing the check was a little more depressing.

I realize that not everyone who reads this blog lives in the United States, but if you do, and are unfamiliar with the book, I recommend you read The FairTax Book by radio talk show host Neal Boortz. (I read this a couple years ago, as a recommendation from my father-in-law)

While Mike Huckabee was not my favorite candidate in this past year's republican primary, I did appreciate him taking a stance and creating publicity for The Fair Tax (Ron Paul and Alan Keyes also support The Fair Tax).

This blog is a poor place to describe the policy of The Fair Tax as submitted to the senate and the house, but it's an interesting re-imagining of a better tax policy.

In essence the Fair Tax would be a steep percentage on all initial selling of goods and services, that would be figured into the product price. This set tax alone on goods and services sold in the United States would cover all taxes and eliminate the tax code. There's reasons to not like some of the concept of this tax, but I think it's a strong policy that would eliminate some of America's largest problems, such as lost taxes on black market goods and services, lost taxes on illegal immigrants, businesses being choked out by business and payroll taxes. And before you get all jumpy about tax the milk and bread of poor people, the bill also includes a standard prebate that comes in the mail to off set taxes on necessary goods and services.

Anyways, I don't really think there will ever be enough momentum to make the Fair Tax happen, but I do recommend the read and wish that politicians and people would discuss this as a valid possibility more. Read the book, hang out at fairtax.org, and see who in the house and senate support this bill.

Happy Tax Day from StangeCulture.

6 comments:

Bennett said...

What about all the HR Block tax professionals that will be out of a job? And the IRS agents and accountants, printers, postal workers, etc. Isn't it better to keep stupid programs in place than to fire some people who are quite comfortable? I mean what about the girl dressed up as the statue of liberty standing by the road in (snowy) 39 degree weather promoting tax preparation services!

RC said...

@ bennett, i feel like what your asking is "the question" that i wrestle a lot with during this current economic down turn.

is better to have efficient societies, or societies that make sure everyone has something to do?

Ando said...

Thanks for the book recommendation. I've had questions about the Fair Tax ever since I heard Huckabe talk about it.

Scott said...

I listen to Boortz quite a bit and I was just talking to my wife about this last night. This is one Dem that thinks it would be a good idea.

John said...

I think that putting all the taxes on things upfront could be good biblicly helping folks reduce consumption when they see the true cost, but it could put a lot of people out of work if people stopped buying as much and delayed purchasing big things like houses that would now cost 1/4 more.

RC said...

@john,

remember, houses would only cost a quarter-more on the first time purchase. The tax burden only lies on new goods...you would not be required to pay tax on a used home.

Plus...some of that pre-tax cost should be lower as there would be not tax charged to employeres of laborers, and perhaps some of the products purchased, etc.

it'd be interesting...it certainly would re-adjust some consumer habits, but I think cost would decrease and negate much of the initial tax jump.

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