Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Taxation of Taxation

I know that this time of year many of us are giving some thought to income tax, whether we will owe or reap a huge refund, or whether we will be able to figure out the maze of forms, figures, and receipts and get everything taken care of. The whole issue of taxes is very much in the forefront of the media these days in light of two cabinet nominees withdrawing their names in the light of tax "errors" and one who was confirmed in spite of tax problems. Over the past few years, there have been others in high profile positions who were discovered to have had tax issues -- including Caroline Kennedy. What all of this brings to my mind (and hopefully should put some thoughts in smarter folks than I) is that our tax system is so broken that mere mortals are baffled by it. I cannot believe that these public servants intentionally strove to cheat the government of which they are a part (though I suppose that is possible). I strongly believe that our entire tax code needs a major overhaul free of partisan and classist politics. I am a strong proponent of a straight percentage tax on all income -- from the poorest to the richest. The poor will scream that they can't afford it and the rich will scream that they are paying more than their share, but that's too bad. Employers could simply withhold a percentage from all paychecks and submit it directly to the government. Corporations paying dividends could do likewise with dividend payments. There would be no need for individuals to ever have to file a return or keep receipts or any of the dreaded first of the year tasks. The government could downsize IRS, and all would be well. I suppose that I am looking at this from a naive point of view, but for me it would be far more simple and fair. What do you think?

1 comment:

Ur-spo said...

my tax man tells me it will never be 'fixed' as there are too many people dependent on the complicated system. If we simplified it these folks would be out of work.
And no one will agree to give up their favorite personal tax deduction.