A redistribution of wealth


To the Editor:

Today the tax collection business is a bizarre, Byzantine affair. Get three tax accountants at a table, show them a complex page of the tax code, and I bet you will get three different answers on what it means. The tax code itself, with all the rules and regulations, is longer than the Bible! The income tax now is more than taxing to pay; it now involves redistributing wealth. It has reached well down into the middle class. Waitresses working on tired legs in the local diner have to account for that 75-cent tip. The guy that makes your $10 pizza has to pay a tax on the dollar economic profit he made. Someone that owns a hot dog stand has to worry about accounting for all the buns and condiments he uses when figuring out the tax he owes. Today the people that work in a movie theater are paying income tax, when it used to be only the people that were on the silver screen had to pay income taxes! 

I guess the rich were tired of being victims, so they allowed everyone one else to feel some pain, too, by allowing the tax to spread down into society (like a contagion!). Yes, we should pay taxes to support our government, but there has to be a better way! 

Perhaps a better way would be a simple basic three-step income tax with no deductions (or accounting) for private citizens and small businesses. And in addition, we should have a national sales tax, which will help nail income tax cheaters. There is no way out of a sales tax, short of the black market for goods. No working under the table.

But I doubt this is going to happen. The income tax has become a way for the government to monitor and control people. It allows government to pry deeply into the lives of private citizens. It is more than a tax; it is a government institution. It truly is “Big Brother.” Something I doubt the people who instituted it would ever think to happen.

In the future, I think our IRS could evolve into the Ministry of Happiness. In theory, an institution to make sure that (God forbid) someone may not have just a little bit more than they deserve. Or, that someone may have a job or a second income that the royalty of government does not know about. A ministry dedicated to paying us what they think we deserve, trying to make everyone happy. 

It is possible to say that 100 years from now, all of our pay will go to government. Then the government will issue a check to us based on our need and our contribution to society. Stay tuned; this is going to get interesting! After all, most of us could not survive without government anyway! Want to respond to this letter or just to me? My email is KVe1537147@aol.com.

Kevin Vealey



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Mr. Vealey, predictably, does not define "the rich". From his perspective, I'm guessing it's anyone who makes $1.00 more than he does. That said, I'm in general agreement that the present tax code is archaic and riddled with 'exceptions'. How about starting with a national flat income tax rate of 18-20% with no deductions other than state income tax, local property tax, and home equity. Yes, that eliminates the mortgage interest deduction, but let's replace it with a home equity tax credit proportional to the equity in one's home. Such a move would incent equity in your home instead of rewarding debt. I'd support a national sales tax if, and only if there is a repeal of the 16the amendment which was enacted as a 'modest' 3% tax on income for the purpose of funding the Civil War. This is much like RI's 'temporary' income tax of 1% in 1947. All of which confirms a basic truth: Government will never, ever, ever, ever have enough of your money.

Friday, April 25, 2014