By Tom Quiner
The IRS admits it.
They targeted the Tea Party and other conservative groups last year with audits and excessive hoops to jump through.
The letters “IRS” strike fear into the hearts of most Americans, at least those who file tax returns. They know the IRS can hurt you.
Conservatives are quick to suspect that the order to harass conservatives came from the top.
Is this true? Who know? Perhaps time will tell, but we’ll probably never know.
Besides, I’m not sure that’s even the biggest issue. Look at how far we’ve come, how far the idea of limited government has regressed. A majority of the American public fear the federal government. They are big and powerful. They are unresponsive. They can hurt us.
When we invoke those words, “we the people,” I’m not sure that we really trust the federal government as being part of the “we” anymore.
Frankly, I don’t trust Republicans any more than Democrats when it comes to improperly wielding government power.
So, is there anything we could do about the IRS? Keep in mind, they do have a legitimate role to play in any system that taxes people based on their income.
My solution? Repeal the 16th Amendment which allowed Congress to impose an income tax. Then replace the tax code with a Fair Tax.
This would reduce the state’s power over us, and yet still provide them with the means to collect revenue for the running of the appropriate functions of government.
The fair tax is a national sales tax on all consumption. The idea is to eliminate all other taxes and replace it with one tax on every item you purchase. The rate that has been bandied about is 18 percent. So, if you purchased a hundred dollars of groceries, you’d pay an $18 national sales tax on top of the local sales tax. In Iowa, that rate is six percent, so your net tax payment would be $24 in this example.
As with any taxing scheme, there are pros and cons. The biggest pro in my mind is this: taxpayers would feel the pain of taxation with every single purchase, which is an excellent way to deter excessive taxation by elected officials. As it stands now, the government takes money from your paycheck before you ever get it, so you’re not as aware of the pain of taxation.
The problem is that Congress could implement some other new tax down the road on top of the Fair Tax and we’re back to square one. And although the Fair Tax would make it tougher for Congress to increase taxes, that may not slow down their spending habits.
Nonetheless, I like any idea that weakens the ability of the partisans running the federal government from using the clout of the federal government against their political opponents.