The time for the flat tax has arrived

By Tom Quiner

The IRS targeted conservative groups.

We know this. No one disputes it.

We know that the IRS spent obscene amounts of money taking their people to conventions.

We know the power of the IRS is being expanded, thanks to Obamacare, to enforce its complex provisions.

And now we know that despite the sequester, the IRS is going to pay out $70 Million in bonuses to their people.

The IRS in the best of circumstances is a bully to be feared. Taken to its extreme in the Obama Government, they are out-of-control tyrants.

The IRS is not going away. Let’s face it, as long as we’ve got a 16th Amendment, we’re going to need an agency to collect taxes. Congress has created a complex tax code. If you were to have a hundred tax professionals prepare an itemized return, you may end up with a hundred different bottom lines.

The IRS becomes larger and more dangerous as we make the tax code more complex. Can anything be done?

Of course something can be done if there is a political will.

I have promoted the idea of a Fair Tax in previous posts. There are many advantages of a Fair Tax, but it is unlikely to ever see the light of day. The 16th Amendment would have to be repealed first (which will never happen) so that we’re not stuck with the status quo, plus a new Fair Tax, as Europe did.

The simplest and most practical way to simplify the tax code is a flat tax. A flat tax would eliminate most deductions, radically reducing compliance costs. Countries that have moved to flatter taxes experience increases in tax revenues because the private sector re-funnels the time and money they spent on compliance into more productive pursuits.

The economy takes off. More jobs are created. And the tax collection agencies can be put on a diet since they don’t need as many men wearing green visors pouring over our returns.

Senator Ted Cruz is leading the charge for a flat tax:

“We ought to abolish the IRS and instead move to a simple flat tax, where the average American can fill out our taxes on a postcard. Put down how much you earn, put down a deduction for charitable contributions, for home mortgage and how much you owe. It ought to be just a simple, one-page postcard,”

I doubt that it is practical to eliminate the IRS. But we could reduce our need for the agency with a simpler tax code.

If we can’t muster the political will now in light of these IRS scandals, when can we?


  1. abcinsc on June 20, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    The problem I see is other government entities piling additional taxes on top of it all. Our local government is of, by and for local businesses, dipping into the government trough whenever they can get away with it. Our Chamber of Commerce is just as bad as any union. They have no respect / regard for taxpayers. It’s all about them.

    • quinersdiner on June 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Your point is well-taken. How would you recommend the tax code be improved?

      • abcinsc on June 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

        The Fair Tax would bring welcome radical change to the current federal tax mess… for the reasons you stated. It’s probably the best we can do.