Tax Day: On Taxes and Tea Parties

by Sal on April 15, 2009

in Economy,Politics

Today is April 15, the day that federal income tax returns are due to the Department of the Treasury.  It is a good time to remind ourselves how oppressive the tax code is.  Our tax code is probably among the most complicated codes in the world.  While the trend among world nations is to move towards a flat tax, the U.S. tax code keeps getting more complex by the day, swelling to some 70,000 pages, nearly double what it was a decade ago.  The tax code is also heavily weighted to the producers in this country.  We are at the point where 40% of the public does not pay any income taxes at all (which probably accounts for why 48% of adults feel  taxes they pay are “about right” in a recent Gallup survey).  A CATO YouTube video gives a brief outline on our oppresive tax system, worth reviewing for anyone frustrated by the complexities of telling the government how much money we make, owe, donate, and deduct:

Our tax system is in need of serious reform.  There are many competing proposals out there from Conservatives, and they range from a pure flat tax to a consumption tax to the fair tax.  Frankly, any of those proposals would be an improvement, especially those that don’t punish success.

Today is also the day chosen for national tea parties.  The Tea Party movement started from the comments of CNBC’s Rick Santelli in response to the mortgage bailout, and then it took on a life of its own (Michelle Malkin has a good outline of the brief history of the movement).  It is a true grassroots Conservative movement, started by ordinary people and organized in a rather decentralized way through the Internet, utilizing blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and social networking in general to coordinate.  It is in no way affiliated with the Republican Party, and is in fact more of an anti-establishment movement designed to bring attention to the anger that hardworking, ordinary American citizens feel at the socialization of America that is currently being undertaken by team Obama, and is just as much against RINO Republicans who voted for the stimulus and the massive expansion of government that we have seen in the last 90 days as it is against the Democrats.  While many of us have jobs that may not allow us to get out to a Tea Party, if you can, try to make one.  They are everywhere.  For decades the radicals on the left have been the ones to make the most noise in protest, and have gotten a large part of what they have wanted since the mid 1960s.  It is time for the silent majority, the average everyday hard-working contributors to have a voice, to express their displeasure with a government that taxes and wastefully spends and redistributes the fruits of their labor.  So find your nearest Tea Party, and get out if you can and lend your voice to the cause of liberty.


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April 15, 2009 at 10:23 am
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Grace Nearing April 15, 2009 at 10:43 am

Our tax code is probably among the most complicated codes in the world. While the trend among world nations is to move towards a flat tax, the U.S. tax code keeps getting more complex by the day…. The tax code is also heavily weighted to the producers in this country. [emph added]

(1) Just want to point out that a worldwide/i> comparison of tax codes to assess their complexity is pointless. It would be much more helpful to compare the tax codes of the advanced nations, since undeveloped and developing countries rely much more heavily on excise taxes and tariffs, which are much easier to collect.

(2) It also would be interesting to see comparisons between the US and say Scandinavian countries. One interesting and not-too-technical book about this is the elegantly simple Why Tax Systems Differ: A Comparative Study of the Politicl Economy of Taxation.

(3) Can you recommend any links for the claim that “the trend among world nations is to move towards a flat tax”?

(4) What is meant by “the tax code is also heavily weighted to producers”? Does this mean that the US tax code favors “producers” or punishers “producers”? Also, who is a considered a producer?

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Grace Nearing April 15, 2009 at 10:44 am

@Grace Nearing – Darn it — sorry about the broken tag!

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