With the upcoming presidential elections, it seems that the entire focus of any discussion gravitates towards taxes in one form or another. Generally someone is accusing the rich of having tax breaks and not having to “pay their fair share,” or someone else is tired of having to pay so much in taxes so that so many can live on welfare, or others complain about not having enough money after taxes.
Those who have lots of money, albeit they do pay for a large majority of total tax revenue, appear to have the ability to also avoid paying taxes either through tax loops, or sending money out of country (if the majority of your wealthy feel the need to send their hard earned cash out of the country, that probably says something about the country itself, just saying). They are also forced to pay a higher percentage (of income) than those who make less. Then there is the middle class who generally don’t get any tax breaks/loops, and who still have to pay a good percentage out of their income as well. Then the lower class have problems just having enough money to make ends meet without having to worry about taxes. And I’m going to add in another group, those on welfare, who pay no taxes, and in many cases, even get money from the government (which came out of someone else’s paycheck mind you). And on top of the problems of income tax, everyone must also pay sales tax, property tax, gas tax, etc.
Now here is where I may tick a few people off, but bare with me, everything should smooth out by the end. Here’s a little scenario. One person (Bob) must pay say 35% income tax in order to support 3 other people (Frank, Jane, and Sue) who are all on welfare and also don’t pay any taxes. However, all four of those people get the same voting power when it comes time for election: one vote. I personally believe that it is unfair for one person to have to give more to support the government and still be expected to have the same say in political matters as someone else (who may not even give anything at all). There is a bit of logical fallacy in giving someone who can’t even take care of themselves the same amount of say in how our country should be run, as the person who is forced to support them. *personal rant over*
It seems that no matter which way you look at it, the current tax system is unfair all around, and I haven’t even gotten started on the biggest issue.
If you ever heard stories or watched movies about the cold hearted mob boss forcing collection of “protection fees” on innocent store owners in their area, you would need to look no farther for the real deal than our own government, and the IRS. The IRS is the epitome of lack of justice. They can claim that any one has failed to pay their taxes, and never have to prove it (the unlike the rest of the US governmental systems, where the burden of proof is put upon the accuser, with the IRS, the burden of proof is given to the victim). They can seize any of your property or finances for “compensation” of unpaid taxes. And again, they will never have to take you to court or get a warrant in order to do so. Worst part of all, IRS agents are paid on commission, meaning their paycheck is based upon how much money they can squeeze out of who ever they believe hasn’t paid their taxes, meaning that for those working for the IRS, it is in their best interests to go after as many people as possible for tax evasion.
So with all that in mind, I began to wonder what could be done to fix things, or at least what system could work better than the one we have currently. What I came up with would require an entire rewrite of the entire tax system, from the ground up; luckily, it is a pretty simple system. So starting from nothing…
There is only one tax that anyone will have to pay, at all, ever. That is a sales tax. Anytime you go to buy a product (except medicine and food, those are tax exempt as those are necessarily for life), you will be charged a sales tax for the local municipality, another for the county, another for the state, and finally, another percentage for federal. Now, that sounds pretty bad, cause at that rate, you may very well end up paying something along the lines of a 20% sales tax, but remember; you only pay the tax whenever you actually buy something other than food or medicine. Money that you earn in your paycheck will never be taxed. Money that earns interest in a bank account will never be taxed. Money given to you will never be taxed. Unless of course you spend it on something, and only then will you pay a tax.
And of course, it’s a flat tax rate across the whole board, upper to lower class. After all, why should someone have to pay more in taxes for the same item you’re buying, simply because they earn more. And if you’re thinking, “well, because they can afford to pay more,” trust me, they will. Why? Because if you have more to spend, guess what, generally you’re going to buy more things, meaning that you have more instances you must pay taxes than someone who doesn’t. And with a flat rate, that should solve the fairness problem associated with voting, or it may not, I’m still thinking on that issue, as it’s a tricky one.
A simple sales tax should also fix all issues of tax evasion, as there is no way to avoid paying taxes, as it is added to the charge whenever you check out, and the company charging it doesn’t lose any profit in doing so.
Well, those are just my thoughts. I’m sure many of you disagree with me, and I’d love to hear your thoughts as well. I was just thinking, if there is so much wrong with what we have now, why not something simple and fair. A flat sales tax for all levels of government seems to be fair to me, and simple too.
NOTE: I didn’t cover the topic of a balanced budget or controlled government spending, and although those would pay a significant role in how high the percentages are for this system, that is another topic for debate later.