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home : opinion : opinion May 20, 2022

1/17/2022 8:32:00 AM
A Conservative Point Of View
High Time To Abolish The IRS
Or at least fundamentally alter its mission

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From The Desk Of
Thomas Lark

Even though Tax Day is still three months away, many folks are already thinking about their taxes.

And many like to file them in January and have it over with. You’ve probably already seen the tax-service adverts on the idiot box.

It always turns my mind to abolishing what is perhaps the most hated institution of our leviathan, bloated, incompetent, inefficient, illegitimate and likewise hated government: the Internal Revenue “Service.”

Nobody likes the IRS. Nobody. Some years ago, one of its flunkies sent me an apologetic letter, admitting the agency had made a mistake and that it did in fact receive the money I sent. Yep, the IRS actually said “sorry.” That never happens. I should’ve framed that letter.

The IRS in its prototypical form and the income tax owe their joint genesis to the Lincoln Administration, under the aegis of which they were created as a scheme to pay for the totally unnecessary War Between the States. Both the new agency and said tax went away a few years after the North and Big Business crushed the constitutionally correct yet materially weaker South, but they were brought back during the long-forgotten depression of the 1890’s (at least the first half of which, it seems, weren’t so gay after all). The Supreme Court rightly ruled the income tax unconstitutional in 1895.

But of course that didn’t stop Congress.

As Mark Twain observed, “There is no distinctly native American criminal class––except Congress.”

In 1913, those geniuses gave us the 16th Amendment, taking for themselves the authority to enact an income tax. We’ve been stuck with it ever since. Et quelle co-incidence, that same year saw the creation of the Federal Reserve, signed into law by Woody Wilson (like Lincoln, Truman, Nixon, Carter, Clinton, the Bushes, Obama and Biden, yet another of America’s most corrupt and incompetent presidents; of course that’s a given when one considers that the good presidents may all be counted on one hand, with several fingers left).

Mind you, taxation is as old as civilisation, and it’s probably a necessary evil. Monies must be raised to pay for roads, bridges and other such infrastructural conveniences we all use. It’s probably unfair to ask people to be taxed for public education when they have no kids. Indeed, the public schools (“kiddie prisons” and “Marxist indoctrination camps,” as many critics call them) should be abolished alto-gether. But that is another jeremiad.

1 - Alps Mtn - Taking Care Of

However, the IRS is very good at hectoring, harassing and hounding the little guy over pennies and very poor at making lawyered-up fat cats pay up. Too many plutocrats hide their money in Switzerland, the Caribbean and elsewhere, and they never pay their fair share.

I’ve argued for long years that if you make less than a certain annual amount––say, $25,000––you shouldn’t be taxed at all. If you make less than that, you’ve enough trouble as it is without the bloody IRS on your back. Taxing the poor is a sin, pure and simple.

Nor do I argue that the rich should be bled white. To tax them fairly is reasonable enough. And overtaxing them ironically creates burdens on the aforesaid little guy who must labour for them.

What to do? Gut the Pentagon. Gut it like a fish to see how long it bleeds. Gore the sacred ox that is the Military-Industrial-Banking Complex. (But be careful; it cost JFK his life.) The cost of an aircraft-carrier or some other such useless toy, rendered redundant in the nuclear age, would go a long way to feeding, clothing and housing a few people in this godforsaken country.

Or here’s a Swiftian modest proposal. Take a Zuckerberg or a Soros or a Bezos or a Citizen Gates or some other such useless robber-baron twit and jail him, expropriating his money and dispersing it among the poor. They’re all liberal to the point of lunacy; demonstrably dangerous and a collective menace to society; and provably objectively evil anyway, so why not? It’s a fine idea and one Americans increasingly support, as the Second Great Depression grinds on into what will soon be its third year, and the global communist state of Xi Jinping advances unopposed. So indeed, why not? Sic semper sinistris! 

A fair tax? Or not?
Then there’s the Fair Tax, as promulgated by such advocates as former Arkansas governor Michael Huckabee. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Fair Tax is a tax upon consumption (a flat rate of 23 per cent), not people’s income. It would mean effectively abolishing the IRS by delegating its job to the states or to the Social Security Administration. Collected revenues would then go to the United States Treasury Department.

In 2015, the committee stated:

“While the IRS could be abolished, many of its functions––tax administration, enforcement and sending rebate checks––would be shifted to state agencies and the SSA, including to some states that do not currently collect sales tax…This would impose a cost of $9.66 billion on states, while saving the federal government $9.38 billion in IRS funding: a net cost of $280 million.”

According to writer Aaron Sankin, the push to get rid of the IRS has been gaining momentum for decades. Ted Cruz  advocates its abolition, but even a blind pig finds a truffle now and again. More intelligent advocates of abolishing the IRS include Rand Paul. Both he and his far more intelligent father, Ron Paul, favour destroying the IRS, which is hated by half of all Americans, according to Gallup.

The Fair Tax would do just that: it would smash the IRS to smithereens, and as Sankin writes, it would also put H&R Block and like tax businesses out of business. No more filing income tax reports. No more sweating over mountains of paperwork to the tune of billions of hours and billions of bucks every year.

But as Sankin adds, the so-called Fair Tax is not without significant problems. Slapping a one-size-fits-all approach upon everyone could actually penalise the poor, most of whom couldn’t afford that 23-per cent rate. The rich benefit more than anyone from American life, thus taxing those most who make the most is only logical, moral and fair.

To reiterate, I think the solution is starkly simple: just stop taxing the poor at all. If your annual income falls below a certain amount, you shouldn’t have to be bothered with filing income taxes and jumping through these ridiculous hurdles every year.

And realising that won’t tax anyone’s brain.

---The views and opinions expressed in “A Conservative Point of View” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Lincoln Herald.

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