The Tax Man Cometh

I visited my tax preparation guy this morning. I figured I’d try to beat the rush. Of course, I do not yet have all the official documents I need to file my return, but I do have most of the numbers.

I highly recommend that anyone who has yet to study the Fair Tax bill take the time to do so. A working knowledge of the legislation that is being fought by lobbyists and many of your elected government officials (not mine! Mine all support the bill!) will help you understand the anger and frustration I feel as I try to get some of my money back.

I realize it’s hard to believe that early in our nation’s history, there was no such thing as income tax. In fact, the Founding Fathers had their hands full trying to raise money to pay the debts incurred by the Revolutionary War. They tried to tax whiskey, but that came close to starting a second revolution.

In time, the elected officials were able to convince the common folk of the need for an income tax. The deal was simple. Once a year, each taxpayer completed a simple form, calculated how much was owed, and sent off a check to Uncle Sam.

Can you imagine how that process would go over today! “Wait! There’s no way I owe that much money!”

To avoid such belligerent behavior, the legislators came up with the payroll deduction plan. It’s a bit like putting the frog in cold water and raising the temperature slowly. By the time the frog realizes the water is boiling, it’s too late for him to hop out.

The same with the taxes. They take a little at a time so we don’t notice what is happening and try to opt out. Come to think of it, we don’t have the right to opt out.

To make matters worse, over time we’ve become convinced that getting a small portion of our money back is a good thing. People don’t talk about how much the government kept, they brag about what they’re getting back.

The Fair Tax is based on consumption. All the people who moan and groan about the rich not paying their fair share should take delight in knowing that the rich sugar daddy is contributing big tax dollars every time he buys a new luxury car or yacht.

In the meantime, those on the bottom of the economic rung will be reimbursed for the taxes they paid on the bare necessities of life. In fact, if they don’t buy everything the government thinks they should buy, they’ll come out ahead.

The ‘pre-bate’ would apply to all. That eliminates tons of paperwork and checking for cheaters. It’s just that the monthly check would mean much more to some than to others.

To me, one of the great benefits of the Fair Tax is that all the ‘under the table’ transactions would no longer be tax free. A guy can sell all the drugs he wants to, but when he buys his new Mercedes, he’ll pay his share of the taxes.

The sad part of this legislation is that the elected officials who represent the folks who would benefit the most from the Fair Tax oppose it. Why? I asked John Lewis that question. His answer clearly demonstrated that he has not taken the time to read the bill.

How about your congress or senate representatives? Have they bothered to represent what’s best for you? Ask them.

April 15th is fast approaching. Instead of looking to see how much your refund will be, concentrate on the amount Uncle Sam is keeping for himself. Then look at how that money is being wasted. See how long it takes you to get steamed.


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