Another Reason It's Time For The Fair Tax
By Doug Patton
March 27, 2006
As April 15th approaches, millions of us are again poring over receipts, records and other information relevant to our federal income taxes. After getting everything in order, we will be forced by the complexity of the tax code to take it all to an accountant or other tax professional, who will spend a few very expensive hours working through a process our own government doesn't even understand much of the time. Finally, our tax preparer will place in front of us a stack of papers, some of which we will be expected to sign.
Now, do you read every page in that stack, or do you simply place your signature, as I do, on the lines indicated by this individual in whom you have placed so much trust? Millions of us do it every year. But what if among those papers was a consent form to sell your personal information to third parties to market their products and services to you?
This is the convoluted reasoning of the Internal Revenue Service, where career bureaucrats believe that such conduct should be allowed. In fact, the IRS is proposing new rules that would permit tax preparers to sell your private financial information, right up to and including your actual tax return itself, to marketers and data brokers.
Currently, selling client information to third parties for marketing purposes is prohibited. That would change, however, under the proposed rule revision. And since this policy could only benefit the person buying or selling your information, with no imaginable benefit to you, the motivation to obtain permission by any deceptive means necessary seems extremely high. Incredibly, according to a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, IRS officials characterize these changes as "housecleaning measures needed to update regulations adopted before it began accepting returns electronically."
Had enough? There is a solution.
The time has come for Americans to demand that our elected representatives come to grips with the fact that the current federal income tax code is broken and cannot be fixed.
The time has come for all of us to admit to ourselves that this system has been patched and "repaired" far too many times since 1913, when the 16th Amendment brought us direct taxation on our production, with the IRS as its primary enforcement agency.
The time has come to abolish this gargantuan, intrusive, tyrannical bureaucracy, the primary purpose of which is to harass individual taxpayers, who in turn have to hire and trust others to interpret and navigate the treacherous waters of the federal tax laws.
The time has come for the Fair Tax, a consumption-based national sales tax to replace the federal income tax, thereby trading a trillion-dollar anchor for an economic supercharger.
Imagine what you could do for your family, your church, your community, your future, if you had no federal income taxes, including Social Security, withheld from your paycheck.
Imagine the magnet for business the United States of America would become without a corporate income tax.
Imagine if the imbedded corporate taxes driving the cost of every product and service you buy were gone.
In fact, imagine if discounts on consumer products offset the cost of all federal taxes, leaving consumers free to save, give and, well, consume.
Replacing the burdensome federal income tax with a 23 percent (inclusive) national sales tax would give every American taxpayer an immediate pay raise by allowing us all to keep everything we earn. And since approximately 22 percent of the cost of every product and service we buy represents embedded corporate income tax, competition would drive the cost of everything down by an amount almost directly proportionate to the amount of the consumption tax. In other words, the cost of the sales tax would be offset completely by the discounts on virtually everything.
But the best part of implementing the Fair Tax is abolishing the IRS. No more receipts. No more mileage logs. No more fear of an audit. No more April 15th.
The proposed new regulations are just one more indication that the time has come to turn Americans loose from the bondage of an antiquated tax system that impedes productivity, punishes generosity and penalizes thrift.
(For more information, visit Americans for Fair Taxation. (web site) http://www.fairtax.org/
Doug Patton is a freelance columnist
who has served as a political speechwriter, communications consultant and advisor to conservative Republican candidates and elected officials, as well as public policy organizations. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet web sites, including TheConservativeVoice.com and GOPUSA.com, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.