Sunday, April 12, 2009

Flat tax will be flattened

Time is limited this week. The April 15th tax filing deadline looms and we’ve got about a week’s worth of work to get done before Wednesday. That’s about right.

I don’t complain. Congress keeps passing job security bills for accountants (see CPA’s Guaranteed Employment Act), which I appreciate during these tough economic times. I don’t worry about switching to a flat tax and thereby eliminating the need for professional tax preparers. Congress would never give up the puppet strings they hold so dearly.

You see, a flat tax would be a big problem for Congress. Instead of them deciding how to spend your money, you would decide how to spend your money. Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying here. The argument you hear everyday goes like this: Tax me less; I’m better at deciding how to spend my money than the government.

What I’m saying is: Even if a flat income tax or a national sales tax brought in exactly the same amount of tax revenue to the federal government, Congress would still never go for it. That’s because they not only want to control how to spend the money that you send to them in the form of taxes, they want to control how you spend the money you keep for yourself.

If they want you to buy a hybrid car, they give you a $3,000 tax credit. Real estate sluggish? First-time homeowners get $8,000. Need a few votes from retired public safety officers? Exclude from income the first $3,000 paid for health insurance from retirement benefits.

In the first two examples, you are enticed to spend your paycheck on things that make Congress feel good. The third is an example of how Congress manipulates the tax code to ensure they get re-elected. No knock on retired public safety officers, but what big picture national issue is being addressed here?

The only way to break this cycle of elected officials garnering more and more power and becoming less and less connected to the common man is to enact term limits. I heard a television ad yesterday (I was in the kitchen and didn’t see it) honoring a man who was mayor of a Massachusetts town in the 1980s followed by a twenty-some-odd year stint as a state representative. For his dedication to public service, he was being honored as a “hero.”

Glorifying politicians as heroes is highly demeaning to real heroes. I’ll stand next to a 20-year veteran of any fire department and know I’m in the presence of a real hero. Is Ted Kennedy a hero? You decide. Here’s the dictionary definition of a political hero: “A sandwich made from a long roll or loaf of bread with a filling of meat and cheese with lettuce and tomato.”

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Control equals power. In the control area involving the 4,968 pages of the Internal Revenue Code, Congress wields a huge amount of influence over how you spend your money. Does anyone really think that a pack of politicians would relinquish that power?

For me, I’m confident that I’ll retire and be interred before Congress takes any action to simplify our income tax system. After all, that would be good for the people at the expense of Congress’ control of the puppet strings. Ain’t gonna happen.

Copyright 2009 Randy Hunt


  1. Good Evening Mr. Hunt. As I read your blog this evening it sort of reminds me that in todays world, to many folks use the word HERO in a way that really is as you have stated a misrepresentive of the very essence of the meaning itself. One perhaps can denote that meaning to those that gave of themselves in a political way, in my world a politician that has made himself very rich at the expense of those he is supposed to serve, does not qualify for such an honor. Now if that same person was to share his [ill gained] wealth with the poor among us I might change my mind. Maybe not.

    Do you think that a particular family would call him a Hero after he left there daughter to drown. Maybe not.

    Longevity does not change the past, it only makes you less noticable to what occured in the past.

    History remains true to itself, but at times we humans like to think the best of every one and for those that use the word HERO to describe some one whom is not, does an injustice to those that really are.

    A prime example is the Captain of the airlines that touched down in the river and saved the whole plane.

    Captain Phillips of the cargo ship whom saved his crew from harm and was freed on Easter Day by the U>S>Navy The power of prayers was heard today.

    Firemen and policemen that put there lives in harms way to protect the weak among us.

    The religious clergy among us that save the most fragile human souls among us and give us the hope to live.

    The parents and grandparents that teach there offspring the true meaning of love and respect.

    The school teachers of the world that spend countless hours deticated to teaching our children beyond the normal payday of learning.

    THOSE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN THAT GAVE OF THEMSELVES during times of war and gave this country all the freedoms we enjoy, can be the proudest of Heros among us. God Bless these Heros

    These are all true HEROS of the world we live in and of course I must include the Doctors and nurses that save lives every day with the help of a supreme power guiding there hands of healing.

    Only a politician that has endured the pain and suffering as a prisoner of war can be a called a HERO TO SURVIVE AND STILL MAKE AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE A CHANGE IN OUR WORLD THAT DOES GOOD FOR THE PEOPLE HE SERVES.

    Ca Johansen

  2. So I should recycle my Steve Forbes book "Flat Tax Revolution"? :-)


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