Jewish World Review April 17, 2012/ 25 Nissan, 5772
Repeal that infernal tax code
By Paul Greenberg
"April is the cruelest month. . . ."--
But what politician today would speak so eloquently, and all too accurately, about the country's irrational, insufferable, infernal Internal Revenue Code? (Except maybe for purely ceremonial purposes during an election year.)
Why would politicians seriously challenge a system that so richly rewards them for their expertise in an arcane specialty?
Lest we forget, and so many do, that this republic was born of a tax revolt -- indeed, a mounting succession of them that climaxed in the Spririt of '76. Gosh, maybe that's why they call it the
But we the people long ago lost touch with our Revolutionary, and still revolutionary, roots. We've become inured to the injustice, inefficiency and general incomprehensibility of an encyclopedic tax code that by now passeth all understanding.
A whole priesthood of CPAs has multiplied to translate this gnostic creed, with all its daunting commandments and special dispensations.
Most of us don't object to paying our taxes. Living in
Awash in a sea of paper, or rather an ocean of electronic impulses in this internetted age, the American taxpayer needs . . .
But every sweeping new tax law
Despite the perennial foofaraw in
Even if folks have an accountant, and by now an estimated 80 percent of us use a tax preparer, or at least some software, to figure out how much we owe, it's still a wearing process.
For the average American family, filling out a tax form has become like attacking a puzzle to which, often enough, there is no right answer. But we're all supposed to swear, on penalty of perjury, that we've done our best to find it.
What to do? Don't mend it, end it. Abolish the tax code and start all over. Think about it: Would anybody starting from scratch come up with a system so byzantine, so counterproductive, so insane as the one we're stuck with? Well, maybe Rube Goldberg.
So why not opt for a clean break with the past?
Yes, kill the monster. Drive it through. Abolish the Internal Revenue Code and begin anew.
Put this thing out of its misery and the taxpayer's. By a date certain. Say,
At this point, it would be easier to junk the U.S. tax code and start all over than to fix it, and certainly to understand it.
To rephrase a thought from Dr. Johnson, nothing so wonderfully concentrates the mind as the prospect of having to file your taxes by midnight tonight. Or get an extension and so succeed only in prolonging the pain.
First kill the Internal Revenue Code, and the way to create a simpler, fairer system might become clearer to all those politicians, bureaucrats and other unimaginative types who now say it just can't be done. But it can be.
There is no time like the present to abolish the Internal Revenue Code. Which is pretty much what I wrote on Tax Day in 2004 and 2006 and 2008 ... and just about every year since. And now have said so again on this Tax Day.
Never. never, never, never give up. Don't believe those who can always be counted on to do nothing about even the longest-running outrages. Just abolish the old tax code and the politicians in
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