July 16, 2014

WE ARE ALL NEOCONOMISTS NOW:

Time is right to repeal the federal income tax (Colin Hanna, July 16, 2014, Chicago Tribune)

Perhaps, then, the current IRS scandal, which threatens American liberty and undermines the Constitution far more than anything that happened in the Watergate scandal, presents us with a historic opportunity. Instead of merely investigating and holding committee hearings, we can seize the moment and recognize that 101 years ago, our nation made a terrible mistake. We can admit that the 16th Amendment, requiring people to disclose to the U.S. government information so personal that they wouldn't ordinarily reveal it even to their closest family and friends, was a grave mistake, and reverse course.

Besides being unjust and an invitation to tyranny, the income tax is a demonstrably inefficient way to raise revenue for the government. For example, research commissioned by Americans for Fair Taxation found that the U.S. economy loses at least $200 billion every year just trying to comply with the income tax.

Let's be done with the corruption, arrogance and waste of the IRS and recover our privacy and prosperity at the same time. Let's sunset the entire unwieldy Internal Revenue Code at a date certain, like 2020, and then work out a simpler, fairer system like the Fair Tax, or another consumption tax. Why not let Americans keep their money until they decide to spend it at the cash register for goods or services?

There's a kind of delicious irony in the possibility that public shock at IRS abuses could lead to the agency's own demise -- and the restoration of principles of freedom and privacy that go back to 1215. The Magna Carta's 800th anniversary next year is a worthy target for this reform to begin.
Posted by at July 16, 2014 3:35 PM
  
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