Sunday, December 12, 2010

Towards a Flat Tax

Yesterday, an article by Monte Kuligowski caught my eye at the American Thinker entitled Another Reason for a Flat Tax: Freedom of Speech. The article makes some of the same points I did in the post entitled Taxes. A quote:

Our current progressive income tax system is inherently problematic in a free society. It slaps the face of equal justice under law and repulses the 14th Amendment's requirement of "equal protection of the laws." "Spreading the wealth around" was anathema to the founding generation, as evidenced by the remarks of Thomas Jefferson:

"A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned."
Asking certain people to pay at a higher rate for the same, or less benefit than others on the basis of an arbitrarily defined income level is discriminatory. That you are discriminating against people who make more money does not remove the immorality of it.  It is still discrimination against people who have likely done nothing to you except be more successful at making money.

Incidentally, wealth (what the Democrats often talk about when demagoguing the issue) and income are two different things.  Wealthy people can often make quite a bit of income from investments in tax free municipal bonds and other tax shelters that others are not able to take advantage of due to the lesser amounts available for investment.

Equal protection of the law should require everyone to pay the same percentage rate for taxes. If the income tax rate were 10%, with no loopholes or special-interest deductions, the "rich" obviously would pay much more than the "poor," but everyone would be equal under the law. And a greater incentive would exist to advance on the pay scale.
Beyond the unfairness, and illegality of taxing different people at different rates solely based on the incomes there is the fact that our tax code has become so complex that it may be used as a political weapon. Joseph Farrah, editor of famously accused the Clinton administration of using the IRS to harass him during those years. Then there is the Obama administration:
A recent AT article reminded me of the remarks of Mr. Obama after Arizona State University declined to award the president an honorary degree. The university cited Obama's lack of accomplishments in denying the customary degree at the president's commencement speech back in May of 2009.

In response to the perceived "snub," the New York Times reported the words of Mr. Obama: "President Crow and the [Arizona State] board of regents will soon learn about being audited by the IRS."
Do you think that might have a chilling effect on those who might otherwise wish to protest something the government is doing? Our tax code should not be a tool of tamping down protest, even if Mr. Obama's remarks were meant as a joke.

All of the above doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of whether or not the taxes collected are spent within the scope of the authorities granted under the Constitution, or the immorality of forcing one person to serve another's interests at his own expense.  I covered some of those issues in the previous post mentioned above.  Suffice it to say I could find no reason why these should be imposed on free Americans.  Let us finally fix the tax code, then reduce our spending to match what we can afford, and what is within the scope of the Constitution.

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