April 18, 2011
Taxes: One Of Only Two Guarantees In Life
Your taxes are due today: Hopefully you've already figured this out. In fact, we were given an additional three days this year to tally up what we made and figure out how much of it we have to involuntarily donate to Barry & Co. in D.C.
Surprisingly, I got a refund this year. I say surprisingly because, even though I took care to increase my IRS contributions this year, I figured they'd find a way to ratchet up my tax bill and still be left wanting when I finally filed. Considering the obscene spending spree this country has been on for the last few years, I'm surprised the government lets me "keep" any of my hard-earned income anymore.
What I'd like to figure out is how 45% of Americans still end up with no federal tax liability at the end of the year. Read the accompanying news story on the home page of this website. How is it some 4,000 people can make more than a million dollars a year and have no tax liability? Congress doesn't even have that many members! (joke included free of charge)
To say the U.S. tax code is broken is like saying Einstein was smart - it's just a gross understatement. Regardless of what is "fair" with regard to taxation & income levels, I propose the following:
Let each taxpayer decide which branches of government his or her tax dollars support. In other words, let us decide what departments and/or employees are "essential" (see blog from 4/12/11). Me? I travel our highways a fair amount, so I'm happy to allocate part of my tax burden to the Dept. of Transportation. A strong military is important to me, so the Dept. of Defense definitely gets my support. Dept. of Education? Only if our students' test scores rival those of other leading nations. Dept. of Health & Human Services? Please - I already pay more than $1,000/month to insure the health of my own family. Find someone else to pay for that monster named Medicaid. I have friends with jobs who can't afford medical insurance, yet we're forced to pay for others' insurance who refuse to work?
If every taxpayer was allowed to decide how his or her tax dollars were divvied up among all the agencies out there, it would be a no-brainer to figure out which are considered essential to the American public. It would also eliminate the budget fights: Here you go, Mr. Agency Head - the American public has budgeted you "x" number of dollars. If you can't make your budget, time to cut staff. See? Simple.
Oh, except that we run such enormous budget deficits that this would never work. My question to you: Is it because it WON'T work or the politicians simply would never allow it???
Make it a great week.
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