Thursday, January 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Some modest proposals to change taxes

By
From page A9 | April 13, 2014 |

Many readers will spend this week agonizing over the annual ritual of completing their income tax return. Scrambling to dig up scraps of paper that may be “deductible” and pondering if your family members are still considered dependents are just a few activities that mean the difference between receiving or paying thousands of dollars.

Our tax methodology is essentially a system where the payee allows the payer to determine how much they think they owe, and if it doesn’t match the payee’s value, the payer can look forward to more fees. Imagine if your doctor or mechanic had a billing system like that. If they didn’t go out of business, the government would probably make that pricing system illegal. Buying software or contracting with consultants to calculate the best guesstimated return is a multibillion-dollar segment of our economy.

Are taxes meant to help fund vital portions of government or as a wealth redistribution tool?

The growth of the wealth gap is mentioned frequently these days. Oddly enough, the gap has increased exponentially with the size of the Tax Code. What was around 400 pages 100 years ago, and a “modest” 45,000 pages around the turn of the century is now about 74,000 pages for the 2013 tax year. Our current Tax Code is very similar to computer program coding – the more lines you have, the easier it is to slip an exemption or loophole into the code and create a virus that exploits those gaps.

Let’s look at the financial incentive for people to micromanage the tax law. Let’s pretend I’m Mr. Money bags (emphasis on “pretend”), and a pending piece of tax legislation is going to cost me $1 million. It is worth up to $990,000 to me to fight it in the halls of government. Meanwhile, Rep. Sellyouout desperately wants to fight for my interests, but he tells me that the fight is arduous and expensive, and can’t go on unless there is a completely unrelated donation to his re-election campaign.

Meanwhile, Ricky the roofer, Sara the seamstress and Billy the baker are looking at some legislation that will cost their business $1,000 a year. They don’t have $990 to “fight” it in the halls of government, so they will have to make do. By the way, don’t tell anyone, but Mr. Moneybags probably was the one who suggested the $2,000 tax on small businesses in the first place.

This manipulation of the Tax Code fuels the call for a flat tax system. How would a 10 percent national sales tax on everything sound to you? Some might say eliminate taxes altogether and fund vital services with service fees and subscriptions, empowering taxpayers to be selective and savvy consumers.

Perhaps the biggest gap in the process is that we the people neglect to remember that the folks we vote into office on Election Day are the ones who spend the tax revenue and set the “rates” we pay. For tax day, we get to fill out a bunch of paperwork, perhaps cut a check to the government and grumble to ourselves (although some of us might write a column instead).

Where is our recourse?

Here’s a proposal: Let’s move tax day to the same day as Election Day. The connection between how much the people pay and who actually spends it would be unavoidable. We the people would be voting with our wallets. Watch the paradigm shift as politicians had to appease citizens who just watched their wallet lose a lot of weight.

Regardless of the efficiency or righteousness of the current Tax Code, this is our annual bill for all the wonderfully vital (and many not-so-vital) services our government provides. As you shuffle through the stack of forms and receipts, please ask yourself: Am I getting value for my tax dollar?

Brian Thiemer is chairman of the Solano County Libertarian Party. He can be reached at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • The MisterApril 13, 2014 - 8:17 am

    Did you know that not one nickel of your personal income taxes goes to welfare, the military, roads, healthcare, or anything else other than to pay interest on the national debt? That was the conclusion of the Grace Commission as reported to the President. Your hard-earned income tax dollars basically go the Federal Reserve, a private for-profit banking corporation who, as with any corporation, main objective for existing is to provide the biggest returns possible to its shareholders. So what was it for you? Two months, three months, six months of your income last year went directly to pay dividends to the secret shareholders in the private for-profit banking corporation known as the Federal Reserve. You wonder how the super-rich get richer and the middle class gets poorer? There is your freakin' answer. And it's not me saying this... it was the Presidential Grace Commission. What? You didn't hear about that? Isn't that odd?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagApril 13, 2014 - 11:33 am

    Brian, I agree with you on tax day but give credit where credit is due this idea was put out over a year ago by Mark Levin in his book the liberty amendments and is just part of a much bigger project for the states to take back power as a chairman of a libertarian party you had to know that. And this will not happen until we push the republicans to the right

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    1st release for birds with mysterious goo a success

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Travis starts work on Functional Fitness Center

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

     
    Boy Scouts to screen award-winning film

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

     
    Church makes ready for health, wellness fair

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    4-H Annual Presentation Day returns in February

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Vacaville SWAT team serves search warrant

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

     
    Real estate occupancy continues to climb

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

     
    Council backs beer, wine sales for Vacaville store

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

     
    Vacaville police seek help to find sex offender

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

     
    Sweep by sheriff’s team nets 4 arrests

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 6 Comments

    Fairfield police log: Jan. 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

    .

    US / World

     
    Air Force probing alleged ‘treason’ remark by general

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

    Expect tiny tuxes but no real puppy love at doggy weddings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Second arrest in student stabbing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

    Large salmon release planned

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Violations mount for toxic recycler

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Quake rattles N. California coast

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Attorney General nominee defends Obama immigration changes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

    Police seek law to alter Google app

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

     
    Marshals track down missing treasure hunter

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    ‘Drunk’ excuse falls flat in Vandy rape trial

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Euro coast guards scramble to locate Syrian ghost ship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Chinese regulators go after online sale of fake goods

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Investigation stems from police-involved shooting outbreak

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Hezbollah missiles kill soldiers

    By New York Times | From Page: A6

     
    ISIS extends hostage deadline

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Tape: Scientist offers to build nuke bomb targeting New York

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Opinion

    India now has 322 billion reasons to fix economy

    By William Pesek | From Page: A7

     
    Don’t brush off bullying

    By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 3 Comments

    Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 29, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Just be honest and come forward

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

     
    A truly misinformed writer

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 37 Comments

    .

    Living

    Today in History: Jan. 29, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Jan. 29, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Deadbeat boyfriend ruined my relationship with my granddaughter

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

     
    Horoscope Jan. 29, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    Theater legend Joel Grey reveals that he is gay

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 2 Comments

     
    Super Bowl advertisers aim not to offend

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    .

    Sports

    Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hoping to make All-Star team

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Rodriguez wrestlers pull out 34-24 win over Wood

    By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    GM John Schneider has been architect of Seahawks’ success

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Patriots not dwelling on last Super Bowl loss in Arizona

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Woods returns to Phoenix with plenty of memories

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Tony Stewart acquires national sprint car series tour

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Solano men cruise past LMC for biggest win of season

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

    NFL players who started young show more thinking problems

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Korda, Lewis, Munoz tied for lead at LPGA season opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Head of NCAA enforcement: Academic misconduct on rise

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks statue moved downtown for tribute

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Kobe Bryant has surgery, expected to be out for 9 months

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    This date in sports history for Jan. 29, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9