Thursday, August 28, 2014
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 lpsolanocounty@gmail.com.

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
.

Solano News

 
Locke an unparalleled universe in the Delta

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Small-town heroism on display in Napa

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
 
Review set for Vacaville fitness center suit

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield motorcyclist hurt in Beck Avenue crash

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Chamber event looks at health care law

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Fairfield police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
Winterhawk Winery up for auction

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5, 2 Comments | Gallery

Suisun City police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
.

US / World

Boy hurt in California quake: ‘I should be dead’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
California beach town sees flooding from hurricane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California Senate passes gun restraining order

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Lawmakers approve groundwater management bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 16 Comments

California sets ride-sharing insurance standards

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

 
Feds allow logging after huge California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Q&A: Few laws govern children at shooting range

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Mom pleads for release of captive US journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Israeli premier, Hamas declare victory in Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Q-and-A on Westerners who join the fight in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Sources: US considering new relief mission in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Shooting by 9-year-old girl stirs debate over guns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 6 Comments

US to consider spousal abuse in immigration claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
UK sex abuse report prompts outrage, reflection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Dad acquitted in slaying of driver who killed sons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

 
.

Opinion

Seizing the day with old friends

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Signs of possible healing in Ferguson

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11, 5 Comments

Poor constituent service no longer acceptable

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 28, 2014

By Kim Durbin | From Page: A11

Let’s improve entertainment control units

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 8 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My boss insists that we all eat lunch with her in cafeteria

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Source: BET suspends producer after Blue Ivy joke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Rapper Young Jeezy pleads not guilty to gun charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

‘Cops’ crew member killed in Omaha police shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Chris Soules is ABC’s new ‘Bachelor’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

John Lennon’s killer sorry for being ‘an idiot’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Reality star accused of rape, child molestation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Fuld’s homer in 9th lifts A’s over Astros 5-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Posey hits game-ending 2-run homer for Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Maria Sharapova comes through in 3 sets at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr to start vs. Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
USC’s Shaw admits to lying about injuries, rescue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

IndyCar sets April 12 New Orleans date

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
No. 23 UNC suspends 4 players for opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Clippers sign Doc Rivers to 5-year extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cal needs more from its running game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford’s Kevin Hogan a ‘stabilizing agent’ at QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Chicago’s Little League champs return as heroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

NFL suspends Browns star WR Gordon for 2014 season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Keenum, Savage to settle Texans’ backup QB duel vs. 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders hope rebuild pays immediate dividends

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
After trio of near misses, 49ers chase Super Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

US economy forecast to grow by 1.5 percent in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Malaysia Airlines set for shakeup after disasters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

IMF chief Lagarde under investigation in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
SEC adopts rules on loan-backed securities

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Stocks drift higher; S&P 500 holds on to 2,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Reports: FBI probes JPMorgan hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Time Warner Cable says outages largely resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Video games come of age as spectator sport

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Fernanda Dee Villarosa

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Herman P. Sorensen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Lyle R.C. Cullum

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

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

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9