Saturday, December 27, 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
  • Recent Articles

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

  • .

    Solano News

    Suisun Valley celebrates appellation’s anniversary

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
     
    Girl’s selfless act boosts Suisun Wildlife Center

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Beer for 1st butterfly of year challenge returns

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
     
    Fire damages Fairfield home

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

    Car rolls over on Highway 113

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

     
     
    Suisun City police log: Dec. 25, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Fairfield police log: Dec. 25, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
     
    .

    US / World

    California braces for first widespread frost

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    California gears up for migrant driver’s licenses

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 7 Comments

    4 dead in fiery Northern California car crash

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Police officer shoots woman in leg in Hollywood

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

    Inmate breaks out of jail through ventilation duct

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

     
    People slide down bedsheets to escape motel fire

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Court: LA Police Department policy for impounding cars is OK

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Study: Marijuana use has increased in Colorado

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

     
    Dog not gone: Rescue in the Columbia Gorge

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

    Bodies of woman, 3 grandsons found in burned home

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Truck crashes into home; 93-year-old resident dies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Scientists target mess from Christmas tree needles

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Baby ostracized by other gorillas will switch zoos

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Thousands attend 8-hour wake for slain NYC officer

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

     
    Lawmakers promise to help strapped oil-patch towns

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

    Feline fame in cyberspace gives species a boost

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    At 101, dedicated union rep is calling it quits

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Can GOP shatter ‘Obama coalition’ in 2016?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

     
    GPS used to track some immigrants caught at border

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

    10th anniversary of tsunami is marked with tears

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Opinion

    A proud man, a good honorable man

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 26 Comments

     
    Sony hack is reminder of broader Sony dysfunction

    By William Pesek | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Dec. 27, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Dec. 27, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: Dec. 27, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

     
    Remember, caregivers need some care attention, too

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

    Cow that fled slaughterhouse in 2006 has new home, again

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

     
    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Jazz great Buddy DeFranco dies at age 91

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    1990s TV star ‘Screech’ charged in bar stabbing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

    .

    Sports

    Anthony Davis, Roman meet over tweet

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Cleveland reaches 50 years of sports futility

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Games to Remember from 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Suns outlast Kings 115-106 for 5th straight win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Rutgers beats North Carolina in Quick Lane Bowl

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    La. Tech beats Illinois 35-18 in Heart of Dallas Bowl

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Arizona’s Lindley back at starter, Stanton has infection

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Prep JV boys basketball: Vanden gets win in Dixon tourney

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

     
    Could Watt be 1st NFL MVP from defense since Taylor in 1986?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Dan Uggla joins Nationals for minor league deal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Georgia’s Richt: RB Todd Gurley heading to NFL

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Slumping New Jersey Devils fire coach Pete DeBoer

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    No. 1 Kentucky, No. 4 Louisville resume rivalry

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Raiders rookie CB makes most of opportunity

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    High-scoring offenses create longer college games

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Anderson: post-game petulance was out of character

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Chiefs QB Alex Smith out with lacerated spleen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Globetrotters’ Robert ‘Showboat’ Hall dies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    NC State wins Bitcoin Bowl to cap turnaround year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    This date in sports history for Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Weather for Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B11

     
    .

    Business

    In 2014, US economy began shaky, finished strong

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

     
    Holiday deliveries improve but hiccups continue

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Missouri 1st to see average gas price below $2

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    .

    Home Seller 12/27/14

    Real estate transactions for Dec. 27, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

    Average US 30-year mortgage edges up slightly

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2