My non-American readers can feel free to move on because this is an entirely America-centric topic. The recent scandal involving the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) is only what we’ve been allowed to find out about the organization and I’m sure if we dig deeper, we’ll find a lot more wrong than right about it.
I won’t even try to make sense of the bureaucracy that is the IRS because Wikipedia already provides a pretty detailed page on Income tax in the United States. To put it to you bluntly, however, most Americans absolutely hate the IRS, even more so than having to pay income taxes in the first place. Violations of the tax code have resulted in property seizures and jail sentences — most Americans are afraid of being audited by the IRS. Personally, I believe the “tax return” to be a violation of the 5th Amendment of the Constitution, but I’d probably have a hard time proving it (even if I had the resources to do so).
There are a lot of problems with the income taxes levied against citizens of the United States and the biggest problem, in my opinion, is how the tax laws are used for selective discrimination. Discrimination by income level is expected, but it also discriminates by location, and that’s not expected. If you don’t know what I mean, read the part of the tax form that talks about dependents as being residents of Canada or Mexico. I’m sure if I examined the actual tax laws, I could find a lot more cases of selective discrimination embedded in the tax code.
There are a lot of politicians who want to dismantle the IRS as well as other government-endorsed organizations, such as the Federal Reserve. Unfortunately, they are in the minority. These same politicians advocate things along the lines of the Fair Tax and other tax reform measures to replace the current tax laws.
The Weight of the IRS
There’s a term that my father used when I was young and thin, even though I ate like a horse. It was “poor to carry it”. This is a term that could probably apply to the IRS today. How much taxpayer money is consumed by the IRS itself? Your guess is as good as mine. If you think about the fact that some people get a return of more than they paid in, even when they paid in zero during the tax year, you can understand why I think the IRS actually spends more than it takes in.
The federal government is already fat and bloated and will continue to get fatter and even more bloated if Americans don’t do something to curtail its appetite. When there are more people just trying to get by, living from paycheck to paycheck, the federal government doesn’t need to be taking money from them. In other words, the government should consume at the same rate the public consumes. When times are hard for the people, they should be equally hard for the government.