Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Elusive "Fair Share"

Anybody who itemizes deductions and uses a tax software such as TurboTax has to come away from the experience amazed, impressed, repulsed and disgusted at the convolutions of our tax code. Not a page of the EasyGuide that walks you through the process is devoid of special carve-outs and exclusions. Got a hybrid car? Here's a pay-off. Live in a hurricane site, here's some money back. Work for a railroad? Take care of someone else's children in your home? Teacher who bought some paper and pencils for students? Do you have to dry clean your work outfits? Do you cooperatively own farm equipment? Did you put new windows in your house? It goes on and on and on. At the end, I still had to send in a very substantial check. My retirement and Social Security puts me in a pricey bracket apparently. Ditto for SWMBO.

Yet, it is impossible to turn on the telly and not encounter the Bamster stirring the pot of class envy. One should not be "too rich" in America and he is just the guy to determine where they line is drawn. He has help from the media with probing interviewers like Diane Sawyer who asked Mitt Romney this week-end if he was "too rich".  Where was she when John Heinz Kerry was running for President?

So here are some meaningful numbers to keep in your hip pocket when one of the 99% seek more of your money to pay their bills:

51% of Tax Filers Paid Nothing

If they truly want economic equality then let's get serious about stripping all of the detail out of that 3.5 million word tax code. Let's get it down to a five page pamphlet. Take your income, calculate a flat and low percentage, pay that as tax. Everybody! No exceptions.

Ten percent of $10,000 isn't that much. Ten percent of $1,000,000 is quite a bit. But we'd all feel that there was fairness, unless of course we sought punishment rather than equality.


immagikman said...

But you forget Ed, that at that flat 10% tax rate, the Federal Bureaucrats won't have enough money in the coffers to jet off to the Med or South America or Las Vegas for their parties and perks, nor to have the limo drivers and private jets they commandeer.

Hippo said...

No one has yet explained to my satisfaction why a progressive income tax is "fairer" than a flt tax but then I'm not very good at liberal math.

hitman said...

Not to mention that the liberals would have to find a new way to buy votes.

Dweezil Dwarftosser said...

Hippo -

I'm no fan of *anything* termed "progressive", but to understand why gently-graduated increases on income tax rates ARE fair, one has to realize that a flat tax can produce real, tangible pain for the poor - while tax rates that rise in proportion to income produce only the intellectual 'pain of unfairness' for the mega-rich.

The key to real fairness of income taxes revolves around removing all loopholes and 'credits' except the vital personal and dependent deductions - and reasonable deduction of the unreimbursed ('sunk') expenses used in obtaining an income.