How Complex is the Tax Code when Smart People can't Get It Right?

WASHINGTON (AP) – Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius recently corrected three years of tax returns and paid more than $7,000 in back taxes after finding “unintentional errors”—the latest tax troubles for an Obama administration nominee. The Kansas governor explained the changes to senators in a letter dated Tuesday that the administration released. She said they involved charitable contributions, the sale of a home and business expenses.

You know, either the tax code really is that complex and difficult or there are a lot of politicians who feel that they just don’t need to pay, albeit imposing rules that you should. My point? Why can’t we have a simplified tax code? A flat tax, percentage of your income, obviously including a sliding scale that gets reduced for the poor. And the elimination of deductions. Whoa, what about the home tax credit? That would stop people from buying homes or apartments, and housing would collapse, right? No, people still have to either buy a home or rent it. And if they rent, they will be renting from someone that owns the property. So that argument is off the table. Now I’m not one of these folks that’s all up in arms about paying taxes, or that I’ve found something in the Constitution that says I don’t have to pay taxes (you always run into these folks).

Taxes are a necessity for the services that are provided, and its a good thing. I think most people’s reservations stem from the fraud and waste that they see, from still subsidizing helium production for dirigibles (that’s right) to trying to fund a multi-million dollar “bridge to nowhere”. People need to feel and see that their dollars are used wisely and for good purpose, and value. Next, the tax itself, 10, 15, 20%, and it should be adjustable twice a year, at the discretion of the Treasury, the CBO and GAO, with a plus and minus maximums of a percent or two. Just like the Fed with the short term lending rate to regulate the economy, this measure would help regulate the federal income.

With todays structure, you have people sheltering their money in tax havens and other trickery like for example, the Kennedys. They’re a clear example. Ted Kennedy was once quoted saying “The estate tax is the most progressive of all federal taxes. It would be terribly unfair to tax work while giving inherited wealth a free ride” but in one year, the family only paid $137K on a $300 Million estate due to creative trust funds that were set up. Do as I say, not as I do. Pay what I say, not what I pay. But it’s more than that, there seems to be a culture amongst those that craft these tax laws. They seem to be above them. Lets level the playing field. Today, the top 5% of income earners bear almost 50% of the nation’s tax burden. And to say that because they are rich, they can afford to and should is not the correct answer. Remember that the 5% has an adjusted gross income of ~150K. So we’re not talking about just the Bill Gates here, but also the everyday person who from whatever means, be it luck, silver spoon, or just hard work, have entered into that space. Tax by class is not the answer it’s what creates malcontent and what drives people to pull these tax stunts, even by those who write the code. Tax equality and fairness is the correct answer. Note that if our President’s recommendations go through, almost 50% of eligible tax payers will not any tax burden at all. So who will shoulder all this? You can only tax the rich so much until hey kick in their influence and withhold political contributions. It will fall on the ever tightening middle class which doesn’t have the financial resources to reach their congressional representatives.

So in summation, flat tax, based on a percentage, allowing for a means test to reduce the burden on lower income earners and those at or below the poverty level.

via Sebelius admits errors, pays $7,000 in back taxes.

One thought on “How Complex is the Tax Code when Smart People can't Get It Right?

  1. There was a flat tax in ’88… two percentages. Then the politicians made over 10K changes to the code over 21 years.

    The problem isn’t a tax versus a progressive tax. The problem isn’t taxing the poor or too much tax for the rich.

    The real problem is that the Federal government can not live within the means that they have. I don’t even want the poor to pay any income taxes. The rich don’t mind paying more than their fair share.

    If you want CHANGE, you’ve got to get rid of politicians who spend, spend, spend. The democrats and republicans both have proven inept.

    We need to find someone who can lead us out of this. But we can not go when the masses are always looking for money from the government.

    IT ALL COMES BACK AT US. Point that finger and three are point right back at you.

    I’m not quite sure when we will get it.

    Changing the way we gather taxes isn’t going to do nothing until we change how we spend tax revenue.

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