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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Tax Day could be just another spring day

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Taxes,IRS,Tax Reform

Okay, it's April 15. Tax Day. Time to render unto Caesar. And render and render and render. For millions of productive Americans, that's the problem -- Caesar expects too much rendering.

Curiously, only a slim majority of Americans currently think their taxes are too high, according to the Gallup Poll. That percentage has been much higher, reaching 68 percent in 2000.

That bare majority may explain why there is so little obvious interest in Congress in seeking genuine tax reform. Never forget, every tax break in the tax code represents a political favor.

What about a flat tax?

But some people are thinking about how to reform the current tax system. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for example, favors a flat tax system in which everybody would pay a federal levy of about 17 percent.

Such a system would have few, if any, deductions or tax credits. Tax day would be no more complicated than making a simple calculation and sending the government a check.

But congressmen and presidents love complicated tax codes because of the power it gives them to extract campaign contributions from individual and corporate taxpayers. A flat tax would take that power away from the politicians.

So what about a Fair Tax?

The main alternative to a flat tax is the Fair Tax, a 23 percent levy that would be collected on each retail purchase of new goods and services.

It's a bit complicated, but Cynthia Canevaro, executive director of FairTax.org, makes the case for multiple benefits from the reform:

Besides abolishing the IRS, the Fair Tax would mean "no more trying to comply with over 74,000 pages of federal tax code the IRS admits they don't understand.

"The 133-page FairTax eliminates all federal income and payroll taxes and instead, only taxes spending on new goods and services.

"It also provides families 12 monthly 'pre-bate' checks to purchase essential goods and services tax-free up to the poverty level. For American families, Tax Day becomes just another spring day."

Imagine that, Tax Day as "just another spring day." Something to think about as you write that check for Uncle Sam today.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Lacking facts or logic, Dems resort to calling GOPers names, telling lies about them.

Watchdog EXography: State government dependence upon federal funding reaching alarming levels.

Columnist/Cal Thomas: With or without Kathleen Sebelius, Obamacare has always been the problem.

Columnist/Gene Healy: Deputizing everyone against terrorism isn't working, but officials keep trying.

Columnist/Byron York: Study finds more immigrants mean more Democratic wins, GOP losses.

Columnist/Walter Williams: Democrats' push for equality in discipline goes to absurd lengths.

PennAve/Susan Ferrechio: Extra time for Obamacare enrollment ends today.

Legal Newsline/Heather Gvillo: Wisconsin can look to Ohio to see effects of asbestos transparency law.

In other news

The Washington Post: Social Security stops trying to collect old debts by seizing relatives' tax refunds.

ABC News: Insurgents dig in as Ukraine moves tanks to disputed region.

CBS News: Nearly 10 percent of Americans have diabetes.

The Los Angeles Times: Lawmakers say e-cigarette makers targeting young people.

CNN: Russian fighter makes multiple passes near U.S. ship in Black Sea.

The New York Times: Political divide slows U.S. effort on global warming.

Righty Playbook

The American Spectator: No, the U.S. Navy did not develop a perpetual motion machine.

The American Conservative: A conservative turning point on crony capitalism.

Washington Free Beacon: Russia tests multi-warhead nuke missile.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Eight infuriating facts to remember on Tax Day.

Lefty Playbook

The New Republic: A bigger April 15 would mean a better America.

The Washington Monthly: Are taxes too damn high?

The Daily Beast: You pay higher taxes than Boeing.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: Hillary's shadow campaign won't let millennials shun her in 2016 as they did in 2008.

Blog Right

Wizbang: CBS station manufactures Confederate flag outrage.

Powerline: Happy Birthday, Mustang!

Jammie Wearing Fools: Sequel to Hillary book nobody read is now in the works.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Could a GOP Senate blockade SCOTUS under Obama?

Pandagon: The myths about women and immigration.

Salon: Boredom. Drugs. Low morale.

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