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