Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's Tax Time Again

I don’t mind paying taxes, however I hate doing my taxes every year. Like many things about our government, the tax system is badly broken. The only thing pertaining to taxes that politicians have the courage to talk about is lowering them. We need more than this. The whole system needs to be fixed.

My first complaint is that paying taxes should be easy, not incredibly difficult. Every year millions of Americans wrestle with incomprehensible directions and forms. Because of this some taxpayers support a whole industry of tax preparers and tax software companies. In my view this is criminal. The government forces you to part with some of your hard earned money and on top of that you have to part with more of your hard earned money just to part with your hard earned money in the first place. Not to mention all the time and aggravation that’s involved. That’s just wrong. We should not have to pay money to someone just to pay our taxes. With modern computers and the internet we should be able to eliminate the middleman (the taxpayer) from the tax reporting process. Income reporting should go directly to the IRS from employers, banks and brokerage firms. The taxpayer should just be informed of what’s going on, to make sure no mistakes are being made. We pay the government for services. The IRS is one of those services. Why are they not more customer friendly? If the IRS were a business, it would be out of business in no time.

My second complaint is the return that we get for our money. It’s terrible. Just pick your favorite complaints about the government and put it here. How many do you have? I propose a tax system that is similar to the free market system. In other words, the customer (or taxpayer in this case) chooses (or votes) with his cash. Taxpayers should be able to allocate where their tax dollars go. McDonalds learned a long time ago that the customer should have it their way. Here’s how it would work. I think the Defense Department gets too much of my tax money. I could choose that none of my tax dollars go to the Defense Department and instead went to education, infrastructure, research, and universal health care. Another taxpayer may choose to give one hundred percent to the Defense Department, and so on. The governments budget would be set up from these results. Instead of lobbyists telling the government what to do, we would have ordinary citizens telling the government what to do. Voting with dollars. I think this would be a great system.

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