Kerry Wilke: Common cents tax reform
Breckenridge, CO Colorado
Trash the entire tax system as we know it and replace it with this pledge: “For every dollar I spend, I will contribute an additional penny to support my country.”
One simple yet meaningful tax. A single common fee charged uniformly to every player in the American game. Equitable, affordable, responsible, accountable, practical.
Our current voluminous tax code is hopelessly incomprehensible beyond repair. The very concept of taxing income is inherently flawed by the distortion of the most basic term, as we differentiate gross income, net income, adjusted income, regular income, deferred income, capital gains income, etc. Every American can answer the simple question, “How much did you make today?” But the current laws encourage manipulation of that figure with deductions, exemptions, shelters and various other loopholes which can be manipulated more by some than by others. The more you earn, the more you can afford to hide. Even worse, our government actually influences our individual spending as it manipulates tax breaks for one group or another. Finally, the financial burden of surrendering a substantial portion of one’s hard-earned income seems contrary to the American Dream where we should be free to earn as much as we can and keep as much as we want.
If we all agree to pay for our own spending as we go, we promote a number of dynamic changes. Every taxpayer would now be paid in full daily, in equally good standing with his peers. Every taxpayer would also become tax collector, as all earnings would include the spending tax contribution of a fellow American. Businesses would no longer withhold payroll taxes, instead the tax would be paid to the employee. Cheating the system would be difficult if not impossible, as any receipt for any spending would identify the tax paid. Tax accounting and reporting would no longer be a punitive imposition, but rather a privilege and civic responsibility to forward the prepaid taxes of fellow taxpayers, paid and received in good faith by fellow citizens in cooperation with government rather than coercion.
We deserve a uniform code which recognizes the fundamental principle that spending, not income, is the engine driving our economy ” even through a depression.
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