Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Bush's budget increases include extra money for finding "tax cheats". The libertarian in me has a little trouble with the concept of a "tax cheat". If the money belongs to the individual, then how can one be accused of cheating by trying to keep as much of that money as possible. However if the money belongs to the government then it makes more sense to accuse someone of cheating.

"The administration identified five areas to which more resources would be devoted to stem tax cheating: abusive corporate tax shelters, unreported income among higher-income taxpayers, failure by employers to turn over taxes withheld from paychecks or even to withhold them, misuse of trusts and offshore accounts to hide income, and "tax denial" schemes that are based on claims that the tax code does not apply to most Americans."

Now the "...failure by employers to turn over taxes withheld from paychecks or even to withhold them..." seems improperly lumped together. Naturally most people, even the "tax protestors" would find fault with an employer who witholds money for the sake of taxes & then keeps it for himself. But failing to withold taxes from an employees paycheck does not seem to be in that same category of morally wrong. It is perhaps not even legally wrong, but that depends solely upon who you ask. If I am not mistaken, the employee is responsible for any & all taxes if the employer fails to withhold them from his weekly or monthly check. Yes, there is the chance that the employee will not pay his taxes, but as pointed out in the first half of the sentence, there is also a chance that the employer will not pay the employees share of the taxes even when he withholds. I would assume that the danger in allowing employees to receive their full pay & settling up with the IRSS later is not that they wouldn't pay, but that they would realize exactly how much they're paying.

The "tax denial schemes" being referred to are a growing but very under-reported movement that claims that not only are income taxes immoral, but not legal or constitutional. They are not all people who claim aliens instituted the income tax to prepare us for being intergalactic slaves, however there are some fringe elements who stand on shaky ground when they insist of a conspiracy by a small group of people to control the whole world, with the u.s. income tax being part of their plan. Still, there are a lot of very well reasoned arguements. For a more in depth explanation, visit The Boston Tea Party, which if their info is correct a majority of congressmen have voted for one bill or another that would abolish the income tax, Irwinn Schiff, We The People, & Fairtax. I assume that most people would agree on the Fairtax proposals being sound even if they wouldn't agree with any of the other sites listed.

The article does mention some of the reasons behind some of the "tax protestors" actions, but only in a very superficial way & only those things that seem like a bad conspiracy theory. It goes on to mention that no judge has held any of the cited arguements against the income tax as valid. It would be pleasant to have a reporter talk to someone who has valid arguements against the income tax instead of relying on haphazard reasons that some fringe elements assert.

But the media of late seems to be more interested in doing PR for the government on issues like these than in reporting both sides of an issue without bias. Why is it though, that most people who realize that the media is biased in one area, such as gun control, fail to question what they report on another issue, like taxes?
Many people can see the leanings of the press towards the government on some issues & away on others. This could be the cause for confusion if one sees this as an inconsistency. Personally I feel that it can be explained by socialistic goals: most of the times the press seems bias towards the government it is because the government is leaning in the direction of socialism generally. On the occassions when the bias seems against the government, it is because that particular issue being proposed by the government leans towards a capitalistic idea, or at least away from a socilist one. Now this is just a theory & it is a crass generalization at that, but it does seem to explain things rather neatly.
For example:
Gun control - a prominent idea in socialist countries. The government seems for it to some degree, so the press is behind them.
Income tax - a program absolutely neccesary for socialism to exist. The government generally is for it, so again the press seem pro- government.
Welfare programs - again, absolutely neccesary in a socialist country. It seems popular in the government, so the press seems pro government.
Tax cuts - a bad idea, since socialism depends on collecting as much revenue as possible from the people. When the government seems for it, the press seem anti-government.
The U.N. - a group of governments who seem to espouse ideas that are in some ways fundamental to the growth of socialism. Think of it as global socialism.When the government opposes or rejects a U.N. idea, the press seems anti-government, just as when the government supports a U.N. idea, the press seem pro government.

Now granted, these points can be argued & i am no way saying that this is an absolutely definitive rule, but it does seem on the surface to be worth considering.

But on the subject of the income tax system we currently have, it was a bad idea from the start & doesn't seem to be getting any better. I'd suggest writing your reps & senators & telling them you want the income tax abolished. Fairtax has the idea that would seem to be met with the most acceptence: replacing the income tax with a national sales tax. My only problem with this idea is the rate itself of 23%. Not that I am opposed to paying that if the only other option is to continue with the income tax system, I just feel that 1; a 23% tax rate will support the government at it's current level: I want government to decrease, not increase or even stay at the same size. & 2; Doesn't it seem a bit arrogant for a government to ask for a tax rate higher than what most churhces ask for from their members? The traditional tithe for a christian church is 10% of your profits. It could be argued, although only those of a religious leaning would be in agreement, that for a government made up of men to ask more money than what God ask for is a little bit insulting.

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