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Opening Arguments

Leading by example

I like Victor Davis Hanson's take on certain people's tax problems (written before Daschle bowed out, but it still makes valid points):

The problems with Daschle and Geithner are this: If the liberal Secretary of the Treasury and the even more liberal would-be HHS Secretary did not pay their proper taxes, owed tens of thousands in back taxes, and (apparently) were only willing to address this issue when it was a matter of career advancement in Washington, what does that say about our honor-based tax code?

[. . .]

Any more of these stories and we will be on very dangerous ground, since the message is a terrible one to the American people: You pay your full amount, but our elites not only do not, but won't unless they get caught.

He concludes with the point that this is a good argument for a flat tax. Agreed, but many of the people who use the tax code's complications as a way to cheat would problably figure out how to cheat with a simpler system, too.

While we're on the subject, why is Daschle the one who is gone and Geithner the one who survived? Not only do Geithner's sins seem worse, he's in charge of the IRS now. We're going to have at least four years now of a "do as I say, not as I do" Treasury secretary.

Bonus: Jay Leno last night: "Today, Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination for secretary of Health and Human Services after being forced to pay $128,000 in back taxes. Daschle was extremely upset because now it looks like he paid his taxes for nothin'!"


Bob G.
Wed, 02/04/2009 - 12:24pm

Having worked for the Treasury Dept, I can tell you with conviction that "if" the IRS went away tomorrow, I wouldn't miss it one darn bit.
(and neither would you)

There are other ways to "secure" funding from the citizenry, than to enforce increasingly unfair taxation "laws", designed to sap the working class, while rewarding those who can buy their way clear, dodging the taxman...especially by an agency that has more bugs than a bait shop.

But that's just "my" opinion...


William Larsen
Fri, 02/06/2009 - 3:18pm

First off, these individuals should automatically be excluded from any government position.

Second, though I hate the current income tax structure, we need to keep in mind that federal income taxes are not the same a Payroll taxes (fica) nor are they same as corporate taxes, excise taxes and the death tax. With this said, these short list of a much larger total list are the major taxes paid, but the proportion each pays of this are different.

To get an idea of how high a flat tax would be is fairly simple. Use just shy of $7 Trillion for total income of US tax payers. This includes dividends, interest, capital gains, wages, SS benefit, S corporations and a few more. The total budget of the US is now over $ 3 trillion. If you want to eliminate the deficit, I will let you do the math as to what flat tax has to be. When I was approached about supporting this in 2006, I found that no one could explain to me why the proposed tax rate was so much different than mine. Did they forget to take into account SS and Medicare taxes? Maybe they were thinking to just let those two program die?