Gut Rumbles

April 15, 2006

i toldja it was a bitch!

My income tax returns are in the mail. Boy, that's a load off my mind. I've always believed that I was a pretty bright fellow, even if I WAS an English Major and math is NOT my forte, but plowing through the IRS instructions completely humbled me.

I was NOT a bright man. I was a monkey fucking a football.

I finally threw in the towel and bought Turbo Tax for both my state and federal taxes. I spent a total of around $100 by the time all was said and done, but I figure that it was cheap at the price. Trying to compute my taxes myself made me believe that my head might explode. I was on the verge of becoming homicidal.

Evidently, I am not the only monkey out there. Dealing with our 60,000 pages of tax code drives a LOT of people to the brink of insanity.

Last year six out of every 10 tax filers were so intimidated they had to hire a professional tax preparer to figure out how much they owe. Things are so bad that some psychiatrists are trying to get "fear of tax filing" designated as an official medical disability. The Tax Foundation calculates that all of this complexity imposes an enormous deadweight loss on the U.S. economy of some $250 billion a year, or almost 20 cents of compliance costs for every dollar raised. Tax compliance this year will cost more money than is paid in income taxes by every resident of California.

If six out of ten people are as fucked-up and mind-blown as I was doing my taxes, then we ought to be able to do something to solve the problem. That's a got-dam MAJORITY of taxpayers we're talking about. I know that everybody is afraid of the IRS, but when calculating their own taxes is beyond the ability of that many people, their screams of pain and frustration should be heard.

We should all be yelling at the top of our lungs to Washington, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" The system is broke, and YOU need to fix it.

Did you know that the IRS has a mission statement? Well, they do, and here it is:

"Provide America's taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all."

BWHAHAHAHAHAAA!!! Have you ever heard such utter bullshit in your life? Call one of the IRS "Help" lines and see what you get, IF you get anything other than a busy signal or a recorded voice saying please hold because all associates are busy confusing helping other customers. Chances are that if you ever get to speak to an actual person after 47 unsuccessful tries, that person is even more ignorant of the tax laws than you are.

Somebody needs to be dragged off and shot for allowing such a mess to occur.

If I were king President, the SECOND thing I would do, after I sealed our borders and bogged a foot in the ass of the INS folks, is to scrap the entire US tax code and switch to a National Sales Tax of about five cents on the dollar. That way, you pay taxes for SPENDING money, not for earning it.

I think five cents on the dollar would produce plenty of money to run the government, especially when you consider all the "shadow" economy you catch with a sales tax. Right now, the IRS doesn't get a dime from a $100,000 drug deal. Under a national sales tax, the dealers pay when they spend the money.

The poor? Fuck 'em. We'll figure out some way to give 'em a rebate. Most of 'em are accustomed to getting a government check in the mail anyway. Throw them back a part of what they spent and they'll be as happy as a dead pig in sunshine.

Besides, ANYTHING is better than what we have now.

But I really don't expect the tax laws to change, except to become more complicated. Politicians use the current system to reward their friends and punish their enemies. You don't expect them to relinquish THAT kind of tool, do you? I think not.

And despite political promises of simplification, the tax-code tinkering gets worse every year. President Bush's tax-reform commission reported that, since the 1986 reform, Congress has added 15,000 new and mostly special-interest provisions to the code. Another deadweight cost of all the carve-outs and dodges arranged by Washington's corporate lobbyists is that tax rates have to be roughly twice as high to raise enough revenue to operate the government. These high tax rates are fiscally self-defeating because they distort and discourage economically productive behavior and thus shrink the tax base still further. (Emphasis mine)
It's going to take a taxpayer revolt to change that crap and we're just not pissed off enough yet for that to happen. Until then, it'll be the same old shit, just a different day.

So, I'll keep my subscription to Turbo Tax up to date and hope that the program is sophisticated enough to handle whatever the government throws at it next. But...

If you're organizing a taxpayer revolt, where do I sign to join?


I really did laugh out loud when I read the mission statement of the IRS - perhaps I was disinhibited by the adult beverages I'd consumed - or not.

How can they publish such disingenuous BS?

My form of protest comes again in the form of asking my accountant (nope, wont try to wade through the tax code on my own) to file an extension.

Posted by: kam on April 15, 2006 03:35 PM

You DID answer ALL the TurboTax questions, didn't you ?

If you answered truthfully, you can tell any auditor (he, or she) to go fuck themselves. Tell them to pull up your file on their computer (or give them your file on a disk), and tell them "TRY to find a problem, you asshole". OK, maybe you want to cool the rhetoric just a little bit. {:^)

And, next year TurboTax will have ALL your info, no need to retype.

That is American capitalism at it's best.
Find a government fucked-up system, and make money from it.

Posted by: Dan Pursel on April 15, 2006 06:29 PM

Every American should be able to do their taxes in less than 5 minutes on a specially prepared post card that is postage free since once it's in the mail box its in the hands of the government. The only problem with your national sales tax idea is that they'd still keep all of the other taxes, income tax included. Don't give them any ideas.

Posted by: Vulgorilla on April 15, 2006 06:36 PM

I've been reading your blog for a few months now and have never felt compelled enough to post a comment until today.... I absolutely agree with a federal sales tax. I think a total elimination of income tax must be in the deal, but a federal sales tax of 10 or 15 percent would be fair if they don't take my income. That would solve some of the immigration problems as well. The illegals buy things here, they would then be paying taxes. I know it is a pipe dream, but I think it could work.

Posted by: Heather on April 15, 2006 09:57 PM

The poor? No, not fuck 'em. Exempt basic foodstuffs from being taxed, just like they are now (at least in Maryland). Maybe exempt services like child care. It doesn't count for that much overall government income, when some people are buying yachts and Bentleys. Also, the poorest in society will be spending more of their income on food and basic necessities, and will thus have a tax break of sorts.

Posted by: Nate on April 16, 2006 12:21 AM

What's REALLY funny is that I had a great solution to ALL of this, nationwide, and fair to all. I just wish I could remember what it was.

Posted by: Pandora on April 16, 2006 01:27 AM

What Nate said it right. When I lived in Texas basic food and medicine were exempt from sales tax, also rent. No state income tax there.

Posted by: Gramps on April 17, 2006 02:17 PM

Boortz out of Atlanta talks about it all the time: the FairTax coming to paperback soon.

Posted by: Keith on April 17, 2006 05:37 PM
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