Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy

The quote used as the title of this post has gotten a lot of play lately with the issue of the Internal Revenue Service targeting non-profit groups with conservative sounding names for extra scrutiny. It originally was said by Daniel Webster in arguing McCullough v. Maryland before the Supreme Court and paraphrased by Chief Justice Marshall in explaining the ruling on that case. That saying was true then and is just as true today. Abuses by the IRS are serious and must be investigated diligently. However, as conservatives we must be careful not to allow liberals to turn this issue around and label us anti-tax extremists. Since the beginning of the Tea Party movement liberals and their allies in the media have tried to marginalize the movement by taking their positions to extreme levels by portraying them as against ALL taxes and ALL government. Nothing could be further from the truth. We understand that there are necessary responsibilities of government and some form of taxation is necessary to fund those responsibilities. The choice is not between an unlimited constantly growing government and no government. Likewise when discussing the title quote the choice is not between the current tax system and no taxes. Once we get past the extremes of all or none we should be able to actually discuss the issue. This concern should be universal. Whether one falls on the right or left of the political spectrum, we should be able to agree there are problems with the current taxation system and it is ripe for abuse. The income tax system is nearly a century old and every session of congress has added rules, regulations and complexity to the system. We now have a system that is very personally invasive and strikes fear in tax payers. While this IRS misbehavior doesn't revolve around individual tax returns or the tax code, this is an issue that resonates with people who may not normally be politically active. Republicans need to take this cause on with more than just lip service. Don't make it only about the malfeasance of the Obama administration. Make abolishing the IRS and re-writing our tax code the primary product we are selling to voters. Every GOP candidate in 2014 should be running on government reform and tax simplification! Push legislation through the House of Representatives regardless of whether it has a chance in the Senate. Make Senate Democrats explain on the campaign trail why they blocked tax simplification! Hand in hand with selling rewriting the tax code must be a clear explanation of the danger we facing due to the burgeoning national debt. We are nearly 17 trillion dollars in debt. This is not something that is solved by taxing the rich more. The share of that debt is $188k per person and increasing every day. That isn't the share for every household. It is the share of the debt for each individual. A baby born yesterday is starting out close to 200 thousand dollars in debt borrowed on his or her behalf by politicians pretending to be generous. There are various online debt clocks. I like this one because it breaks it down several different ways. Prior to voting people should be shown the debt clock. UPDATE: For the Debt Clock click the link in last sentence. Clicking the picture just takes you to a blank copy.


Blogger bob said...

This is partially why I am for the fair tax, right now we have a system that encourages you to look for ways to avoid taxes and punishes you when you find the wrong ways. It shouldn't take a lawyer or an accountant to figure out the best way to pat the least taxes.

May 18, 2013 at 3:56 AM


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