Tag Archives: Tax Reform

Big Government Has Become Self-Aware

In the fantastic Sci-Fi thriller series The Terminator, Skynet, the massive super computer that controls much of the functioning of the world becomes self-aware.  And as it becomes self aware – it then begins creating robots and weapons to defend itself and take over the world.  This is much akin to where we are today with an expanding federal government.  It exists for end in itself, beyond the means of even a President to truly control it.

 The recent scandals with the IRS and the Justice Department compel me to come back to the Politalk forum.  I only hope someone is listening and we have not abandoned this venue for too long.

We are experiencing the direct symptoms of government power run amuck and unchecked.  The biggest mistake that could be made is somehow laying the blame at the feet of the current administration.  This trivializes and will dismiss what has happened.  While all executive teams must take responsibility for the actions of their subordinates, the unbridled power wielded by government agencies has been building since the flawed decisions of the 1930’s to have government – not law – be the arbiter of our economic health.  When the slippery slope was crossed that our government had a role in architecting the economy with a goal of full employment and consumption for all – when the idea that equal outcomes became more important than equal opportunity took hold – the role of government changed from that of referee, to one of puppet-master.  Just about every President has perpetuated this idea since FDR, Republican or Democrat.

And beyond central economic planning – we have come to accept government interference/control in all parts of our lives.  Today we found out that Verizon has essential given access to the NSA of every American’s phone records on an as needed basis.  There are those (Libertarians) who would have us live in a world without regulation – this is not practical.  And that’s coming from one who considers himself Libertarian. But it’s also not wise or practical to passively surrender our liberty for the promise that government will fix it if it goes bad.

Instead of using the IRS scandal to bash the Obama administration (a lame duck administration no less) why don’t both sides of the aisle use this to demonstrate the need for substantial tax reform and an overhaul of the IRS to get it down to the size of an agency needed to administer basic flat and/or consumption based taxes that need no more than a single page form to file?

 This would achieve

1.     A more competitive international business climate for US based firms

2.     Increased tax revenue due to increased compliance of an easy to use filing scheme

3.     Dramatically reduce the size and cost of tax compliance for the IRS itself (downsize the org) and reduced cost of compliance for American businesses

When there are no loopholes or tax incentives, it does not take a team of 500 lawyers for Apple to submit their taxes.  That means more profit for Apple AND more taxes in the Treasury coffers.  If that’s not a win-win, I don’t know what is.  Calculate your profit/income, give us 25%, write a check.  No loopholes, no deductions, no subsidies.  Same for individual taxes.

Is there anyone who could really oppose a tax system free of loopholes where you pay a simple flat rate based on a reasonable progressive system?   Is there anyone who could oppose an IRS, which is half the size and still effectively administers tax policy in an un-bias manner?

Big Government has become self- aware…..

Signed – John Connor


David Brooks Has a Dream for Tax Reform

David Brooks (Photo Credit - Josh Haner/The New York Times)

David Brooks’ Op-Ed in the New York Times yesterday is worth reading. He makes some great points that I believe pragmatic and independent minded voters (including myself) can appreciate and see a glimmer of hope that our politicians can do some good for our nation.

Read the full article here, but David Brooks lays out the dream that he hopes will be the Obama Administration tactic for the State of The Union:

Brooks is hoping that the President will take on the tax code and use the State of the Union as the launching pad in which the President might say,

“The plan we will work on this year will look a bit like the 1986 reform plan. We will clean out the loopholes. We will take on the special interests. We will lower rates and make the tax code fair.”

Brooks goes on to comment,

Then Obama asks his aides to come up with a tax reform proposal he can lay before Congress. The State of the Union, he knows, is the one big chance he will have to redefine himself before the American people. On the big night, Obama stands before Congress. He gestures over to a giant stack of papers. “This is our tax code,” he tells the American people. “It’s rotten and we’re scrapping it.”

Later on in his piece, Brooks talks about a debate he had with Congressman Paul Ryan last week at the conservative think tank AEI.

I argued that Obama and his aides are liberal or center-left pragmatists and that nothing they have said or written suggests they want to turn the U.S. into Sweden. I continued that Ryan’s sharply polarized vision is not only journalistically inaccurate, it makes compromise and politics impossible. If every concession is regarded as an unprincipled surrender that takes us inexorably farther down the road to serfdom, then nothing will get done and the nation will go bankrupt.

Check out the full article. It is worth a read.