The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy any Semblance of Fairness

My liberal brethren seem far more upset about efforts to avoid killing one woman in Florida than they were about stopping the God damned Iraq war (which, of course, has killed countless tens of thousands including over 1,500 Americans.) Certainly, I didn’t see this kind of uniformity of opinion mobilized to stop the war; I saw the likes of Dick Gephardt, for example, happily selling the rest of us out, while John Kerry and more Democratic senators than not were voting yea to the (still to this day) unjustified carnage. Indeed, I have never seen my liberal brethren this animated or upset about anything, including either the 2002 or even 2004 election results. I must say… if this kind of passion could have been mobilized for something constructive, instead of this, maybe we might have taken control of the government back… but I digress…
What can I say? The fact that I am perceived as opposing what, I suppose we can call a 125th trimester abortion, means I can go f*** myself, right?
So… I hereby serve notice that I officially give up. Since I can write for whoever the hell wants to read…. I hereby chose to write for myself. No one need come to this site with preconceived notions of anything anymore. Which was kind of what I wanted all along, to tell you the truth.
So right now I think I’ll write talk about taxation. And my proposal for a simple 27th amendment to the Constitution to replace the antiquated 16th which gave us the income tax in the first place. The text of the 16th as it now stands is:
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
Congress had no such direct power prior to this amendment. It is a power, of course, abused in service of special interests and K-Street lobbyists eager to get a huge bang for the bucks of their clients, at the expense of the rest of us. The fairest system, of course, would be a system of taxation designed to actually collect revenue to actually fund the government, and not reward or punish any particular forms of social behavior, from having (or not having) children to getting married to borrowing to own homes to living in states with high or low state and local taxes to anything else you can think of. Right now, our tax code is a multi-volume hash of favors for the well-to-do, and these favors are offset, of course, by much higher rates on everyone else.
I would end that. Federal spending as a proportion of GDP is around 22%. That should be the default base tax rate.
Here is the text of the proposed 27th amendment:
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. Said power shall not include the power to exempt any income from any tax levied for any reason other than amount of income or timing of receipt of income or expenses associated with deriving income. Rates of income tax shall be apportioned annually by Congress based upon the percentage of national income devoted to federal spending, and Congress shall have power to set a graduated rate schedule of income tax calculated to raise the apportioned revenue.
That’s it. No more deductions, credits, exemptions, alternative minimum taxes… NOTHING. The Internal Revenue Code can now be reduced to a convenient slim volume; the 1040 can be completed on a post card. K-Street will have to devote itself to politically ugly direct subsidies (far less valuable than tax breaks, btw.) And Congress could do other things, besides giving tax breaks to friends and influence peddlers.
Tax cuts would require actual spending cuts; boom times would automatically generate “putting on the brakes” surpluses, and softer economies would automatically generate stimulative deficits. On net, most people would have lower, simpler, fairer taxes (payroll taxes, as I envision them, would be rolled into the income tax.)
Something like this, of course, has about as much chance of passing as, say. the Democrats do of holding together on any issue whatsoever besides abortion (including, evidently, 125th trimester abortions). So I wouldn’t worry about it.
I just wouldn’t worry about it.