Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




POLITICAL ECONOMY
Outside View: How to make taxes fairer and abolish the IRS
by Peter Morici
College Park, Md. (UPI) Jul 5, 2013


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Congressional frustration with efforts to get to the bottom of Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups plainly shows the tax agency is dangerous to civil liberties, irrevocably broken and corrupting national politicians.

Investigators on Capitol Hill and in the U.S. Justice Department may be able to finger a few malefactors but that won't fix the IRS.

The union representing IRS employees is deeply involved in the management of the agency, its leaders have the self-pronounced goal of doing whatever it takes to defeat conservative politicians, it consults regularly with leading Democratic politicians -- including U.S. President Barack Obama -- on electoral strategy and it has cultivated a culture that encourages employees to exercise discretion in ways harmful to free speech and association.

Simply, the IRS isn't a neutral tax-collecting institution but a collection of grassroots activists, enjoying virtually unchecked sovereign power to destroy the personal reputations and finances of those who oppose liberal ideas and who inflict terror on ordinary Americans through the arbitrary interpretation of tax rules and onerous audits.

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has openly admitted to asking the IRS to investigate citizens groups embracing conservative views. There is little hope of curbing such behavior or reforming the agency when the Senate takes no action to censure him and the mainstream media find nothing much to investigate having learned about this conduct.

The only alternative is to shut the IRS and replace the revenues from corporate and personal income taxes it administers. The latter are riddled with special interest provisions that offer low taxes to the rich and powerful and impose high rates on the rest of us.

Moreover, the present quagmire of incentives and disincentives distorts business investment decisions and consumer choices reducing economic growth and leaving all of us less satisfied with our lives. And dealing with the hassle and cost of annual tax returns and the constant fear of IRS audits makes all of us less free.

In 2013, corporate and personal income taxes will yield to the Treasury about $1.5 trillion and could be replaced by an 11 percent sales tax on all private purchases -- be they purchases of computer equipment, college tuition or a lunch from the corner takeout.

Businesses and institutions would then pay to Treasury the taxes they collected less sales taxes they paid on purchases of materials and equipment, rent and the like. This subtraction would avoid the double taxation of materials and equipment businesses purchase and create a value added tax so often proposed by advocates of tax reform.

A value-added tax would favor no activity over another and, by taxing goods and services at the point of sale, it would end the problem of U.S. firms parking profits abroad to avoid taxes.

Businesses and institutions would file a three-line return, how much tax they collected, how much they paid and the difference. Individuals would file no tax return at all!

Temptations would abound to exclude or exempt all kinds of activities but that is the kind of thinking that gave us the current mess -- inequities, slow growth and exceeding complex tax returns.

If Congress wants to spend more, it could raise the rate. That would make transparent to all the cost of spending more on government activities. If conservatives on Capitol Hill want to cut programs, they could explain to voters how much those cuts would lower the rate.

Elegant, egalitarian and efficient, such a value-added tax without exemptions, would give Americans the tax reforms they want but privileged rich folks and big businesses spend a fortune forestalling.

The economy would grow more and Americans will live better and in less fear. And Mr. Durbin, that is what America is supposed to be all about.

(Peter Morici is an economist and professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and a widely published columnist. Follow him on Twitter: @pmorici1)

(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

.


Related Links
The Economy






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





POLITICAL ECONOMY
China government to probe 60 firms over drug prices
Shanghai (AFP) July 04, 2013
China's top economic planner is to investigate 60 pharmaceutical companies for excessive charges, including several joint ventures with foreign firms, state media reported Thursday. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which is already investigating foreign baby formula producers over prices, will send teams to check wholesale prices and production costs of dozens of compan ... read more


POLITICAL ECONOMY
REACTing to a crisis

RESCUE Consortium Demonstrates Technologies for First Responders

India chopper crash kills 20 as flood rescue forges on

India rescue chopper crash death toll rises to 20

POLITICAL ECONOMY
BBC announces decision to halt 3D television programming

Making hydrogenation greener

Inmarsat's First Fully Assembled Global Xpress Satellite Achieves Significant Testing Milestone

The quantum secret to alcohol reactions in space

POLITICAL ECONOMY
Red Cross cartoon to demystify Pacific climate change

Greenhouse gas likely altering ocean foodchain

Breakthrough in El Nino forecasting

El Nino unusually active in the late 20th century

POLITICAL ECONOMY
CryoSat maps largest-ever flood beneath Antarctica

Is Arctic Permafrost the "Sleeping Giant" of Climate Change?

The rhythm of the Arctic summer

Global cooling as significant as global warming

POLITICAL ECONOMY
Insecticide causes changes in honeybee genes

China probes Tetra Pak for "abusing" market role

Workers at industrial farms carry drug-resistant bacteria associated with livestock

Improving crop yields in a world of extreme weather events

POLITICAL ECONOMY
Tropical storm Erick forms off Pacific coast of Mexico

6.1-magnitude quake strikes off Solomons: USGS

Storm Erick strengthens off Mexico's Pacific coast

Landslides and floods in Nepal kill 50

POLITICAL ECONOMY
UN intervention force raises hopes in DR Congo

Grenade strike kills aid worker in Sudan's Darfur: UN

Military claims 100 attackers killed in central Nigeria

UN peacekeepers take over ahead of Mali polls

POLITICAL ECONOMY
Scientists link ancient remains with living Canadian woman

Amputee creates LEGO prosthetic

Altitude sickness may hinder ethnic integration in the world's highest places

What Is the Fastest Articulated Motion a Human Can Execute?




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement