(By Samuel Di Gangi) There exists many discussions today about taxing the rich, an idea which usually sounds good, but in reality sometimes devolves with unintended consequences once applied. Most of the Democrats on stage during the debates seem as if they are willing to give away anything in order to get elected, even if that ‘giving’ costs more via taxation than leaving it to the free market would. Radio legend Rush Limbaugh often remarks on his show that he was never given a job by a poor person.
President Donald Trump, to his credit, has not been appealing to that ‘free giveaway’ voting mindset. He has been more closely aligned with the economic success pattern laid out by President Ronald Reagan (or even “more aggressive” in some ways), at least when it comes to taxes, but at what point do both the left and right agree?
After all, not everything needs to be a left vs. right argument, and this is one of those areas.
One solution to the many issues involved with fair taxation, and which would certainly solve a myriad of other problems at the same time, would be to completely abolish the I.R.S. Former Senator Ron Paul, a libertarian icon, described quite often how that would work. While even some members of his own party scoffed at the idea, traction was gained among a great many people who listened to his ideas and actually studied the topic. Today, his son has the ear of the White House on a lot of issues, and he’s serious about taxes. In fact, it was Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who famously released election videos where he took chainsaws to the tax code, actually lit it on fire, and even shot at it! He wants all taxes to able to be done on a postcard. This is something that has appealed to a great number of people, regardless of how they vote.
Such a system would be far closer to what the Constitution outlines, in that it would give the states the responsibility of collecting taxes. Many taxes would be voted on exclusively within the state. Not only would this give more control to the people, but states know their people’s needs much better than the federal government, since each area is more nuanced than a massive federal bureaucracy can address. In addition, states tend to waste less than the federal government, even though no system will ever, of course, be “waste-free.”
Then again, even will all of that being true, there are not enough people who are willing to support such a move… yet. So, while everyone is trapped under the system which is being used, what can be done? How does the left and right unite on this?
Well, for starters, both sides of the political spectrum are tired of seeing lower income workers facing taxes that higher income workers are exempt from. That isn’t capitalism, that is capitalism being manipulated and distorted to unfairly target a select group. For example, FICA Social Security is only collected on the first $137,700 of income and the rest is totally tax-free. It isn’t hard for anyone on either side of the aisle to see how this is making sure the poor stay poor and the rich become even richer. In essence, the government is currently saying, ‘Sure, everyone pays, except the ones who can really afford to pay’.
Higher income recipients also get the same benefits that the lower income folks do, yet they often have other means of paying for such things which poorer citizens do not.
That is hardly the way a fair and equitable system should run. Perhaps this disparity, more than any other, works to show why the founders did not want the federal government in charge of such things.
Will Social Security be bankrupt within the next two decades? While many estimates exist, it seems that there is enough concern on both the left and the right to warrant a closer look. Is it time to start considering some major reforms? Most would answer with a resounding yes. In fact, many would argue that changes are long overdue.
If not, and if the deck chairs are going to continue to be moved around on the deck of this sinking ship, is it too much to ask that at least the seating be fair?
Samuel Earl Di Gangi is a writer, political commentator, graphic artist, DJ, and musician with a strong pro-Libertarian & pro-Christian lean. He is the curator of “The Correct Views”, or “TCV”, which is a member show of the newsgroup “The Media Speaks”.
You can contact Sam directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.