- - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Today is the day Americans’ income tax filings are due. The federal government has created a painless system for extracting taxes from the American people and has provided a means for the easy, endless expansion of government at the same time.

Most Americans don’t even realize they aren’t actually paying their taxes, unless they are self employed or very wealthy. For most middle-class Americans, their taxes come out of their paychecks before they receive them. Under the theory that people don’t miss what they never have, the government has convinced taxpayers that their actual pay is what they take home each pay day.

But as they say on TV, “Wait, there’s more.”

The federal government essentially forces people to over-withhold on their taxes. Then Americans come to expect an extra check in the spring. Most treat it as an unexpected bonus instead of what it really is — an interest free loan to the government.

Most Americans don’t get outraged about where their tax dollars are going. If they realized their tax dollars were going to provide weapons and support for terrorists in Syria who are loyal to al Qaeda, they might be outraged. But America’s tax system is set up to keep their minds off their taxes. Most Americans might be outraged at the amount of taxes they pay every year, but when they file their returns, all they see is the refund they are getting.

People associate taxes with April 15. Yet average Americans must work until April 21 to pay off all the taxes they owe their federal, state and local governments. Residents of Connecticut and New Jersey don’t see “tax freedom day” until May 9. Citizens work more than a third of the year just to pay their taxes, and the government thinks that is not enough.

America’s tax system has become a Byzantine monster that favors special interests. It has become so complex that even middle-class Americans need tax preparation software or accountants to prepare their taxes.

Wealthy Americans, special interests and corporations all have accountants, tax lawyers and lobbyists who create special tax breaks for them.

What do real Americans have?

A tax bill.

When the 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913 to permit an income tax, it  was imposed only upon the super-rich of the era — and even they paid only a small portion of their income in taxes.

A century later the income tax has expanded into a giant octopus whose tentacles reach into the wallets of every American. There are few other expressions that put fear into American citizens like the words “IRS audit.”

After 100 years, we can say that the main thing taxation based income does is provide for the easy, endless expansion of government.

That is why our government now pays millions to create jobs in other nations and why politicians can spend billions on projects that only serve to help them be re-elected.

A hundred years on, the income tax is a failure. It is a threat to freedom and liberty.

Conservatives should set a goal that, by the time we mark the 105th anniversary of the passing of the 16th Amendment, that it becomes the second amendment to the Constitution to be repealed.

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