Taxes And Fools

by Colonel Dan


The Cowboy Chronicle

April  2006


“The reward of energy, enterprise and thrift—is taxes”  ~ William Feather ~

Each year, I begrudgingly submit my income tax form on 1 April.  What more appropriate day is there for such insanity than All Fools Day?   For Americans to tolerate such a generally hated system that grows increasingly complex and oppressive, while smothering economic freedom and personal liberty, we must be the biggest fools on earth.

Our tax system is one of the most incomprehensible pieces of trash on the planet.  It’s so complex even those who write it and those who enforce it can’t understand it.  Government agencies habitually give inconsistent answers about it yet they routinely fine, punish and even jail those that don’t or can’t “comply” with it!

Not so surprisingly, Thomas Jefferson had some sage advice on this very taxation question over 200 years ago.  "Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands?"  Yet additional evidence that substantiates my continuing view that our founders were divinely inspired.

I’m convinced that the tax code is intentionally written to be confusing so that government can interpret and manipulate it to suit their needs at any given time while keeping themselves at the center of control.

If you remember, the hearings about the constitutionality of the 16th Amendment were cancelled supposedly due to 9/11.  Actually the hearing room was never reserved in the first place and the hearings were then never rescheduled.  They hoped we’d forget about it is my guess. 

Everyone in Washington knows this is an insane system so why do they keep it when it’s been shown that the simpler way— sales tax, e.g The Fair Tax or flat tax—is more profitable and efficient for both government and the governed?  Even Russia now has a 13% flat tax.  Result: government coffers and taxpayers’ spirits are way up.

Unfortunately, America’s income tax is used for much more than generating revenue.  The power to tax is power indeed and this power, along with the muscle of armed enforcement has become THE primary tools of control for those in congress.

The reason politicians retain this ridiculously obtuse system is so they can dole out favors through manipulation of tax laws, interpret the complexities as they see fit and generally retain power over a confused nation that must come to them for interpretation of the rules they created!

Just think about it. If you can invent a system whereby you write the rules, interpret the rules as you see fit, enforce the rules arbitrarily, and require everyone to come to and through you for judgment on the rules, you control the whole game!  That’s sure not the American dream or role of government our founder’s envisioned!

If taxes were simple enough for everyone to understand, government would lose its ability to interpret and control much of your life.  Keep ‘em fed; keep ‘em entertained and keep ‘em in the dark is the key to exercising power over the masses.

This tax will someday pass away but only through defeat, not common sense I’m afraid.  That defeat will require Americans to take either of two paths as I see it.

1. Instigate peaceful change.  Through the legislative process, we could theoretically convince our elected representatives to repeal or simplify it.  This is the path I prefer but I’m not optimistic. And given the submissiveness of younger generations being indoctrinated in government schools, I’m not optimistic about it happening in my grandson’s lifetime.

2. Coordinated civil disobedience.  By getting totally fed up and refusing to obey through widespread disobedience, Americans could ultimately force change.  This however would require an organized tidal wave of effort, not just resistance from an isolated few that forces Congress into radical change.

And I guess there’s a more drastic third way.  The tax will certainly die along with our republic either through war or internal crumbling, as has been the fate of many past civilizations.  No nation has yet lasted forever.

One thing I think you can safely bet on—fire will freeze solid before Congress ever willingly votes to dismantle the income tax or repeal the 16th Amendment.  It’s only through the enforcement power of arms, taxes and complex bureaucracies compelling people to come to them for everything that government retains its dominance.  To think that politicians will ever freely surrender such massive power borders on delusional. 

If the income tax is ever to die, power must shift from entrenched politicians to those who actually want it to die; otherwise, we will live with it until America dies.

I’m personally convinced that if Americans, by whatever means, never force change in a system that callously punishes energy, enterprise and thrift we’ll all see the great American dream further morph into the great American nightmare with no wake up call.

Just the view from my saddle…

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