Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tax This!

Notice how the public is swayed by politicians and the media?
When either wishes you to think a certain way they have set ways to do so.
With unemployment way up and the economy, for those of us not in the millionaires club way down an easy target for those above to create a usable mob mentality is to point out the villain du jour.  These days those villains are making everyone’s life easy by raising their hands and saying, “Over here – Here I am!”
For example there is our current crowd favorite, BP who is doing a heck of a job killing an entire ecosystem while still garnering huge bottom line profits.  And you don’t have to dredge down too far to find this out!
Don’t believe me?
Brokerage House Panmure Gordon of Great Britain “upped” their target price for BP stock to the $50 range.  It is already up from Monday’s $40 to $45 today.  The report states that the company will not even have to cut its dividend although they may have to forego some top level bonuses.  By the way, as for not doling out the top level bonuses don’t bet on it.  They will be given out just not in a simple way for public scrutiny.  Did someone say toga parties in Tahiti?
And there is also the wonderful company that distributes so many products for consumers of the world and gives so much aid to the poor and needy, Goldman Sachs.  Uh wait, never mind.  What exactly do they do?  Oh yeah, they turn their millionaire crooks, sorry my fingers slipped I mean clients into billionaires.
Congress has asked us to believe that they are going to tax these giants and their ilk so as to get back some of the obscene and uncalled for profits being raked in while the entire World suffers.
And then the tooth fairy will distribute the money to all of us in conjunction with the Easter Bunny!
Under our current system if a corporation is taxed more they consider that amount to be a cost and it is then figured into pricing schedules.  We the consumer ultimately pay for every extra dollar they are taxed.
But if our elected officials really wish to risk losing all their funding from corporate and lobbyist bribery and do the jobs they were elected to do they might call for a revamping of our ridiculous tax code.
It used to be you had to be an accountant to figure out the code.  Then it grew so you had to also be an attorney and now the damn thing would take a graduate with both of those degrees along with the skills of the magna cum laude of the Evelyn Wood reading dynamics school.
That’s because the current tax code is approximately 17,000 pages long and could have nearly 2.5 million words purposely written in legalese to bemuse the attorneys and befuddle the tax payer.
One suggestion that understandably gets shot down by the accounting lobby is to toss out the absurd thing and replace it with a combination flat tax of both income and sales.  I believe that is a good starting point.
But by saying starting point I open the door to allowing amendments galore that could end up with a document nearly the size of the current morass (emphasis on the last three letters.)
So here is a succinct suggestion to shore up our Government’s cash flow:
Corporations in America must be taxed at a rate closer to that of the rest of the civilized World.  They have been getting away with murder for far too long.
Personal income tax must be lowered so that individual citizens of this country can keep more of their really hard earned cash.  I will allow a graduated scale of higher taxes on higher incomes but it too should be lower than it is now as long as the loopholes are totally disallowed.
Charitable contributions can still be taken to lessen a tax burden but will be closely regulated and limited in scope.  The charities themselves will be placed under scrutiny so as to make sure they are in fact charitable.
A Value Added Tax or VAT must be put in place as it is in other countries.  It has worked there for years and I believe we can be as smart as they are unless Congress would like to admit to the contrary.  The VAT would bring our Government a steady cash flow of dollars with which to put in place all those wonderful programs they like to enact.
The consumer would be able to save money and not be taxed unless he or she actually spent thus making a savings account a beneficiary.
I do not presume to know all the facets and nuances of even the new tax code I am proposing but I do know we need a change.  And obviously a few other issues would need to be resolved to get this tax code working.
Of course one side effect of the above is we would have to find a place for the out of work accountants and lawyers to go during tax season but hey, don’t we need more troops overseas?

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