Author: Matthew Bird
Donald Trump probably does not pay the federal income tax. So what? Of course this has not been revealed yet, but what other reason does he have to hide his tax returns? He is just one of the many billionaires who choose not to pay the personal income tax that is nothing to blame him for. The tax code sucks. A large percentage of Americans are not paying federal income tax. What can we do about it?
The Tax March Day that is now being organized in over 200 communities that have brought to light something that has been otherwise forgotten since the election. Trump is the first GOP Presidential nominee in 40 years to not release his tax returns. It is not a requirement, but a tradition set by politicians to prove their financial wellness and that they have nothing to hide financially. President Trump claims he can’t release his tax returns because he is being audited. However, there is no law or code that prohibits publishing tax returns under an audit. Trump and his campaign team decided that he would be better off to not release these taxes although, the president has admittedly paid second to nothing. He cheated a system that most politicians admit needs fixing.
The Federal Tax Code is over 4 million words and around 97 thousand pages. It is the most complicated tax system in any modern country. One study had a middle class family’s financial statements brought to 40 different reputable accounting firms, each individual firm had the family paying a different amount in taxes. The fact of the matter is, not even individual experts in the field of taxes understand it in its entirety and there is no possible way to. This tax code grows in size and complexity every single year and no politician’s first concern is total reform of this system. The current federal tax code is way beyond fixing as it is a failed document.
Although I feel like no politician is overly concerned with this matter, I have my own ideas. One is the total elimination of the Federal Income Tax. This tax has outlived its primary purpose to begin with which was to raise funds for the war. World War II to the best of my knowledge is over. Why is this system still in place? It is probably the same reason why the NSA is still in place after the Cold War and why provisions of the US PATRIOT Act are still in place after 9/11. Once you create a monster in government it is ten times more difficult to destroy that monster which is why the Federal Income Tax has long outlived its purpose. It would make much more sense to use a consumption tax. It would make the rich pay more, as they naturally consume more than a lower class citizen. No one would have to take time out of their productive lives to do taxes. I believe the economy would be much more efficient this way.
I think that it is important to look now at Donald Trump. Why should I care if he chooses to pay less taxes? I would much rather pay $10,000 in taxes than $10 billion. I would hope that most Americans would make that decision as well. Society works best when people are greedy. Greedy people create competitive open-market transactions which lowers prices and ultimately benefits consumers like you and I. Why then are liberals getting mad at Trump for not paying/releasing taxes? They do have the right to be angry, but not at a man who is trying to maximize profits. Get mad at the Federal Government!
The Federal Government is the one who allows people, like President Trump, to cheat their taxes. The top income earners are not paying their fair share and the Federal Government is doing absolutely nothing about it. It is finally time that America gets a tax system that works for everyday citizens, makes more than 55% of Americans pay taxes, and makes the rich pay up. When it comes down to it the poor, middle class, and rich should all be contributing their fair share into tax system. This is one of the “elephants in the room” of politics and hopefully Tax Day and the Tax March will finally make Americans reflect on this issue.