Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Posted by taxguru on September 3, 2002

Progressive Pricing

I have long said that the one of the biggest of many oxymorons in the government is the term “Progressive” to describe the income tax rates we are charged. In truth, they are actually penalties. If you do well enough to progress into a higher income level, our rulers confiscate a much higher percentage of your income than if you earned less. Joseph Farah has an amusing analogy to illustrate how idiotic & unfair this concept it; having car dealers charge you different prices for the same car based on your income.

Ironically, the normally very candid and hard hitting Mr. Farah fails to mention the historical derivation of the concept of using “progressive” tax rates. It is directly out of the Communist Manifesto. I guess it’s the fear of being branded as a Joseph McCarthy that so many people, including Rush Limbaugh, are afraid to point out how many of the ten planks in the Communist Manifesto have been implemented in this country.

This is also a good place to mention the Flat Tax movement in this country. Many people are claiming that a single tax rate, as Steve Forbes proposed during his presidential campaigns, would be the ultimate panacea for all of the unfairness in our income tax system. While it would definitely be a big step in the right direction, I have refused to endorse this because it is a long ways from what we really need to fix things.

Forbes and his followers claim that a flat tax would allow everyone to file tax returns the size of postcards. That is so naive as to be laughable. While a single tax rate would make calculating the income tax on a specific taxable income figure a little easier, that won’t make tax returns any shorter. All of the fun and games in the tax system are not in the tax calculation. They are in arriving at the taxable income number itself. What kinds of income are taxed? What kinds of things are deductible against the income? Exemptions for kids, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. To believe that our rulers are capable of devising an income tax system without a ton of different rules for calculating taxable income is as realistic as believing that we can make the sun rise in the West. It is impossible.

The only solution to the current income tax fiasco is to repeal the 16th Amendment and completely eliminate all income and estate taxes. End it, not mend it; to borrow and twist one of that racist hustler Jesse Jackson’s rhymes he uses whenever a government welfare program is threatened.


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