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Imagine an e-z tax season, over in minutes

A flat tax would end the cycle of political favors in Washington.

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An engraving on the IRS building in Washington reads, "Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society." Unfortunately, paying taxes does not bring society a civilized tax code.

Tax Day reminds us every year just how unruly our tax code has become. A tax code should simply, fairly, and transparently collect the revenue necessary to pay for the functioning of the government. But America's tax code is fundamentally unfair, complicated, a drag on the economy, and encourages corruption. The entire tax code needs to be thrown out and replaced with one that is simple, fair, and flat.

Our annual tax ritual requires the average person to spend 26 hours filing a standard 1040 form, and more than 60 percent of us will pay for accounting services. Professional help is needed because America's tax rules and regulations are nearly 60,000 pages of special interest loopholes, convoluted legalese, and social engineering. This year, as a nation, we will spend 6.6 billion man-hours completing our taxes. That's more time than it will take to build every car, truck, and van assembled in the United States this year.

The US Department of Treasury estimates that the total cost of complying with the income tax is $125 billion a year. That's $125 billion a year that our capital markets, small businesses, and schools never see. Unreformed, the tax code could amount to a hidden cost of more than 1 trillion dollars over the next eight years.

In 1885, the Scottish economist J.R. McCulloch warned, "The moment you abandon the cardinal principle of exacting from all individuals the same proportion of their income or their profits, you are at sea without a rudder or compass, and there is no amount of injustice or folly you may not commit."


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