Last week the Heritage Foundation held a lunchtime conference to discuss the latest developments in what it calls 'Taxing the First Amendment: Using the IRS to Censor Speech?'. I'm going to post the entire hour-plus video of the conference below, but I wanted to first highlight five very short excerpts from a post-conference interview provided to the Powerline blog by one of the speakers, Cleta Mitchell. She's an attorney who's represented several clients facing IRS abuse over the past few years. In these short excerpts, she highlights an agency that appears to be completely out of control, and blames both the Democratic and Republican parties for their blind refusal to apply the law to the bureaucrats concerned. The five clips together total less than twelve minutes in length, and are well worth your viewing time.
Here's the full 1 hour 10 minute video of the lunchtime conference presentation. I recommend that if you take constitutional government seriously, you make the time to watch it - because if these practices aren't stopped now, we won't have even the semblance of constitutional government that we have now.
This is perhaps the clearest possible evidence that 'going Galt' is no longer an adequate option. When the organs of government can be suborned to prevent you doing as you please according to your constitutional rights, and to exert illegal and unconstitutional pressure on you to conform, it's too late to found a Galt's Gulch. It'd just get a tax lien placed on it.
My solution is simple - and some would doubtless describe it as simplistic. It's in three parts, all of which would be necessary. It goes like this:
- Institute a flat tax rate of 10% on all income - corporate, private, whatever - with no deductions or exemptions whatsoever. Earn a dollar? Pay 10c to Uncle Sam. Simple, direct, efficient.
- Institute a flat consumption tax of 5% on all purchases - corporate, private, whatever - with no deductions or exemptions whatsoever. For every dollar you spend, you pay 5c tax to the Feds. (You may pay more for local sales taxes, of course.)
- You now no longer need massive, complex calculations about what any person or company owes the government. It's a simple calculation that anyone with a few functioning brain cells can do in their heads (or use a calculator or spreadsheet if they must). Therefore, abolish the entire IRS and the entire tax preparation industry. You'd save the country billions in unnecessary and useless overhead at the stroke of a pen - and taxes would be lower, besides.
Not that complicated when you think about it, is it? Unfortunately, the politicians and the bureaucrats will never agree. They'd argue that you have to provide for 'income redistribution' or 'welfare assistance' or all the rest of that sort of crap that's never mentioned in the constitution at all. To that, my answer is simple. If someone is in need of welfare or other assistance, that's not an IRS issue - so why keep the agency around to address it? Why make it a federal issue at all? It can be dealt with by state welfare agencies.
To statists, the issue isn't about taxation efficiency at all. It's about control. When that control gets out of control . . . you have the present IRS catastrophe.