My father, Ronald Reagan, battled successfully to simplify the tax code but his work has been largely undone. The arrogance of those who use the tax code to manipulate citizen behavior and Congressional ambitions for personal advancement have again corrupted the already destructive income tax system. It will fall to the American people to once again reject unfair taxation that favors the mighty at the expense of the public.
These 237 years after the Boston Tea Party and 31 years after the tax revolt that contributed to the election of my father as President, America is again rejecting “taxation without representation” and the rule of new American aristocrats. This time, the digital world is joining the physical world so even home-bound Americans can voice their dissatisfaction with our corrupted tax system.
With a new online technology that brings the future to Uncle Sam, a hundred thousand people have already chosen graphic avatars to begin an online tax revolt march on Washington. Arriving April 15th, hundreds of thousands of Americans will digitally join those who can afford the time and expense of physically traveling to Washington for what may be the most powerful tax protest since Boston Harbor.
My father said, “Our federal tax system is, in short, utterly impossible, utterly unjust and completely counterproductive, it reeks with injustice and is fundamentally un-American... it has earned a rebellion and it's time we rebelled.” That second great tax rebellion is now underway at www.onlinetaxrevolt.com.
Tea Party patriots, FairTaxers, Flat Taxers, and most Americans of every political persuasion understand that the federal tax system fuels unchecked government spending, hides the cost of government from the American taxpayer and has become corrupted into indecipherability by Congressional profits and power. Citizens are coming together from across the political spectrum and across the nation to wake Washington up to the voice of the American people.
Citizens are rejecting the idea that huge government borrowing and debt has been secured by pledging the future earnings of generations of Americans not yet born. Such irresponsible and immoral taxation of future American generations is intergenerational theft that reeks of taxation without representation all over again. The angry reaction of everyday citizens is not a sign that government is broken but that the American people are remembering what Washington has largely forgotten, the rightful role of the citizen in directing government policy.
After almost 100 years, the income tax system has become a caricature of responsible public policy. With more than 67,500 pages of income tax regulations and an annual tax compliance cost of more than $300 billion, the federal tax system is increasingly being seen as something that is very good for those in Washington and very bad for all the rest of us.
It is rich pickings in “Gucci Gulch” outside the House Ways and Means Committee room where well-heeled, former tax committee staffers and former Members of Congress seek income tax favors for wealthy and powerful clients. Meanwhile, small businesses, the engines of our economy suffer tax preparation costs as high as $700 for every $100 of taxes paid. And, more and more Americans will soon learn that even the Congressional mistake of failing to index the Alternative Minimum Tax is a growing quicksand, like the tax code itself, which threatens to define working class Americans as “wealthy.”
The fact that the original modest proposal to “soak the rich” with an income tax has grown into a federal monster that affects every business and personal financial decision in America is increasingly being seen as downright un-American and corrupted to the core. Married people pay more than singles living together, we are double and tripled taxed on the same income, Warren Buffett pays a lower rate than his salary-earning secretary and every step up the economic ladder is greeted with a penalty by our federal government. Even death is a taxable event.
Whatever other differences we may have—and we have a few—nearly everyone except those in Washington, D.C. agrees that our federal tax system is badly broken and must be ripped out by the roots. Those who ignore the tidal wave of citizen passion coming to Washington on April 15th may want to start looking for life jackets—or new jobs.