Can we abolish the income tax?
I can easily say yes.
Most people believe that the income tax is vital for the government to operate. It's not too hard to understand why. Everywhere you look you can find this idea being reinforce. When you're a kid and you go to school, you get the generic indoctrination of "pay taxes for schools and libraries and police". We see it in movies, and hear about it in the news as if this theft is normal. We have come to the point that if you talk to anyone about taxes, most people will assume you are talking about the income tax.
State Income Tax
Just look at the states that have no income tax. Some of these states like Texas are doing very well, despite not having any income tax at all. They do have other taxes, and just like the federal government, they do take more than they need. They also waste plenty. But they don't have an income tax and still manage to have schools, roads, police and everything else the average person would want from government.
When you charge for something, you have a price. When you get paid, you expect to be paid what you're owed. For that reason, most people know they aren't getting paid in full when the government takes a chunk out of their paycheck. But when people pump gas and pay the same price posted on the pump, they don't seem to pay much attention to how much the government is getting. In fact people are more upset over sales taxes because those are printed right on your receipt and throw off the amount you calculated in your shopping cart.
Most people don't realize it, but gas taxes are high. In some places, more than 30% of what you pay for your gas goes straight to the government. There are federal, state and local gas taxes that combine to rake in over $180 million PER DAY. That money is supposed to be earmarked for roads, but usually gets taken away for other projects.
Of course these taxes would build a lot more roads if there weren't so much waste, correuption and no-bid contracts. When government employees need to get a road built, they often call a friend who is going to give them a high price. The offer is usually accepted because of the friendship, even though it's over priced. Even when this isn't the case, contractors know the government has virtually unlimited budgets and highball their bids. The government employees who approve the contract usually don't care because it's not their money. This results in paying much higher prices for roads than if they were build by private interests.
I could write a whole book on roads, but the most point I want to get across is that we don't need an income tax to build any roads. If anyone ever tells you there isn't enough money evidenced by "crumbling infrastructure", just remember that they have the money, but it's just not being spent where it's supposed to be.
Many people also believe that schools are paid for with income taxes. Again, this couldn't be further from the truth. Schools are mostly paid for by property taxes. This is another tax that's hidden to many. Homeowners get the bill and have to pay it directly, but renters who are paying their landlords taxes don't know they are paying property tax at all. Middle class families can pay more than $1,000 per month or over 30% percent of their rent or mortgage. These are the taxes that are used for services like police, schools, fire departments and libraries.
Property tax rates vary wildly from state to state. They are based on the value of the property, which can also vary wildly from city to city. This is usually why you get underfunded schools in poor neighborhoods and very well funded schools in rich neighborhoods. It has nothing to do with taxes being redistributed, it's actually because they payed for locally based on the value of the homes around the school. The more expensive the homes, the more is payed in tax, and the more the school gets.
Even if your property is completely paid off, you still have to pay rent to the government. Owe just a few thousand in old property tax, and the government can take away your entire hundred thousand dollar investment that you've spent years building. Mix this in with the inheritance tax and a family that owned big piece of farm land can be forced to sell parts of it off until there is nothing left - just to pay the taxes. It is quite literally theft. If you have ever complained that we shouldn't have to work so hard just to survive, consider how hard you have to work because the government is taking so much from everyone.
Again, I could probably write a whole book on this subject. There just aren't enough ways to emphasize that schools are paid for by a tax that takes so much of American's wealth, that there is no need to subsidize it with income tax - and we don't.
So what is the income tax used for?
What it does pay for are things like protection for private corporate ventures both domestically and overseas, a failed drug war, and military occupation which creates more problems than it solves. It's spent on pet projects that benefit the elite, bailing out corporations, subsidizing corporations that are already profitable like big oil, subsidizing junk food and ridiculous research programs.
Probably the most outrageous waste of income tax money is spent on debt interest. I know this doesn't sound too crazy on it's surface. The government should pay it's debts, right? The problem is that a really big chunk of this debt is paid to the Federal Reserve. Although it likes to pretend like it's a part of the government, the Federal Reserve is not. Just a little bit of research and you can find plenty of evidence, including it's articles of incorporation. They lend claim to lend money to the US government, but the US government owns the printing press where the bills are made. This is like borrowing money from yourself and paying interest to your neighbor. Interest alone is more than $1 trillion per year, and it's money that wouldn't be spent if we eliminated the middle man from the treasury department.
So yes, the income tax can go away and you'll still have all the government services you enjoy today. It would add some extra pressure to politicians to be more respectful in spending your money, and it would eliminate a lot of these programs that make living in the US expensive and even result in injuries and deaths to Americans. Ending the income tax and getting rid of the IRS is not going to create problems, it's going to solve them.
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