For the past 30 years, I’ve been criticizing both the tax code and the IRS. Which raises an interesting chicken-or-egg question about who should be blamed for our nightmarish tax system.
Should we blame IRS bureaucrats, who have a dismal track record of abusing taxpayers? Or should we blame politicians, who have been making the tax code more onerous ever since that dark day in 1913 when the income tax was adopted?
In this exchange with Stuart Varney, I take an ecumenical approach and blame both.
As you can see, I am slightly conflicted on this debate.
There are plenty of reasons to condemn the IRS, and not just because of what I mentioned in the interview about its deplorable campaign to suppress political speech by Tea Party organizations.
- It also has thieving employees.
- It has incompetent employees.
- It has thuggish employees.
- It has brainless employees.
- It has protectionist employees.
- It has wasteful employees.
- And it has victimizing employees.
And they are the ones who constantly give more power and money to the IRS in hopes of generating more cash that can be used to buy votes.
Indeed, the most important thing I said in the interview is that the IRS budget has dramatically increased over the past few decades. And that’s after adjusting for inflation!
But that doesn’t really matter because the solution is the same regardless of whether one blames politicians or the IRS. Throw the tax code in the garbage and replace it with a simple and fair flat tax (or, if there are ever sufficient votes to undo the 16th Amendment, replace the internal revenue code with a national consumption tax).*
*In my libertarian fantasy world, we would return to the limited government created by the Founding Fathers, thus eliminating the need for any broad-based tax.