By Matthew Jerome - April 16, 2012
It is tax time again and I was wondering why the U.S. Tax Code is 6 times longer than War and Peace?
Amy in Omaha
It is tax week for us working Americans. I checked out Tolstoy’s War and Peace from the library and started counting the words back in January. I found it contains over 560,000 words, while the U.S. Tax Code has reached somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.7 million. According to the IRS.gov website, changes to the tax code are made at the rate of around one per day which can lead to more confusion than Valentine’s Day for Tiger Woods. It is also reported that U.S. taxpayers spend more than $193 billion a year compiling their tax returns. That money and lost production could go a long way to saving another United States solar manufacturing company.
The IRS was created by President Lincoln to help offset the costs of the Civil War. The initial rate was 3% on income over $800. Seems like Honest Abe knew a thing or two about a Flat-Tax. Believe it or not, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the income tax unconstitutional in 1894. It was not until 1913 that the Sixteenth Amendment gave Congress the “power to lay and collect taxes on income, from whatever source derived…without regard to any census or enumeration” unless you are Charles Rangle or Timothy Geithner.
Other interesting facts Matty uncovered about the U.S. Tax Code: it would take more time to read it than the time the U.S. spent fighting WWII, only Rosie O’donnell’s weekly grocery receipt requires more paper, and only a Jesse James’ girlfriend uses more ink.
Amy, the Tax Code will only continue to grow. Like those inexplainable things your mom would just say “because I said so”, so too the Tax Code is done by ” Washington’s intelligent design”. Matty feels by its elimination a whole industry of lobbyist, accountants, and manufacturers of #2 pencils, large calculators, pocket protectors, and Turbo Tax would be lost, which is too much for our economy to bear. The only other time #2 pencils are used to this extent is when a teacher’s union gets together to make signs. I believe a Flat-Tax would be too simple, fair, and as transparent as an outfit worn by Rihanna. And besides, the Clinton’s would not be able to write off all that cool used underwear and socks for charity and how would Pamela Anderson continue to write off the breast augmentations without the business expense deduction?
Continue to visit the RedStateReport for more tax advice.
P.S. Keep the Ask Matty questions coming to the Red State Report mailbag