Can you believe that it can cost you more to pay your taxes than you actually pay in taxes? “Last year, Americans spent more than $250 billion on tax preparation,” Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com told the audience at the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) summit on Defending the American Dream, held on October 3, 2009. “It costs us twice as much to comply with the tax code as it costs us in taxes, total,” Morrissey asserted, illustrating his point that our current tax system is “ridiculous.”
“Ironically, what prompted our Founding Fathers to write both these documents [the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution] was a crushing tax system that we colonists felt disconnected from. My, how things have changed,” Morrissey said. He went on to state that rather than focusing on health care, America’s leadership ought to be focusing on a “tax code overhaul,” which Morrissey contended is “decades overdue.”
“Why is the tax code so burdensome?” Morrissey asked. He went on to enumerate a few bizarre tax laws, including a bill called the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act (H.R. 3501), that would allow tax deductions for pet expenses. He went on to explain that these tax deductions serve one purpose: they give the American people a reason to invest themselves in the present tax code. Why support an overhaul of the system when the HAPPY Act will let you deduct your pet expenses from the present program?
“The tax code allows Congress to conduct social engineering, to try to push us into behaviors that they like, and to limit the choices of our lives,” Morrissey argued. “This is the reason why the tax code as it presently exists is one of the worst aspects of American life. It is sapping our freedom, it is sapping our liberty, it is sapping our ability to make our own choices,” said Morrissey amid applause from the audience.
Morrissey went on to state that the present American tax code is a danger to America. “The existing tax code gives Congress too much power for a legislature in a free society,” he argued, echoing statements by past Founding Fathers on the need to limit the powers of taxation in a free land.
“We need to make ourselves loud and clear on the subject of tax reform,” Morrissey said, urging the audience to begin now to let their voices be heard on this issue. “We need to tell [the politicians] we don’t need Congress to tell us how to live and to make our choices. We need to tell them to start getting serious about tax reform,” Morrissey concluded.
Allie Winegar Duzett is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.