I've been paying taxes for over 50 years, and have often wondered why they were so complex and often unfair!
I've got a hunch there are a lot of other American tax-payers who feel the same way.
The question of the day is, what would a fair tax system look like?
The way I understand it we currently have a progressive income tax system. That means whenever our incomes increase, our taxes go up.
Some people don't like a progressive tax because it treats people differently: those at the top are charged with paying more, as a percentage of income, than those at the bottom.
Upon closer examination, what really happens is that the wealthy have tax laywers who see to it that they get write-offs in abundance. More than enough to off-set the original tax.
Warren Buffet is a good example.
Then there's the Flat Tax system. Russia is considered to be the world's largest economy with a flat tax. A lot of people feel it's more fair because it's across the board.
What really makes the flat tax approach so attractive to some is that there are no taxes on capital gains or investments.
Finally we have the FAIR TAX. It's a formal proposal rather than a generic term. It differs from both the progressive income tax system and the flat tax in a very dramatic way: it is not a tax on income.
The FAIR TAX would replace all existing income taxes - as well as payroll taxes - with a single consumption tax.
So there you have it. I guess I'm not a very good bean-counter because I really don't know which system would be the best way to go.
All I know for sure is the current system is corrupt and the rich are getting richer and the poor...poorer.
Time for me to walk on down the road...