Tax Day

April 17, 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you. 

And now for today’s commentary— 

I hope you paid Uncle Sam your taxes. This is a difficult time of year – just trying to get all of the tax records together and then the worst part is sending the money in. 

It’s time we did something to reform a Tax Code that is so complicated that it is 74,000 pages in length. Look back 100 years when the Federal Government started taxing income. That tax code was a far cry from today’s. It was 4 pages in length and levied at the rate of 3%. You may be paying 35% today – not 3%. The Tax Code brings in 2.5 trillion dollars. We have a corporate tax rate today at 35%, which is the highest in the developed world. Uncle Sam extracts a huge amount of money from all of us. In fact, effectively, we have to work 4 months just to earn the money for the IRS. Tax free day is this April 29. After that, you can earn money for yourself and your family. 

How did we get into this situation? Let me give you three reasons. 

In the first place, in this modern day, a power, successful nation like the U.S. can use these resources to provide for national defense, social security, Medicare and Medicaid. In fact, two-thirds of our budget is spent on the above four things. Then, we have all of the different departments (including the Department of Agriculture) – all spending money on all kinds of services. The sequester legislation the last two years has helped to put a lid on the discretionary spending. Thank God! But not on the above four items representing two-thirds of our budget. 

Another serious problem with our mammoth Tax Code is that it is riddled with special tax provisions designed to impose social engineering. We have credits for electric vehicles, taxes on “gas guzzlers,” subsidized flood insurance in flood zones, and yes – subsidized crop insurance. The list goes on and on. Using the Tax Code to accelerate a social engineering goal complicates our Code. 

Finally, the worst reality about the Tax Code is that it is used to buy votes. It is full of loopholes and special breaks. Members of Congress are always pushing legislation to give their voters a special break. It could be a tax deduction for interest payments on a home even if the mortgage is a million dollars. Then, you can deduct the interest on a second home mortgage also. Do you remember “cash for clunkers” designed to get rid of all inefficient cars? Then, our government destroyed the old cars. What a waste. They were still useable. 

With all of our spending and tax loopholes, is it any wonder that our national debt is headed to 27 trillion dollars by 2024? 

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C.