Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Tom Purcell does a good job cataloguing
the current absurdity of the income tax. (I can't
his suggested remedies, which would treat only the symptoms and not the underlying
disease.) My "favorite", because I really felt it this year, was the
ridiculous amount of time that we all have to waste (or pay someone else to waste) preparing our returns.
The tax code is incredibly complicated -- so complicated that, according to the National Taxpayers Union, Americans spend 7.64 billion hours and $227.1 billion complying with the tax laws every year.Purcell goes on to note that the tax code, originally only sixteen pages long, now tips the scales at 75,000 pages.
The American life expectancy is currently just over seventy eight and a half years. Let's be generous and apply it to everyone, just to see how much time we lose each year, measured in human lives:
7.64 billion hours doing taxes x 1 year/8765.81 man-hours x 1 life/78.64 years = 11,083 man-lives each year.The government bans or severely restricts access to many things that cost far fewer lives each year. It speaks volumes that there isn't a frenzy to abolish taxation.
This is not to say that the government should be in the business of prohibiting people from risky behavior that harms no one else, or that equivalent lives lost is a guide to its proper role. The fundamental problem is that the government is violating -- rather than protecting -- our rights. The fact that it might as well be taking over 11,000 lives per year merely illustrates the extent of the problem. And this doesn't even account for the time it took to earn the looted money or the what else it might have cost to prepare the taxes!