/* Am I A Pundit Now?: Flat Tax Cure For Oppression

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Flat Tax Cure For Oppression

I have always thought that the federal tax code 'disenfranchises' citizens by being so large and complex that no ordinary citizen could possibly take the time to properly understand it.

I don't mean literal disenfranchisment by being deprived of the vote, but a disenfranchisement of a citizen being alienated from their own governing process by a set of laws so impenetrable, that taxpayers must often hire a guru such as an accountant or tax lawyer just to figure out what to pay the government. In effect, you must pay an accountant or lawyer 'tax' just for the privilege of not screwing yourself over while figuring out what you owe. It is a form of minor oppression, but an oppression nonetheless, that puts a 'priestly caste' between the citizen and an understanding of their own government.

Take at look at the sheer size of the United States Code sometime. Or the CFRs, the Code of Federal Regulations. We live in a technically advanced society governed by the rule of law, and I understand that the size, breadth and depth of federal law is necessary. The downside of this is that it makes good citizenship harder and harder all the time, because it becomes harder and harder for the good citizen to even know what the rules are that governs his conduct.

Therefore the simplicity of the flat tax alone is a virtue sufficient to recommend it, regardless of what other disadvantages it may have. The tax process is the average citizen's most direct contact with the federal government - and so what a wonderful starting place for simplification it is.

Breaching the gap between citizen and government is only one of the myriad benefits of flat taxes, as explained in this analysis by Will Franklin.

7:39 PM | | |