Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsSales Tax

Tax Codes: Equitable and Understandable

April 17, 2002

In "Only Suckers Pay Taxes" (Commentary, April 14), John Balzar makes a great argument for doing away with the IRS. Our tax codes have become an onerous burden. People and companies are motivated to cheat, and the cost--at a 20% "tax compliance surcharge"--makes the IRS tax collection system terribly inefficient. Besides, "There isn't a single person in the land who believes our tax system is fair or even remotely close to it." It places every citizen in the position of being a potential criminal. Psychologically, it is adversarial in nature, involving antagonistic parties and interests. It just isn't the way to best support the financial needs of our government.

So let's just do away with it and rely on the sales tax. Make the sales tax nonregressive by not taxing sales on food and other essentials. Sounds simple: nonadversarial; easy to administer; those who spend the most, pay the most. And we can get back to just "three pages" of instruction, as was the case when the federal income tax was first introduced in 1913. So what stops us?

George Epstein

Los Angeles

*

The tax laws are too complex. Congress did this to us. How can we make it simpler? I would like to see a legal requirement that constitutional officers of the U.S. (president, vice president, Cabinet members), along with members of Congress, be required to do their own tax returns. They can use any of the IRS-published materials and a hand calculator. Otherwise, no other help. No computer software. No lawyer or accountant. Just what the IRS supplies. And show us their results and their work. If they are smart enough to write the tax code they should be smart enough to use the tax code on their own.

Michael Scofield

Anaheim

*

No doubt there are people clever enough to avoid paying taxes, but Balzar's whole premise--the rich get away with a free ride--is absurd. Fortunately, it isn't even debatable, because you can look it up.

Just this week an Associated Press story pointed out that those with incomes in the top 5% pay 55% of all income taxes. The bottom 50% of wage earners pay 4.4% of all taxes. Oh, the inequity!

Jim Bass

Thousand Oaks

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|