(NaturalNews) It's tax season in the U.S. again, and when it comes to discussions about the financial burden on the economy from the complexity of the current U.S. tax code, most of the criticisms focus on the number of dollars (or hours) spent in compliance. According to a study from the Tax Foundation
, U.S. taxpayers spend over 6 billion hours and over $256 billion
working to comply with the current tax code. That's a lot of dollars and hours, but it may pale in comparison to yet another cost: The health consequences of the stress
caused by the U.S. tax code.
Preparing your taxes is stressful for lots of reasons. First, there's just the time and frustration in trying to track down receipts, fill out the forms and even translate IRS instructions into plain English. Nobody in their right mind enjoys this job, and it takes a toll on human physiology. Stress causes immune suppression
, for one thing. Adrenal depletion can result in hormonal disorders, sleep disorders and even an increased risk of heart attacks.
But that's just the beginning of the story. The greater cost in tax code compliance may come from the fear factor
The U.S. tax code, you see, is enforced in large part by fear: Fear of an audit, fear of arrest, fear of making an honest mistake that gets you into trouble. Even when you make a full-on attempt to prepare your taxes as honestly and accurately as you can, it's a well-known fact that no two accountants will ever arrive at the same dollar figure that you owe. So how can there be a "right" answer on your taxes? And if nobody is right, then everybody must be wrong... right? And being wrong can get you into trouble. So this fear of making a mistake
takes another huge toll on your physiology.
Taxes are taxing to your health, too
To my knowledge, no one has made any scientific attempt to calculate the health costs of tax code compliance
. But it's not difficult to imagine that the additional stress and fear that is placed upon every American by the IRS
must have some sort of measurable cost in terms of additional health care expenses. Those health care expenses, ironically, are often paid for by taxpayers
So we are paying for ourselves to be stressed out and then possibly end up in the hospital where we cover each other's health care costs by paying the very taxes that stressed us out in the first place.
What's wrong with this picture?
Is there a less taxing solution?
I'm not a tax protestor. I believe that in an honest and just society, each earner should pitch in their fair share for services that help the next generation. For example, I've always believed that a college education should be free to everyone. It is paid by one generation as a gift to the next. This makes good sense to me.
I'm not so fond of paying taxes to fund sick-care systems, imperialist wars, the failed "war on drugs" or the salaries of crooked politicians, but that's another topic altogether. The point is, I'm not against the idea of paying some fair share
of tax if it's spent somewhat wisely.
What I am against is this heavy cost of compliance with the tax code
: Billions of hours wasted. Hundreds of billions of dollars down the drain. Possibly tens of millions of people stressed out and who knows how many hundreds of millions of dollars wasted in postage, paper, computers and IRS employees whose job it is to sort through all these returns.
There's got to be a better way that's still fair, right?
That's what the Fair Tax
is all about. Check it out at www.FairTax.org
The Fair Tax is a simple, fair system of taxation that takes only about 10 minutes to calculate each year. It abolishes the IRS and takes away the fear
of making an honest mistake in preparing your taxes. And most importantly of all, the Fair Tax saves America 6 billion hours
, hundreds of millions of dollars and an unimaginable amount of stress and fear that's currently part of the tax
The Fair Tax website is staging an "online tax revolt" today, by the way. You might want to check out their website to see what's happening: www.FairTax.org
But there's an even bigger question here...
As long as we're talking about the tax code, by the way, I'd like to remind you of something that most Americans find absolutely shocking once they grasp it. I mentioned this almost two years ago in a series of articles following the U.S. government's unprecedented financial bailout of Wall Street.
Do you remember that fiasco? The U.S. Treasury simply created $1 trillion
in new money
(out of thin air) and used it to bail out Bear Stearns and other huge Wall Street investment houses that were deemed "too big to fail." Now where, exactly, did the U.S. Treasury get that money?
The answer is they just created it
. They didn't have to run around "collecting" it from anyone. They didn't pass the hat and say, "Please donate to the rich bankers so they can keep their million-dollar bonuses." Nope, they just wished that one trillion dollars into existence and then spent it.
Now think about this carefully: The total tax income for the U.S. government
in 2009 was roughly $2 trillion, or twice the size of the first Wall Street bailout. Now, if the U.S. government can simply create money out of thin air and spend it on whatever it wants, why do they need to collect taxes at all?
Why pay taxes at all? Why have an IRS? Why spend all that time, money and effort collecting taxes from the working class when Washington can just wave a magic wand and create $2 trillion out of nothing?
The real purpose of the U.S. tax code will surprise you
Do you find it interesting that Washington will create one trillion dollars to bail out a few rich banksters on Wall Street, but they won't create two trillion dollars for the rest of the hundreds of millions of Americans who work real
Once you understand this point, you suddenly get it: The U.S. tax code is not about raising money to fund the federal government
. That's just the cover story
for the tax code. In reality, the federal government can -- and does -- create all the money it needs to pay for everything it needs. It does not need YOUR money at all.
Almost no one understands this. If you ask 100 American households "What is the purpose of the U.S. tax code?" you will get probably 99 people who say something like, "To fund the activities of the government. To build roads and schools..." and so on.
But this is dead wrong on two accounts. First, most of the money paid to the federal government is actually spent on three things: War, disease and debt (http://www.naturalnews.com/026686_America_na...
). Almost nothing is spent on schools, roads, national parks and other items that truly enhance quality of life.
Secondly, if the U.S. government really wanted to build more schools and roads, it could simply create the money to do so
in exactly the same way it created the money to bail out rich Wall Street banksters. It can literally do this overnight. "Money" in Washington is nothing more than an entry in a computer. Both the Fed and the U.S. Treasury can, through various mechanisms, create a trillion dollars (or ten trillion) in 24 hours.
States cannot do this because they do not control the money supply, but the Fed can do it quite easily -- and it does when necessary to bail out the wealthiest of the wealthy who sit at the top of the financial food chain. (Do not confuse the Fed with the U.S. Treasury, by the way. Even though the Fed controls the U.S. money supply, it is a private corporation that is not publicly owned.)
A transfer of wealth from the working class to the wealthy class
So now I ask you, what is the purpose of a highly complex, punitive tax code that puts an entire nation through a needless exercise in wasted time, wasted money and devastating mental stress?
Obviously the purpose has nothing to do with funding Washington, as we've already discussed. So what could the purpose be?
Think about it. What happens when the working class pays taxes to the federal government? What really takes place is a transfer of wealth
And to whom? To those who make the most money from the federal government, of course. Who is that? The executives of the largest corporations that make hundreds of billions of dollars from U.S. government contracts -- such as contracts to purchase medications under the new health care reform laws.
Ever hear the phrase "the pharmaceutical military industrial complex?" That's where the money is ultimately being transferred: To drug companies, weapons manufacturers, government construction contractors and other large corporations that cash in on the big government handout that's funded by your tax dollars
The tax code, you see, is really just a transfer of wealth
from the working poor to the stinking rich. It is a way to keep the poor people poor
while making sure the rich stay rich. The tax code, in essence, is a social engineering tool
And Big Government is the vehicle by which this social engineering tool is enforced. The result is an annual government-sponsored confiscation (theft) of money from those who work (you and me) to those who make money from other people's work (the big corporate executives).
The secrets of the tax code revealed
Remember this: Government cannot give to one person without taking from another first. Every tax dollar awarded to some giant corporation on a government contract is a tax dollar that is confiscated from somebody who actually works for a living -- people like you and me who put in our hours, pay our dues and try to make a positive difference in the world even while we're being jacked year after year by a tax system that has no real purpose other than to soak the working class for everything they've got.
Once you really get this, you understand more about the U.S. tax code than just about anybody in Washington. Try explaining this to your friends or neighbors and see how utterly ignorant most people are when it comes to the money supply
, taxation, debt and the economy. Virtually no one has any real clue how it all works, so they just keep paying their taxes blindly and obediently, year after year, hoping against all odds that their dollars are going somewhere useful.
They aren't. They're going into the pockets of the filthy rich executives who run weapons manufacturers and drug companies (among other such things).
Remember: I'm not against paying my fair share of taxes. But if I'm paying my share, I would much prefer it go to something useful like supporting schools, playgrounds, parks and national forests. Sadly, a whopping 87 percent of all federal spending today is spent on war, disease and debt. That's leaves a measly 13 percent to run everything else. (http://www.naturalnews.com/026686_America_na...
I wish I could pay my taxes and direct it to just the programs I wish to support. That would be a cool idea, huh? Such a commonsense idea, though, will never be allowed because the taxpayers would never support most of the current spending programs dreamed up by Washington bureaucrats.
If you can stomach it, here's the Wikipedia entry on the U.S. federal budget: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_f...
Don't forget to file your taxes on April 15th, by the way. Filthy rich corporate executives in the military and pharmaceutical industries are counting on you to pay your fair share into their golden parachute retirements.Sources for this story include:http://usgovinfo.about.com/b/2006/01/10/tax-...