George Graham

It’s Time to Scrap America’s Inefficient Tax Code

If it were up to me, there would be no income tax. I see it as an unwarranted imposition on citizens, forcing us to devote a lot of time and effort to collecting money for Uncle Sam. If the government wants our money, they should collect it themselves.

And taxes should be collected as close to the source as possible – from producers and importers, not from consumers.

But that battle was lost long ago. And the results are devastating.

I believe the well-meant objective was to ensure that the rich pay a larger share of their loot than the poor. But that has been subverted by generations of lobbyists who have finagled exemptions for all kinds of special interests and by the emergence of offshore havens that let wealthy individuals and multinational corporations move money around the planet to avoid taxation.

As it has evolved there’s nothing “progressive” about the income tax. Instead of ensuring that the more you make the more you pay, it has created a jungle of red tape in which about half of the nation’s income earners pay no tax at all.

It’s no wonder America is facing a 14-trillion-dollar national debt and a trillion-dollar-plus annual deficit.

The Republicans are embracing the “crisis” as an excuse to shred the social safety net. They argue that the richest and most powerful country on earth can no longer afford to provide health care for its aged, food for its hungry or schooling for its young. And they say the way to recovery is to lower taxes on the rich.

They want to slash government spending to the bone in hopes of stemming the flow of red ink.

The fact is that this approach would actually make the crisis worse because it would starve the economic recovery and create a downward spiral as declining tax revenue leads to more debt and more belt tightening – which would lead to declining tax revenue… and so on.

Meanwhile, the government leaves a trillion dollars a year on the table in the form of income tax exemptions – from mortgage interest to tax-free investments. And billions more flow through gaping loopholes in the tax code.

While you’ve been digging deep to come up with your taxes this year, global giants like General Electric, Boeing, Verizon and Bank of America haven’t paid a dime to Uncle Sam.

When the amount of income tax you pay is determined by the skill of the accountant you can afford, I say it’s time to deep-six the tax code and start over.

We would probably find that the “debt crisis” is not caused by too much government spending but by too little government revenue.

The looters are running rampant in America, diverting huge amounts of money that should be going to the public treasury into their own pockets.

And the Republicans not only want to allow this robbery to continue, they actually want to give the looters a helping hand.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for