There’s probably nothing cornier or more predictable than a conservative politician issuing some generic statement on so-called Tax Day, which is April 15, the due date for filing federal income taxes.
Of course, today is April 15, and our new junior U.S. Senator James Lankford has weighed in with a serious tome. Drum roll, please. It goes like this:
The federal government’s overly complex tax code, which contains over 4 million words and has changed over 4,600 times in the last 12 years, is a burden on all of us.
As we conclude the first year of the individual mandate of Obamacare in the federal tax code, we see the consequences the failed law has on American taxpayers. With only four percent of enrolled households receiving the correct Obamacare subsidy and half of the enrollees forced to repay a portion of the aid, Obamacare has added a new layer of pain to Tax Day.
We cannot continue down a path where the federal tax code continues to grow in complexity and length. The IRS gains power in the complexity of the tax code. Tax reform will not only simplify the code, it will also encourage economic growth by keeping the government out of every business. Tax reform will also confront the rampant tax fraud and identify theft that has plagued our nation.
The Obamacare reference, which makes no mention of how more people are receiving medical care, is so predictable and political and boring that even Lankford’s fellow conservatives’ eyes must have glazed over if they took the time to read this mush.
But it’s what’s left out that matters. Why didn’t Lankford, for example, acknowledge that his salary and benefits are paid with taxpayer money. It could go something like this:
I want to thank American taxpayers today for paying me $174,000 plus benefits a year.
U.S. Rep. Steve Russell, who won Lankford’s District 5 seat in the November election, has his own take on Tax Day or does he?
Every year the United States tax code gets longer and more complicated. This past year saw the addition of over 3,000 pages of legal guidance added to IRS.gov on the tax ramifications of Obamacare alone. Also, with the IRS complaining they are too underfunded to properly pursue the billions of dollars in owed back taxes, it is beyond time to redo our entire tax system.
“I stand with many in Congress in support of the Fair Tax, a national tax on consumption to replace the income tax, which would help broaden the tax base and simplify the tax process for all citizens. We cannot continue failed policies just because they have become entrenched in our society. Let us develop a strategy that will work for Americans, strengthen our economy and help pay down our growing national debt.”
Note the eyes-gazing-over reference to Obamacare again. But it’s the Fair Tax mention that deserves attention here. That’s the proposal to replace the federal income tax with a whopping 23 percent federal sales tax (some argue it’s actually around 30 percent) on purchases, which would set in motion one of the largest black markets for all goods in the history of humankind and place a huge burden on the most impoverished in our culture and also the middle class.
I wonder if Russell is thankful for U.S. taxpayers paying his $174,000 salary for dispensing this type of wisdom on Tax Day.
Anyway, happy Tax Day! Here’s my statement:
I don’t consider paying taxes one of the fun things I do on a regular basis, but I do see how important it is to the operations of our federal government. I also think our elected federal government officials should be grateful for their taxpayer-funded salaries, which are quite high in terms of the national average. The fact politicians such as Lankford and Russell don’t have the decency and gratitude to thank taxpayers for their income calls into question any arguments they make about taxes in general.