More votes, more taxes! (A modest proposal)

Timothy Carney's "Tax bandits will have plenty to celebrate this April 15" was a bit of a distraction from the election -- although it was interesting to read that it's a day when Americans become more conservative:

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - You may celebrate Tax Day next week because you will finally be finished (you hope) with your tax returns. You may even cheer the good news that you will be receiving a refund. But April 15 is the day when nearly every American becomes a bit a more conservative, both because of the burden of preparing tax returns and the drain that taxes impose on family wealth.

For a minority of Americans, however, Tax Day is worth celebrating because taxes -- either the dollars you pay or the complexity of complying with the law (or both) -- are good news for them. I call them tax bandits, and they fit into four categories: the tax spenders, the tax receivers, the tax parasites and the tax shelters.

Everyone likes to bemoan the tax bandits this time of year, but nothing really changes.

As Carney notes, Milton Friedman had an explanation why:

"Why is it that hardly a year passes without a new tax bill? The reason is that so long as a tax bill is under consideration, with many billions of dollars at stake, lobbyists are actively pressing for the introduction or retention of special provisions to benefit their clients. And so long as lobbyists are active, thousand-dollar-a-plate dinners and similar devices will tap them for campaign funds."
In other words, change is impossible because the nature of the system is that people are in a constant war to get more turf, or keep whatever turf they already have.

I'm thinking that instead of going through the attempts at "reform" (which only generate bigger, and better funded lobbying campaigns), why not move Tax Day to Election Day? That way, people could vote according to what's most on their mind at the time.

Of course, some people might think of November as an unpleasant (if not depressing) time of year -- a time when it seems to add insult to injury to force them to pay taxes. Mid April being a time of joy and optimism, with Spring around the corner, paying taxes may seem not quite as onerous as it might be in the late Fall. So if that's a good argument against moving Tax Day to Election Day, then why not simply move Election Day to Tax Day?

(Or the nearest Tuesday.)

Hey, I just looked at my calendar, and in a remarkable coincidence, April 15 happens to be next Tuesday!

So I'll put my money where my mouth is.

I'd be willing to get the election over and my taxes over on the same day!

Hey why not? We've all heard about motor voters. What's wrong with taxpayer voters?

UPDATE: Rachel Lucas is not happy with the current tax system, and (among other things) proposes getting rid of withholding:We keep working harder and harder, trying to make something of ourselves and our lives, and we put up with having a huge portion of the fruits of that labor forcibly stolen from us so that lazy worthless assholes can live in luxury compared to real poor people. Knowing that I'm directly subsidizing lazy fucker's rabbit-like reproductive practices makes me literally sick to my stomach, but I keep doing it.

What's the alternative? Give up and become like them? No can do; I have pride. Refuse to pay the taxes? No can do; I don't want to go to prison. Become an activist? Frankly, judging by the evidence, that's just a waste of time. Nothing is going to change.

It might if paycheck deductions for taxes were eliminated and everyone had to write a check every year like I do.... Via Glenn Reynolds, who adds this:

I think we should move Election Day to April 16. It would make a difference!
Eliminate withholding and move the election date and things would change pretty damned fast.

(It never ceases to amaze me how many people whose taxes are withheld think they are "getting money back" each year. They don't think money they have earned is theirs.)

posted by Eric on 04.11.08 at 11:51 AM


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