Senator Ted Cruz told CPAC 2014 on Thursday the government needs abolish the IRS. There should be a flat tax, he said. Americans should be able to file their taxes on a postcard.
Cruz first called for a flat tax in 2013 as the IRS scandal picked up steam. “We ought to abolish the IRS and instead move to a simple flat tax,” he said on Fox News. “Put down how much you earn, put down a deduction for charitable contributions, for home mortgage, and how much you owe. It ought to be just a simple, one-page postcard.”
Mr. Cruz’s proposal would not, however, be a true flat tax. Strictly speaking, a flat tax would eliminate all deductions, tax credits, and other tax brackets, including deductions for mortgages and charitable contributions. Under a pure flat tax system, only earned income would be taxed. Dividends, interest on savings, and capital gains would not be taxed.
Republicans, including tea party Republicans, are unfortunately not philosophically opposed to taxation. “They have no problem taxing the American people to fund foreign aid, bloated defense budgets, U.S. military adventures around the world, the CIA, FBI, and anything related to law enforcement or homeland security, faith-based welfare programs, educational vouchers, abstinence education programs, farm subsidies, the space program, the war on drugs, and various conservative pork projects,” writes Laurence M. Vance.
Instead of a flat tax, Senator Cruz and the Republicans should call for the 16th Amendment to be repealed.
“Could America exist without an income tax? The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of its history. Prior to 1913, the government operated with revenues raised through tariffs, excise taxes, and property taxes, without ever touching a worker’s paycheck,” writes Ron Paul.
“Is it impossible to end the income tax? I don’t believe so. In fact, I believe a serious groundswell movement of disaffected taxpayers is growing in this country. Millions of Americans are fed up with the current tax system, and they will bring pressure on Congress.”
Senator Cruz and the Republicans should get behind this movement and call for not merely abolishing the IRS bureaucracy, but eliminating income taxation altogether.