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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tax Judo: Eliminate April 15th Deadline to Dilute Tea Bags

Break out your tri-corner hats... and $15. Instead of a nice public meeting at the park, the local Tea Bags are moving uptown, taking their April 15th party to the swankier (and smaller) digs at the Sioux Falls Holiday Inn International Room.

International... like Europe? Uh oh. The "movement" just can't control message, can it?

Our fellow citizens in Rapid City are at least taking their tax tirade to the park again.

Even without attending the April 15th rallies, I get plenty of tax angst from the regular media, listening to the inevitable stories about people hurrying to file their taxes at the last minute. I miss out on this communal stress: this year, as usual, I filed my 1040 online in one February evening. The refund popped electronically into our account in early March and has already paid off our insurers and bought supper at El Vaquero. For the Heidelbergers of Lake Herman, April 15th is just another day.

But for many Americans, April 15th serves as a focal point for anti-government grouchiness. Conjuring fears of tyrannical bureaucrats in Washington and jackbooted thugs knocking down your door is easy on a day when lots of people are worried a poorly carried 2 could get them audited.

And then it hits me: here's an easy, cynical, Machiavellian machination the Obama Administration could use to defuse the Tea Parties. Revise the tax code to create a rotating schedule for income tax deadlines. Do it like South Dakota license plates: last name starts with A or B, you file in January; C, D, or E, February; and so on. Or do it by state or region or Social Security Number or some other rational scheme to spread out the deadlines.

Get rid of April 15th as everyone's tax day, and Fox News and their astroturf lose a day around which to whip up a media circus. Plus, we spread out some employment, creating a more stable job market and revenue for accountants and tax specialists. We smooth out the workload for our public servants at the IRS, who can level the mountain of spring paperwork and steadily process 1040s throughout the year.

Or we could just replace the income tax with a national sales tax. Would the Tea Bags be less sour if every day at the grocery store was tax day? :-)


  1. National sales tax. I love those words.

  2. Crap! Thanks for reminding me I have to do my taxes tonight!

  3. Cory,
    to answer you simply and succinctly, NO. Increasing smoke and mirrors will not placate people that are mad about tyranny.

    -- Scott Burton

  4. "Or we could just replace the income tax with a national sales tax ..."

    Cory, you come off like Mike Huckabee!

    The key word is "replace." It will never happen that way.

  5. Here is an interesting piece from Bruce Bartlett concerning the tea baggers and taxes.


  6. Bartlett says,

    According to calculations by the Joint Committee on Taxation, a congressional committee, tax filers with adjusted gross incomes between $40,000 and $50,000 have an average federal income tax burden of just 1.7%. Those with adjusted gross incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 have an average burden of 4.2%.

    According to my calculations, without divulging my actual adjusted gross income here, I can vouch for the fact that either this statement constitutes a kettle of cooties, or else I need to hire a sharp accountant and file amended returns for the last twenty-five or thirty years -- and then retire to Monaco.

    Bartlett wants a value-added tax on top of all our other taxes. Nuff said.

    I'm not quite to the teabagger level yet, but I'll keep working my way down the intellectual ladder, and maybe, along with sufficient degeneration of my dilithium brain power pack, I'll get there pretty soon.

  7. Stan . The key word in the quote is average. Since the tax credits in the stimulus package have been in effect,the average has dropped dramatically from where it was a few years ago. Here are links to the IRS and the joint committee on taxation, if you would like to explore without spin.




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