What is with American culture that makes us think that PUNISHMENT is the way to get people to cooperate? What punishment creates – and you can hearken back to your childhood of spank-oriented parents if you need reminding – is better sneaks. The IRS is a perfect example of punishment gone crazy. If you have money you want to protect (and the richer you are, the more you have, naturally) there is a whole cottage industry of lawyers who will help you sneak your way past the IRS. And then, if you get caught, well, you have lots of resources to either fight or pay. And since you kept your tons of money longer, you have significant amounts of cash accumulated to do exactly that.
How come we do not incentivize taxpayers? If I got a 5-percent break on my taxes for filing on time, I would definitely do it. And if I got an 8-percent break for filing EARLY, I’d do it. But as it is, the government spends wads of cash PUNISHING people – well, they have to find them first, of course, which costs even more – who are forever thinking up new ways to sneak out of their tax obligations.
Personally, I don’t think we pay enough taxes in this country. Yet there is incessant whining about it. And if I had ALL my health care covered by a single-payer plan, I would be very willing to pay more myself. What do I get now for my taxes? New aircraft carriers to float around other people’s neighborhoods to intimidate them. Welfare for white Christian girls in the South whose parents never informed then that sex makes you pregnant. Idiot Cathy McMorris’s salary, grrr.
Count me as a tax advocate. But I would like to be an INCENTIVIZED tax advocate, just to give me SOMETHING to feel better about.