April 16, 2007 -- Every year, it is more difficult to decide what to say about the evils of our current tax system since most of it has already been said. So let's focus instead on to whom we should say it.
The presidential campaigns have already begun, and by Tax Day next year candidates for president and Congress will be seeking our votes. It's time to seek something from them. This is an opportunity to confront those candidates and politicians—in letters to the editor, on radio and TV call-in shows, at campaign rallies and town meetings—and ask them some very pointed questions:
Ask candidates and politicians, "How can you support the immoral so-called 'progressive' tax system that penalizes people with higher tax rates for their virtues, that is, for creating more wealth and making larger profits than others?"
Ask candidates and politicians, "What kind of idiot's game are you perpetuating: a game where you pick everyone's pocket in the form of taxes, redistribute everyone's wealth in a giant political free-for-all where those with the most political power get the biggest cut of the loot, and pay out billions of our dollars to bureaucrats to administer this racket?"
Ask candidates and politicians, "How the hell can you justify taking money from the citizens of Kansas, Nebraska, and Illinois to pay for road-building and welfare in California and New York, and take money from the citizens of California and New York to pay subsidies to farmers in Kansas, Nebraska, and Illinois?"
Ask candidates and politicians, "How dare you pose as our benefactors because you've thrown us some handouts, which are merely the crumbs of the bread you've taken from us?"
Ask candidates and politicians, "Where in the Constitution are you given the authority for most of your spending?"
Ask candidates and politicians, "Where in the Constitution are you given the authority for most of your spending? And don't give us the old 'general welfare clause' argument. In case you've never read it, the Constitution is a document of limited and enumerated powers and most of what you spend our money on is not in the authorized list in Article I, Section 8."
Ask candidates and politicians, "Do you plan to continue to support this callous, complicated, and convoluted tax system that forces us to waste hundreds of billions of our dollars to comply with? Don't you think we have better things to do with our money than to support your incompetence?"
Ask candidates and politicians, "How do you plan to undo the damage you've done to the American character? You offer handouts like a pusher giving heroin to a child; you stoke the flames of envy, so that the crybabies you've helped create will demand more of their neighbor's wealth, all the while depriving them, through taxes, of the ability to care for themselves like proud, responsible individuals."
Fellow citizens, it's time to turn on those who have turned on us. Use this tax day to recommit yourself to dogging candidates and politicians until they bring down this indefensible system.
Edward Hudgins writes on political and social issues. He is the editor of Freedom to Trade: Refuting the New Protectionism, Space: The Free Market Frontier, and two books on postal service privatization. His latest collection is entitled An Objectivist Secular Reader. He is director of advocacy for The Atlas Society.