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OPINION

Pannebecker: The best tax reform for tax day

Brian Pannebecker

As “tax day” approaches, many Americans are scrambling to gather records, receipts, and documents to file with the government before the deadline.

Last year, the average individual spent $273 just to have their return prepared. Employers probably spent much more. But most small-businesses can’t afford to hire a team of accountants to find breaks and loopholes that have been inserted into the code by politicians who are lobbied to give breaks to their clients.

It’s a complex and corrupt system, now consisting of thousands of pages of instructions and explanations. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As government’s appetite for spending continues to grow, so do the taxes on workers and job providers. Why does Washington penalize workers and employers for earning and creating wealth?

The current corrupt system continues because the people in charge of that system, the voters, allow it to. It is up to us to demand change!

Fortunately, there is a tax reform proposal that has been introduced by Rep. Rob Woodall of Georgia and has 73 co-sponsors. It is sitting in the Ways and Means Committee waiting for a vote, but needs a push from taxpayers to get it to the floor of Congress.

Woodall’s FairTax proposal would abolish the IRS, begin the process of repealing the 16th amendment, and end virtually all taxes on income and employers. Tax revenue is replaced by instituting a federal consumption tax to be collected at the retail level, just like current sales taxes. It is designed to be revenue neutral, raising the same amount of tax revenue as the convoluted corrupt system it would replace, while eliminating the loopholes and corruption of the old system.

If you are not an accountant, a professional lobbyist, or a politician, your only concern should be simplification and returning the control of the wealth in this country to those who created it: the workers, entrepreneurs, investors, and job creators. Work should be rewarded, not punished. If you want less of something, tax it.

The Founding Fathers designed our Constitution to hold our lawmakers accountable. But we have ceded power to members of Congress and lobbyists who work for special interest groups. If we want to return power to the working people of our country, we need to start by abolishing the IRS, ending taxation of our work and investments, and reminding the politicians in Washington that they work for us.

Brian Pannebecker is spokesman for Michigan-Freedom-to-Work.