The arrival of collectivism’s most practiced magick ritual, Tax Day, always inspires myriad stories about the burdens the state places on our neighbors, and it often gets a lot of folks commenting that, if politicians and their supporters think their plans are so great, then why don’t they try them on the free market to prove it?
And this Tax Day is much the same, but on a bigger scale.
A new American Action Forum report by Dan Bosch, AAF’s Director of Regulatory Policy, explains that this year, Americans will sacrifice 6.5 billion hours of their time -- and a record amount of money tied to that -- to comply with the demigod of the IRS.
Costs grew dramatically from 2021 to 2022, topping $200 billion for the first time. The $18.4 billion increase is the biggest year-over-year change since 2018, when costs exceeded 2017 levels by $24.3 billion.
And that, of course, is just what is on record with the official offices to which people turn in order to comply.
The American Action Forum (AAF) tracks the cost of complying with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) paperwork. Updated quarterly, the tracker uses data on Information Collection Reviews (ICRs) from the RegInfo.gov website from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).
And Bosch notes that the salamander-like IRS paperwork, which politicians and IRS bureaucrats constantly seem to change, edit, reconfigure, and expand, became even more byzantine over the last year.
The largest increase came from a major change in the Qualified Business Income Deduction (QBID) estimate. In 2021, the IRS estimated just 10,000 responses and 30,000 hours. That estimate applied only to the simplified QBID, however. Over the past year, the agency added a longer version for more complicated deductions, including four schedules – or forms that must be prepared to calculate certain types of income or deductions. Total estimated responses and hours skyrocketed as a result, to 41.4 million and 336 million, respectively, at a total cost of $12.2 billion.
Bosch and the AAF team also provide some pretty stunning graphic illustrations of the changes and the growth of compliance costs over time, adding:
And he notes that Americans weren’t as overwhelmed by the fed compliance ritual last year:
Following a nearly 25 percent drop in the total estimated hours spent complying with tax paperwork in 2021, hours rebounded somewhat to 6.53 billion. The same three ICRs that provided the largest cost increases contributed to the increase in total hours.
This year, the group estimates, Americans will spend more than $200 billion just trying to pay their taxes.
That's an insane amount of added expense—in terms of time and money—being put toward no productive ends whatsoever.
And he adds:
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, a fiscally conservative nonprofit that advocates for lower taxes and flatter rates, tells Reason, income is taxed ‘once when you earn it, again if you invest and receive interest or capital gains, again if you invested in a company that is subject to the corporate income tax, again if you are imprudent enough to die,’ he says. ‘If they taxed your income one time—when you received it as income—it would be simpler and be less damaging to your privacy.’
But the entire paradigm of taxation is an invasion of privacy, and once that moral Pandora’s Box is opened by the acquisitive agents of the state, once they assume that power to steal, all bets are off. The taxpayer already has been made a subject, and the power-wielder has set the precedent to do whatever he or she desires – all, of course, under the twisted guise of “helping you” by threatening you and issuing you commands to pay and hand over your private financial info, in any form they demand.
And, of course, politicians ceaselessly manipulate the tax code to “train” Americans as if they are animals responding to BF Skinner-like taxation bells. The government thugs create “tax breaks” and “allowances” and “credits” that sometimes are real credits and sometimes (as with the Earned Income Tax Credit) are forms of wealth redistribution.
Sometimes the political partiality and bias leans towards “green energy” choices, and other times it leans towards having children, and, hey, who would not want to get some cash back from the mafia for some personal choice in his or her life?
The problem is not the response of the victim, though one would hope that the victims realize politicians are attempting manipulation of all kinds.
The problem is the fact that politicians and those who support them believe that they have a right to the fruits of other people’s labor.
And this year, Joe Biden will see a record high take of that.
The federal government collected a record $2,121,987,000,000 in total taxes through the first six months of fiscal 2022 (October through March), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.
This also marked the first time that federal tax collections have exceeded $2 trillion in the first half of a fiscal year.
This is economically disastrous, happening even as the government borrows and spends TRILLIONS in out-of-thin-air Federal Reserve Notes euphemistically called “Dollars”, increasing our costs through inflation, while their lockdowns and restrictions (especially on the trucking and shipping industries) crush the free-market machinery people have built over generations in America.
Taking a wholistic view of this news about compliance time and costs demands that we add that to the entire dark vista of government thievery. They steal the time of our lives. They steal our energy and attention and all of what we earn to improve our lives, and they have the gall to tell us it’s for our own good.
Why don’t they let us decide that, and let us redirect our attention and man-hours to our own lives and loves?