Anyone watching Washington over the last few weeks could be forgiven for believing the entire income tax system is broken. It clearly isn’t bringing in enough money to match congressional spending, it is full of loopholes, special deals, and hidden exemptions that allow politically connected mega-corporations to claim tax exemptions that are denied average businesses just trying to scrape by, and it is at the crux of a class warfare battle that is tearing our nation apart. In fact, some might argue that the malfunctioning of our income tax system is the reason we have almost all our other problems. If only we could fix it.
But, the problem is that the income tax system isn’t broken. In fact, it is doing exactly what it was designed and intended to do; undermining our free market, capitalist system with the ultimate objective of destroying it so a state-controlled, socialism-based, economy can take its place.
Karl Marx didn’t invent the progressive income tax, but he was one of the first to articulate its usefulness in undermining the economic system he hated: capitalism. In fact, Marx said, “My object in life is to dethrone God, and destroy capitalism.” According to Marx, and later Lenin, the advantage of a progressive income tax system is that it allows those in control to debauch the currency and make economic success a matter of luck and political connection, rather than skill or hard work.
As a side "benefit," the progressive income tax system is an excellent tool in promoting class warfare. FDR was famously quoted as having told two democratic senators in 1937 that using the progressive income tax to support claims of the rich not paying “their fair share” would be worth “at least 10,000,000 (votes).” And like our current denizens in Washington, he played class warfare to the hilt and into a three term presidency.
So, two historic proponents of the destruction of capitalism, Marx (through Lenin,) and FDR, both saw the progressive income tax as one of their primary tools for accomplishing that goal. In addition, both saw the progressive income tax as a way of promoting the class warfare necessary for the social upheaval they both thought necessary to overturn the existing order. And their ideological brethren have continued their work through the intervening years.
The multiple crises we are seeing in Washington and in our economy (budget deficits, national debt, hyper-partisanship, increasingly destructive and acrimonious social strife, pitting of the rich against the poor against the middle class, the unrestricted and economically destructive printing of money by our federal government, just to name a few,) are the predictable, and inevitable, consequences of ideologues using our progressive income tax system to advance their agenda.
Those who are dissatisfied with what is happening in Washington and our economy, and ascribe it to a “broken tax system,” are misdiagnosing the situation. The situation is precisely what a major portion of our political class worked to develop and want to maintain. Scott Rasmussen enumerated some of the many ways elected officials and bureaucrats benefit from the current income tax system, and, most importantly, how the “problems” seen by the majority of Americans are, from the viewpoint of elected officials and bureaucrats, desirable and profitable. Economic chaos, gross inequity in application of the tax code, hyper-partisanship and class warfare, and an economy that is failing to provide the expected opportunities for advancement and wealth creation are an environment in which politicians and socialist bureaucrats are capable of most efficiently advancing their ideological agenda.
Our progressive income tax system isn’t broken, so attempting to “fix” it is only going to make things worse. If we are serious about getting rid of the many woes of Washington and restoring our once great economy, we are going to have to get rid of our progressive income tax system and replace it with a modern alternative that promotes American values, instead of working to undermine them.