I’m not a tax resistor (I fear going to jail and/or having my brains blown out by Da Feds) but I do not like income tax. That’s not to say I dislike the concept entirely, I just feel that the current system is ridiculously complicated and takes far too much money from the average working stiff. I’ll give you an example. I make $36,000 a year. I’m certainly not dirt-poor, but I’m not rolling in greenbacks either. I have no dependants. For my one-room bachelor-pad in Queens I pay $14,400 a year in rent, not including utilities. My federal income taxes, which are ganked from my paycheck before I even get it, amount to just over six grand. Add medicare, social security, and New York state tax, and it ends up at around eight grand. That leaves me with a grand total of less than $14,000 to live on and save for my luxurious retirement.
The vast majority of this money goes to Federal programs, where it will be mired in beaurocracy and probably do very little to serve my own interests, and some ends up in social security which will most likely be bankrupt by the time I’m an old fart. Worse, a great deal of Federal money is simply redistributed to state programs, with Federal stipulations stacked on.
(The US Constitution forbids the Federal government from regulating certain things that are reserved for the states to decide, so instead they bleed the taxpayers dry, ensuring that states no longer have the resources to pay for their own stuff, then offer the money to state governments in exchange for adopting policies that the current administration desires. The drinking age fiasco is a particularly visible and irksome consequence of such policy at the Federal level.)
The government taxes earned interest on bank accounts. Yes, that’s right, if you stick your money in the bank like a responsible person, you are penalized for that 2.5% compounded goodness.
Capital gains are taxed. This can discourage investment.
Dividends are taxed. That is, of course, after the corporate income which they come from is itself taxed.
What I would like instead:
Far less federal tax and a bit more state tax, if necessary. At least if my money is going to Albany instead of Washington there’s a higher chance of it being used for something that will help me.
Full tax deductions for the minimum cost of rent or a mortgage, up to a point, adjusted for the market you live in.
The elimination of social security. Forcing people at gunpoint to plan for their retirement is annoying and insulting. If I want to save money for my retirement, I can invest in a privately managed fund, which will have far less inept individuals running it than run social security. If I don’t want to, then it’s my own damn fault for being a dumbass.
Education and healthcare should be universal, but preferably funded by user fees (and improved via competition) than by taxes. People who can’t afford to pay shouldn’t have to. (They can be subsidized by richer people who can pay more, and by charities.) The difference between this and income tax is that giving the money is voluntary. If you don’t have kids, you shouldn’t have to pay for the schools, but you can if you want to. Americans are some of the most charitible people on Earth, I believe if the tax burden were significantly lowered a great deal of necessary stuff could be accomplished by charity.