Taxes are at best a necessary* evil, but one should always fight evil.
The attached article whines and whines about how the super rich have gamed the tax system. And the thing is there is room for some legitimate whining. Though tax “loopholes” do not cost the taxpayer anything (it’s not the government’s money) they can still be a form of crony capitalism as we often say. If one can afford to wade through the tax law, and can afford to engage in convoluted offshore schemes, one can take advantage of a form of government created privilege. One of the reasons these “loopholes” exist is because our system of taxation is so complicated. Why not radically simplify the tax code? I mean really simplify it. So much so that the IRS no longer exists.
But The New York Times doesn’t want that. It prefers the current tax code (despite the “problems” it outlines here) because of its graduated nature. The editorial board can’t give that concept up. The rich must pay their “fair share.” It is this sad attachment to perceived social justice which drives the current system and which counter-intuitively advantages the rich.
(From The New York Times)
With inequality at its highest levels in nearly a century and public debate rising over whether the government should respond to it through higher taxes on the wealthy, the very richest Americans have financed a sophisticated and astonishingly effective apparatus for shielding their fortunes. Some call it the “income defense industry,” consisting of a high-priced phalanx of lawyers, estate planners, lobbyists and anti-tax activists who exploit and defend a dizzying array of tax maneuvers, virtually none of them available to taxpayers of more modest means.
In recent years, this apparatus has become one of the most powerful avenues of influence for wealthy Americans of all political stripes, including Mr. Loeb and Mr. Cohen, who give heavily to Republicans, and the liberal billionaire George Soros, who has called for higher levies on the rich while at the same time using tax loopholes to bolster his own fortune.
All are among a small group providing much of the early cash for the 2016 presidential campaign.
And yes, the IRS is indeed a “rogue agency.”
*Some argue that taxes are not necessary at all. The income tax clearly is not necessary and fundamentally wrong. Taxing people for being productive isn’t very smart.