Monday, April 30, 2007

Hypocrite Series: John Edwards Proposes Form 1

In a podcast on his site, John Edwards talks about his Form 1 proposal. Form 1 effectively replaces the 1040 EZ filled out by a large number of tax payers. Instead, Edwards would have the IRS use information already in its possession to prepare Form 1 and send it to taxpayers for review, signature, and payment/refund. In this way, he alleviates what he calls 7 hours of work preparing the form.

On its face, this really doesn't seem like that bad an idea. I found myself listening to him and thinking it made quite a bit of sense, but the leap you have to take is believing that the taxes themselves are good. If you do, this is a great plan for those who qualify to use the 1040 EZ.

By focusing on the forms and process, Edwards has implied he approves of the current tax system. I happen to believe the current tax system goes against the ideals of the founders of our country and should be abolished. Nevertheless, the government needs money to operate, and a more acceptable scheme in my opinion is a national sales tax.

This proposal also makes me wonder if Edwards would like taxes out of sight, out of mind, so to speak. With most of those who qualify for the 1040 EZ, exposure to taxes is pretty minimal except for filling out the form once a year. If the IRS fills out the form, and all they have to do is sign to get their big refund check, it's unlikely that demographic will object to tax increases.

That would seem to play into Democrats' hands who believe they know better how to spend our money than we do. Ah, who am I kidding...the Republicans want to spend all of our money, too.

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