Why can’t we get a reasonable tax bill from the feds? There are several factors that conspire against any significant change.

1) The federal government refuses to cut its budget. Americans have been trained to believe government is sacrosanct. Almost all news deals with government. Nothing can happen until the press tells us the president has been notified. The government can never be cut back, it always has to grow. Even staying the same is seen as an indicator of a malignancy.

Consequently, all tax suggestions, at best, must be “income neutral.”

2) The current tax code gives power and control to federal politicians and bureaucrats. The more complex it is, the more power they have. The more the tax code brings in, the more money they have to spend to keep themselves in office or their supporters in a good job.

Cutting or simplifying taxes is the same for politicians as you and me walking into the office of our boss and begging her to cut our pay and put us in a less influential position.

3) Many voters are innumerate. They can’t rationally deal with numbers. To these people, 10 trillion sounds like a bargain compared to 100 billion. After all 10 is smaller than 100. Don’t laugh. A lot of what we think we know about taxes assumes we are not numerically ignorant.

4) Misplaced compassion has been steered purposely into socialist theology. The rich need pay their “fair share.” Whenever you see or hear this phrase, you know you are being disrespected or scammed. The rich do not pay their “fair share.” They pay an unfair share.

The top 1 percent of Americans pay 44 percent of all the federal individual income tax, and the top 0.1 percent pay more than 20 percent of the tax. Acording to the Tax Policy Center, the top 20 percent of income earners pay 87 percent of all income tax.

Yes, you may be saying, but income tax is not the only tax. Indeed, everything is taxed. If you dare buy anything or transfer wealth in any amount, the government will take its unfair share.

Even so, the top 20 percent pay 67 percent of all tax revenue gathered by the feds.

5) Santa Claus economics is the only economics most voters are ever exposed to. According to the “far” left, it is all done with magic. They are actually insulted by the fact things need to be paid for.

According to Santa Claus economics, the more people know about money, the more irrationally they spend their money. Evidently, the evil people who own and run businesses should step up and pay their “fair share.” They should never do anything to cut back their tax burden, like you and I would.

In the real world, businesses do not pay taxes. Taxes are either paid by customers, their workers, directly or by being laid off, or closing up in bankruptcy. That’s it.

So having the highest corporate tax rate in the world simply makes you, me and the local government poorer.

Dennis Clayson is a marketing professor at the University of Northern Iowa.

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