One of the long-form posts here that addresses my arguments against the FairTax still gets occasional page-views. I detail why it hurts lower income families, favors big business, and doesn’t eliminate the IRS as the pro-FairTax crowd claims.

After reading a post from Ben Stein regarding his views (h/t Buzz Blog), and my own personal experience with taxes this year, I may have to rethink my arguments.

In life, there is always a push/pull relationship between equality and efficiency. Generally the more equal something becomes, the less efficient, and vice-versa. As a society, we try to balance the two and hopefully come up with some kind of middle-road solution.

The income tax as it exists now does neither.

It”s wildly inefficient. Personally, it cost me $89 for Turbo-Tax and about ten hours (!) of my time. More importantly, I’m still not sure that everything is correct on the form. Do I get audited? Am I paying more in taxes then I should? Beats me, and I’m the one most capable of answering these questions.

It’s also wildly unfair. A close friend made three times more money than I did, yet paid much less in income taxes (not as a percentage, but total).

With the FairTax, at least it’d be more efficient. No hours poring over documents or determining a basis or itemizing or anything. End of the year, and boom! You’re done. You may be getting screwed, but at least you don’t have ten hours of mandatory and loveless foreplay.

I’m still percolating on my attitude change, and I’ll probably have to re-read the Boortz’ book in response to my opinion shift. But as it stands today, the income tax is the strongest argument for anyone that claims our government screws up everything it touches.

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