Over the past four years, the tax code has become even more burdensome and complex. Taxes now exceed the cost of food, clothing, shelter, and transportation combined for the average household. The tax burden should decline during times of prosperity and peace. However, since World War II, federal taxes have risen to their highest level and now consume more than 20 percent of the national economic output.

The American Voice Institute of Public Policy believes along with the vast majority of Americans that the current tax code should be eliminated and replaced by a simple and fair system like the flat tax that treats all taxpayers equally.

Incomes would only be taxed one time by a flat tax and would eliminate confusing and discriminating special interest preferences in the Internal Revenue Code because of one low rate. On work, savings, investment, risk-taking, and entrepreneurship, it would reduce tax rates. The billions of hours that are currently required annually to comply with the maze of tax forms, regulations, rules, and other requirements would decline because of its simplicity. Also, the potential for bureaucratic abuses that led to the 1997 and 1998 widely-publicized congressional hearings on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would virtually be eliminated.

The most reprehensible aspect of the current tax code for many Americans is its powerful and political influence over individuals to manipulate the tax system for their own advantage.

Many taxpayers understandably want to protect their earnings since the tax burden is at record levels. However, a pervasive sense of unfairness is fostered by the system of loopholes, credits, deductions and exemptions. A flat tax would uphold the moral principle that to everyone the law should apply equally as a result of eliminating special preferences.

Growth and job creation have been rendered powerless and ineffective by excessive levels of taxation that stifle incentives to work, save and invest in other nations, particularly in Europe. This precedent should not be allowed to be followed by the United States even though its tax code is far less oppressive. This only would add to this dangerously counterproductive trend.

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