My entire understanding of taxes can be spelled out in a single sentence: Either I pay or I go to jail.
Sounds overly simplistic, but I think it makes me something of an expert on the matter — or at least it should.
Taxes ought to be simple enough for all Americans (or someone in their family) to figure out on their own without having to hire someone else to do it.
I believe in what many refer to as a “flat tax.” If you’re unfamiliar with the term, let me simplify it for you. Don’t be scared. It won’t take long because it isn’t complicated.
Either you pay in taxes the same percentage of your income as everyone else, or you get run over by construction equipment until you’re squeegee-able flat. The squishing would be shown on pay-per-view, the proceeds of which would go toward your tax debt.
So, if you made a billion dollars last year — well, you’re probably not reading this if you did, but just in case — the percentage of your income paid in taxes would be the same as if you worked as a scurrilous newspaper hack.
This way we both stand the same chance of being flattened.
For example, let’s say the tax is set at 9 percent. That’s $90 million for you and roughly $8.50 for me. I don’t know the exact amount because my wife does our taxes. I have trouble making change for a dollar.
Never mind that. The same 9 percent would apply to corporations, including those large enough to frequently be mistaken as an arm of the federal government.
Coca-Cola, General Motors, Northrop Grumman, Facebook, McDonald’s — it doesn’t matter. These and other companies would all pay the government the proper amount before they paid their shareholders.
No more loopholes or tax credits or offshore deposits that allow the rich to become richer.
Speaking of offshore, the tax rate for foreign countries doing business in the U.S. would be set at 18 percent. I don’t have an explanation for this particular percentage other than it’s the lowest number I could think of for them without pissing myself off.
This is not to say that there would be no tax breaks for anyone. Nobody in the military should have to pay taxes whenever America is engaged in a war or an armed conflict. If you’re getting shot at for the rest of us, we owe you, not the other way around.
I believe — but I don’t know because I’m not all that smart — that the revenue collected by my flat-tax plan and the people we flatten would provide sufficient funding to sponsor important programs.
Like, oh, my national service program. Those who serve satisfactory two-year stints in national service — wherever their services are needed — would have their higher education paid for up to a bachelor’s degree.
I’m still undecided about taxing churches. I understand that a lot them provide services for the disadvantaged, but the big ones, like the one I belong to, also like to swing their untaxed money in the political arena. In my opinion, you should have to pay to play there.
That’s enough for now. Since that’s what I would do if elected king of America, most of you are probably breathing a sigh of relief. I know I am.