For the left there are few greater certainties than the need to raise taxes. Born-again deficit-cutters solemnly decry the flood of red ink and proclaim that the public is at risk if the government is denied necessary revenues.
But those who believe that Washington needs more money to spend on critical programs need not stand idly by if the greedy majority refuses to vote higher levies. The undertaxed can give, and give generously.
The federal government always has cheerfully accepted donations. Some come in anonymously from people motivated by a twisted form of generosity or an unnecessary sense of guilt. Sometimes those who once cheated on their taxes decide to pay up without alerting the authorities about their previous actions.
Voluntary contributions are common enough that the Department of the Treasury discusses the procedure for doing so on its website. Uncle Sam has established “a special account called ‘Gifts to the United States’” and created a Hyattsville, Maryland address for the checks to be sent.p>This option isn’t new. Explains the Treasury: br> /p>
This account was established in 1843 to accept gifts, such as bequests, from individuals wishing to express their patriotism to the United States. Money deposited into this account is for general use by the Federal Government and can be available for budget needs. These contributions are considered an unconditional gift to the Government.br> Although Treasury officials are waiting with open arms, there’s been no stampede. The department collected only $21,179 last year. According to writer Tim Worstall, the total received by all agencies, including bequests, was about $2.6 million. Even that doesn’t make much of a dent in a 12-digit budget deficit, but every little bit helps.
The Treasury also is quite prepared to accept any tax refunds that people don’t want. It’s quite easy. According to the department’s website: “individuals should endorse the check and write ‘Pay to the Order of the United States Treasury’ on the back of the check and then mail it in.”
Indeed, the professed under-taxed need never be stuck with an unwanted tax refund check. Anyone who thinks they are paying too little could inflate their income and reduce their deductions. Technically that would be filing a false return, but the Internal Revenue Service is unlikely to prosecute someone for paying too much.
Imagine. You feel desperately under-taxed. Give yourself the salary of your dreams — add 20 or 30 thousand dollars to your actual wages. Make up some capital gains and miscellaneous income.
Moreover, eschew some of those deductions to which the Feds say you are entitled. Forget a kid or two, drop the SEP IRA write-off, cut your charitable contributions in half, and don’t list taxes paid to other governments. In this way you can end up paying as much more as you’d like.
But since distressingly few of the “taxes are too low crowd” apparently take advantage of this opportunity, Congress should create a special line on the 1040 for people who believe that they are under-taxed. Call it the “guilt penalty,” or “hypocrisy relief premium” or simply “voluntary tax.” Then people could give Uncle Sam a boost without having to go to the trouble of finding some obscure federal address, rejecting a refund check, or complicating their tax preparations. The procedure should be as simple as possible.
A half dozen states already have what Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee calls the “Tax Me More Fund.” Huckabee created the fund in 2001 via executive order. Two years later New Hampshire Gov. Craig Benson followed suit, with a special “Tax Me More” account and form.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?