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Dishing with Dee: Flat user tax would treat the rich and poor equally

Congratulations to everyone for having survived the dreaded April 15, otherwise known as the deadline for filing your income taxes. At times like these, the flat user tax program has a tremendous amount of appeal. Aside from the fact that you would eliminate the accompanying stress of getting it all together on time in order to meet the filing deadline and afterward you inevitably remember deductions you were entitled to but forgot to take.

I don’t know about you, but I and some friends and relatives vow to make envelopes or folders dedicated to saving all receipts in one place, thereby making life a little easier for the accountant or whoever prepares your taxes. Unfortunately, those plans are somewhat similar to the New Year’s resolution to go on a diet. The intentions are sincere, but due to the excessive demands on our time, our intentions seem to fall by the wayside resulting in the annual first two weeks of April chaos.

When it comes to flat taxes, think about it. It would be the fairest way to collect. If the flat rate were 10 percent, a person of moderate means buying a $350,000 house would be taxed $35,000. An upper echelon earner buying a $3.5 million house would be required to pay $350,000.

This type of situation would automatically adjust the amount of differentials between the taxes paid by the rich and the average. In addition, this would end the claims that the rich should be taxed more while others escape tax-free.

Since the rich have much more money, it’s logical to assume they also spend more, thereby being responsible for the lion’s share of taxes. There would be no exceptions from the poorest to the richest. Everyone equally would pay their share.

Just think about the whole underground economy that now exists tax-free but enjoys the benefits taxpayers provide. Closing up that cash quagmire would produce untold amounts of revenue.

In sin taxes alone the amounts that could be generated is mind-boggling: gamblers, loan sharks, prostitutes, drug dealers and illegal immigrants, all of whom exist in the underground cash economy under the radar screen. They would now be caught up in the tax collecting net and made to pay their fair share of taxes.

The beauty of that tax system lies in the fact that the tax collector is not put in the position of judging whose income is either legal or legitimate. That is in the province of the U.S. Department of Justice and law enforcement.

The system would be completely democratic. For every $10 any person spent, $1 of that would go to taxes. The immediate effect would result in collections from everyone, no matter what. You would equally pay your 10 percent or whatever the agreed upon percentage would be. After all, everyone has to eat, drink and purchase clothes, household and personal products as well as services, etc. On the surface it would seem to stimulate a tax-collecting bonanza.

It might also be financially expedient to collect all tax money on a monthly basis, a sort of enforced “pay as you go” situation. You would also have some control over the amount of taxes you pay. If you don’t want to pay large amounts of taxes, then don’t spend large amounts of money.

Of course, the naysayers among us would say that would have a negative effect on the economy, but human nature, and especially American human nature being what it is, if they want it they will buy it no matter what the additional tax cost would be. Remember, the rich have more spendable income and are inclined to buy more expensive toys than the general public. All that means is more money for the tax man.

The above would also go a long way toward putting an end to the entitlement mentality. Just because you are here and exist does not mean you are entitled to the fruits of someone else’s labor without any effort on your part. We are not, of course, referring to the sick and disabled among us.

This may seem like a radical solution, but what do you have to lose as our present one is not working too well? Perhaps this is just some random morning after (paying your taxes) thought.

That’s about it. Maybe some political- or comptroller-type will check out the feasibility of all or part of my suggestions.

That’s it for this week.

I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties and politics or gossip.

I like receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at

Till next week, Dee.

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