I debated myself over the title to this blog post. I thought maybe “More ‘F’ Words”; or, perhaps “More fun with ‘F’ Words”; or possibly just “Fun, Fun, Fun”, a string of “F” words. Finally, I just decided on the above title.
In my July 7 post, titled “The F-Word”, I used seven adjectives beginning with the letter “F” to describe the tax code. Those adjectives and that description were not intended to be positive. But, speaking of “F” words, I believe that earlier description was both factual and fair.
However, from the more than 2,500 words listed under the letter “F” in Webster's New World College Dictionary, there are many “F” words other than the few that I used that are applicable to our tax code. Many more! These additional “F” words clearly define a confusing tax code that forces the nameless many to fuss and fume while frantically and feverishly trying, and failing, to correctly fill out and file a federal form 1040. All the while, legions of lawyers curry favor with the fortunate, faceless few, promising to deliver a fraction of the tax burden originally forecast.
Each year, Congress writes fabulous fanciful, fables, adding to the tome known as the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Tax laws are fabricated in smoke filled committee rooms, with individual titles that substitute facetious facsimile for fact. Fairness is not a feature of a tax code so structured. The very idea is a falsehood, a fabrication of a febrile, featherbrained Congress.
The IRC has been subject to frequent, fractured fixes, yet remains a farce, formed from failed fancies and far-fetched fiscal fads. The fallout from the failure to fix this mess is frightening. The fabric of a free people falters before the faceless facade of a fickle tax code. America’s faith is tested by Congress’s flagrant fleecing of our financial future.
Using the financial beneficence of a tax code gone wild, Congress provides false hopes through first one, then another ala carte serving at the feed trough of tax largesse. But this fare is the foulest swill. Foresight warns that those hopes will founder on the shoals of fuzzy math and fairy tale assumptions. Continuing this madness further perpetuates a fraud on the American people and should be considered a crime, a felonious assault on our economic freedom.
There are those who believe the existing code can be fixed. I am not of that fallacious opinion. Maintaining the status quo is foolish, and possibly fatal to our future. But trying to fix this snafu is futile. In the movie, War Games, Professor Falken encourages a General to disbelieve what he was seeing. The professor said, “What you see…is a fantasy, a computer enhanced illusion.”
With respect to tax reform, we have to consider Congress to be a reincarnation of Walt Disney and all tax bills that are called “reform” measures to be reruns of Fantasia. Prior efforts have offered nothing more than the frivolity demonstrated in the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”.
The IRC, complete with previous reform measures, is a fiscal fantasy of the first order; a financial illusion enhanced through political-speak. We must ignore it and start over. There is nothing frivolous in America’s need for fair and meaningful tax reform.
Despite the failure of this fecal mess we call the Internal Revenue Code, I imagine a fabulous financial future, no longer fettered by a faulty, failing, finicky and fluctuating tax code. America, finally freed from the IRC, regains its past stature where everyone can realize their full potential once again. I hold fiercely and firmly onto this fervent dream.
Bringing this dream to fruition requires farsighted leaders focused on tax reform. They must be willing to forego fractured politics and back away from their fascination with tax favoritism. They must abandon their fixation with flighty economic projections and substitute common sense for legalese. They must formally adopt, as their first guiding principle, a predisposition against form over substance.
Real and meaningful reform, that finally fixes this mess, requires that every facet of our tax code, every financial factor, is fairly and fully considered, not for its favoritism for a few, but for its favorable impact on the financial future of this great nation. Anything less than complete reform forebodes failure. Notwithstanding the fact that those we elect to Congress are fallible, should they become meaningful tax reform fanatics, success is within their reach.
It will be difficult. Anything worthwhile generally is. Feeble efforts will fail. Congress has floundered in the past because enacting true tax reform is a formidable task. But we must not forget that Americans are a force to be reckoned with in this cause. We must forbid Congress to fail. Absent that, we must not fail to elect new representatives who are fanatical in their desire for tax reform. We must send those who are not fully committed to this effort packing, offering a fare-thee-well with a final wave good-bye.
My dream may be far-fetched, a passing fancy or just a flight of fantasy, but, if ever Congress finally and fairly fixes our failed tax code, America can celebrate with fanfare and fireworks. Absent that, we can say farewell to freedom, another fatality of failed government fallen on the sword of financial fallacy.
All of this fun and these tongue-in-cheek ramblings notwithstanding, there is still one “F” word that best describes our tax system: #%#*@ (yes-read F word). In a word—our tax code is fubar.
As I contemplate the odds of finally getting meaningful tax reform, I raise a frozen mug of Falstaff, my first of this fine day. Farewell friends.