Unless something changes to even out the financial load, we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of the republic. You simply can’t maintain this country with a majority able to vote for the minority to pay for everything. You can’t have a majority with no financial interest in the federal government and who runs it.
Imagine a future where a minority of Americans have to pay all of the taxes but don’t have enough political power to determine who runs the nation. The majority, with no financial interest in maintaining limited government or smaller budgets, would keep electing leaders who promise to take even more money from the minority to give to the majority.
The tax-free majority would, effectively, keep voting itself free services and in general more money from the minority. The minority would be locked into funding everything the majority wants, unable to overcome the political power of the majority moocher class.
The result is a tax system that exempts almost half the country from paying for programs that benefit everyone, including national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education. It is a system in which the top 10 percent of earners — households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 — paid about 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government.
Until, of course, the minority decides to stop making enough money to qualify for a tax burden, decides to stop being a class of suckers. At which time the tax revenue for the government will completely collapse.
Update: Allahpundit asks:
Isn’t the inequity of the income tax a good argument for a consumption tax? The VAT’s as close to a flat tax as we’re ever likely to get.
I’m all for the VAT if it replaces the current income tax scheme. But as nothing more than an add-on it? It suppresses economic activity and hands over more of our money to Washington to waste.
The ultimate solution would be a flat tax. You pay a steady, certain amount and you’re done. No million pages of tax code or penalization for success. If you make $50,000 per year you pay the same percentage of your income as you would pay if you made $1 million.