to Increase 'Pre-Crime' Enforcement
by Simon Black: And
This Year’s Nobel Prize in Doublethink Goes To…
Did you ever
Report? Its one of Steven Spielbergs often forgotten
about movies based on the short
story by Philip K. Dick. In the movie, pre-couch Tom Cruise
plays a police officer in the year 2054 who works for the highly
specialized pre-crime division.
Using a bizarre
array of technology and metaphysics, the pre-crime division sees
into the future and stops criminals in their tracks, arresting them
before they commit a crime
sometimes before they even think
about committing a crime.
This very elaborate
and morally ambiguous law enforcement system is predicated on the
government determining what your actions and intentions will be,
often before you do. Its not all science fiction.
A number of
politicians and bureaucrats in Washington D.C. are seeking to step
up the Internal Revenue Services powers, and technology, to
essentially audit taxpayers before returns are even filed.
to the National Press Club last week, an IRS spokesman unveiled
the agencys vision for the look forward model
in which most of the pertinent reporting information for the average
taxpayer (W2, 1099, mortgage interest etc.) would be submitted to
the IRS well in advance of the individual deadline.
After a massive
upgrade in technology, the IRS would be able to pre-calculate what
it expects to receive in taxes and instantly reject any return that
doesnt comply with its determination.
This may work
fine and well for some wage earners
but start throwing in
a few investment accounts, small business income, private partnerships,
etc. and things can quickly diverge from the IRS estimates.
start a new business on the side of your usual employment this year
and take an initial loss due to ancillary startup costs. This wouldnt
factor into the machines pre-calculations of your tax liability,
so you would be immediately rejected and flagged for additional
Makes you want
to run out and start a business, or invest your capital in someone
elses, right? Not exactly.
I think these people simply want to try and make things more efficient.
Pre-crime is not the way to go. There are a number of countries
that have incredibly successful tax codes, and there are common
themes in all of them:
1) Keep it
short. The Baltic countries are a great example of this the
entire Estonian tax code is about 70 pages, roughly 1/1000th the
size of the US tax code (which is still prone to so much interpretation).
It takes about 15 minutes to fill out an Estonian return, and you
can do it online. In the Maldives, its even easier.
the rest of the article
April 14, 2011
© 2011 Sovereign Man