Graham F. Georgia

Taxes in the United States

The many problems with the tax system in our country is doing a lot of harm to individual lives, and the economy as a whole.

Dear President Elect of the United States,

In this election, there have been many outlying issues that defined your campaign. Some people consider one more important than others, but the issue that really strikes a chord in my life is the huge tax problem in this country. It is not fair that because someone earns more, they pay a higher percent of their income for the same government services. Even after they pay more than their fair share, however, they can be targeted by the bias and corrupt Internal Revenue service (IRS); that is highly ineffective in its only job. It is also unfair that all the taxes increasingly put on small business are driving down profit and therefore quality; all the while too little taxes on foreign goods are pushing jobs from major companies out of the country. All three of these major faults in our system are doing extreme damage to the once untouchable economic power that is the United States.

Out of all the problems, I believe the first issue is the most unfair. According to the 2016 IRS tax brackets, anyone with a taxable income less than $9,275 has a tax rate of 10%. On the other hand, if someone has $415,051 in taxable income, they are subject to a tax rate of 39.6%. This is entirely unacceptable, and beyond unfair. What's even worse, many people are lobbying this rate to go even higher. That would push the rate up to a staggering half of a wealthy person's taxable income. I'm sure you're well aware of these statistics, but to me it is proof in black and white that the system is not benefitting everyone. To make things even worse, many of the services paid for by these taxes are used very little or never by the people paying for the majority of it. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ figures show that 90% of entitlement benefits go to the middle and lower class, and only 10% to the upper class. Yet, the Tax Policy Foundation says that the top 20% of americans by income pay around 84% of the total taxes collected. There is nothing wrong with giving benefits to those less well off than you, but the government has no business forcing people to. It sickens me even more that after all this wrongdoing, the IRS still has the audacity to target groups purely for political purposes.

In May of 2013, the IRS openly admitted to targeting non profit organizations that had either “tea party,” or “patriot” in their titles. both of these phrases are associated with conservative ideology, and the Republican Party. The IRS leadership at the time consisted mostly of people affiliated with the Republican Party’s chief rival, the Democratic Party. It is clear for anyone to see that the IRS targeted groups that rivaled their won political beliefs. While this scandal never brought criminal charges; I and many americans don't trust the IRS. Even today there are still reports of foul play at the IRS, and downright false information. This consists of around 8.5 million incorrect answers on the tax help hotline, and 10 million false tax notices. The IRS is a corrupt, dysfunctional mess, and needs a major makeover to become effective. The last problem by far is the most important to me, as it affects my life directly.

The final problem I would like to share with you is that of damaging taxation on small business. The main source of income for my family is my Dad's small plumbing business, and complaints of the government's financial greed are commonplace at the dinner table. Taxes are destroying one of the most hopeful beliefs in human history. The american dream. For decades this has been the motivation for many families who worked for a good life in the United States, and small business was a major ingredient in this dream. Unfortunately, this dream is dying. It simply costs too much to operate a small business, a fact that is extremely unsettling for the next generation. The government taxes almost every aspect of a small business, like materials and transportation. Taxes can even be put on food for workers. This puts a heavy burden on small business, and money that could be used for creating jobs and expanding goes to the government. In contrast, low taxes on foreign goods cause out of country labor to be cheaper, and it is drawing jobs out of the country. This is shown by the relocation of Ford, Nabisco, and Carrier factories. All of these are caused by to low taxes on imports that cause major job loss in the US.

The tax issue is a severe and growing problem in the US. People are paying too much then they owe, and small business and jobs are being crippled. Combine all that with a destructive service that is in charge of taxation, and you get a major problem, and a big fear for the future. I hope that you do what is best for the american people, and fix the problems that are hurting us so badly.

-Graham, 8th grade, Georgia