Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), has come out recently in favor of abolishing the IRS and installing a flat-tax system. We all know TEApublicans hate taxes, so it’s no surprise that while the IRS is currently embroiled in alleged scandals, Cruz would use the opportunity to take pot-shots at the taxation enforcement agency he so thoroughly abhors. But what else might be motivating Cruz’s attempt to float the “Kill the IRS” trial balloon? Here are my five best guesses.
#5. He’s Not a Fan of Poor People
Think this is a straw man argument I’m making? Consider that Cruz wants to abolish the IRS to better facilitate a flat-tax implementation. Consider too the fact that the most regressive tax you can think of is a flat tax. It shifts the burden unfairly from the rich to the poor, it doesn’t make anything “fair” at all. There’s a reason we have a progressive tax system in this country, because the simple math is that a rich person can far easier afford to pay more in income taxes than a poor person can. People like Cruz love to decry the fact that “half the country” doesn’t pay any income tax. He’s right. Of course, he’s also ignoring payroll taxes, sales taxes, Social Security Taxes and many other state and local taxes. The truth is that a twenty percent tax looks awfully different to those making $20,000 as opposed to $200,000.
#4. He’s Really Not a Fan of Poor People
Rather than investigate whether the whole 501(c)(4) tax exempt status is just bogus campaign finance rigging, Cruz’s solution is to smack down the poor with a fair tax. In other words, he’d rather that a family barely scraping by as it is pick up the check for not only his rich friends, but for their tax exempt “social welfare” groups that are really just massive corporate shields for dumping anonymous piles of cash into our elections.
#3. He’s Really, Really Not a Fan of Poor People
Abolishing the IRS would cripple the government’s ability to make sure that taxes are paid. The idiocy in Cruz’s rhetoric becomes even clearer when you realize that even if he got his way, if the IRS was shut down and a flat-tax was implemented, who would enforce the new tax laws? Or does Senator Cruz prefer taxes be paid on the honor system? All abolishing the IRS would do is make it even easier for the ungodly rich to stash ungodly sums of cash in an attempt to avoid ducking even the lower, flatter tax Cruz just implemented. We’ve already lived through a decade of the rich not paying enough, and yet Cruz thinks the better idea is to double-down on that inanity with a flat tax.
#2. No, Seriously, Ted Cruz Is Not a Fan of Poor People
Not to beleaguer the point here, but everything about what Cruz is saying right now smacks of oligarchy. Cutting taxes on the rich didn’t fix things for us in the Bush years, and it won’t do anything but wreck the progress we’ve already made. Senator Cruz is clearly also not a fan of paying attention to things going on around him, or he’d have noticed that all the rhetoric he’s spouting is just a re-hash of the same talking points that lost Mitt Romney the election last year. The data is in — austerity is terrible for economies, and that’s what Cruz is aiming for.
#1. He Also Doesn’t Like Poor AND Uninsured People
We all know what’s really at play here for Cruz and the rest of the TEApublicans. They have tried in vain for nearly three years. They’ve repealed it symbolically in the house nearly forty times, and they’ve doggedly tried to kill it in red states by not opting in for the Medicaid expansion built into the ACA. The IRS just happens to give Obamacare its teeth, because it’s the IRS who would be making sure everyone adheres to the individual mandate. You take out the IRS, you take out the mechanism by which Obamacare is enforced. It’s not very smart, nor is it very well hidden. It’s just another clumsy, ham-fisted attempt to play political theatrics, nothing more.