Are millennials, who see themselves as modern, flexible, innovative, and eager for the latest in technology and fashion, going to be willing to accept a tax system that is based on horse and buggy technology, demands rigid conformance to incomprehensible rules, and promotes a political ideology that, though new at the time, has proven itself incapable of adapting to modern concepts of freedom, democracy, and universal literacy?
I certainly hope not. The current income tax system is an antiquated holdover from the last century, replete with time-wasting inefficiencies like paper receipts, filing annual returns, and vast, intrusive, data collection. It is also inherently divisive, breaking people into groups that are treated differently based on income and social class, fueling class warfare, and politically pitting those groups against each other in a never-ending battle to keep the little income they have worked so hard to earn.
Under the current income tax system, millennials, who value flexibility and options in their life, are forced to adhere strictly to over 70,000 pages of rules and regulations governing every aspect of their financial dealings. Young professionals, who thrive on their ability to instantly form, or dissolve, vast networks of collaborators, are forced to laboriously “fill in the box” every year as they sweat over their tax returns.
There are better alternatives if millennials are willing to demand them. A National Retail Consumption tax, currently in Congress as HR-25, presents a simple, technologically advanced, and fair alternative to what we have now.
This proposal, also known as the FairTax, fits with the millennial lifestyle and concept of self. Instead of keeping a pile of paper receipts for years, and going through the mind-numbing process of filling out and filing their annual tax return, taxes are paid in seconds, when purchases are made. Instead of a system that is inherently unfair, where some are favored over others, under the National Retail Consumption tax everyone is charged exactly the same rate for the same product. Instead of a tax system that hurts the poor by hiding taxes in goods and services and discouraging economic advancement, the FairTax helps the poor to escape the chains of generational poverty. And instead of having a large, faceless bureaucracy with a history of political terrorism and Congressional corruption, under the FairTax, IRS audits would take their place in museums beside thumbscrews, whips, and other tools of bondage and enslavement.
Millennials could lead the way, using their technological sophistication, their mastery of social networking and collaboration, and the sheer weight of their numbers, to abolish a tax system invented before the automobile. Besides, does anyone really love the IRS?