Income Taxes On A Postcard?

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has now officially declared that he is seeking to become the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 2016. Welcome to the race, Ted!

Thus, what better time than now to review some of his positions? One of his most popular stances, for instance, is his demand that the United States government abolish the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

It’s a line that always attracts a wide round of applause. But oddly enough, Senator Cruz also demands that the income tax code of the United States be simplified to a level where Americans can file their annual tax returns on small postcards.

So that raises a very simple question: if we were to abolish the IRS and require American citizens to file their tax returns on postcards …

… where would they mail their postcards?

Without the IRS to process them, the federal government would then need to create a new agency to collect the postcards and confirm that the “amounts due” in taxes were previously withheld from wages or remitted through estimated tax payments.

And what would we call that new agency? The most appropriate name would undoubtedly be “the Internal Revenue Service of the United States.”

In other words, in order to process the very activity that Senator Cruz proposes to establish, we would need to recreate the very agency that the Senator proposes to abolish.

And how does Senator Cruz explain that irony? He hasn’t yet done so, but his advisor Rick Tyler recently suggested that the “Treasury (Department) could … assume the responsibility of collecting postcard tax forms. There would be a … division inside Treasury” that would perform the functions that are currently performed by the IRS.

But do you know where, within the structure of the federal government of the United States, the IRS currently resides? Yep, the IRS is a Bureau within the Department of the Treasury.

So Senator Cruz and his advisor are proposing: (1) to abolish a Bureau of the Treasury, (2) to create a new document that would have been processed by that Bureau, and then (3) to establish a new Bureau, in the very spot of the abolished Bureau, to process that very document.

If you understand that logic, congratulations! You undoubtedly possess an aptitude for Presidential politics.

But if you don’t, you are not alone.