On April 18, representatives of the Tax Revolution Institute gathered in front of IRS headquarters in Washington, DC, to stage possibly the most civil protest anyone has ever witnessed.
The idea was simple… ridiculous and simple. Read the tax code. That’s it. Just read it.
No pitchforks and torches were necessary for these activists — just an armchair, a canopy to block out the sun, a live-streaming video camera, and 74,000 pages of pure, unadulterated US tax code.
But why do it?
Of course, the only reason why doing such a thing is considered ridiculous in the first place is the sheer volume of the tax code. And that’s exactly the point.
The absurdity of the event sought to match the absurdity of the code itself. But, in truth, it’s hard to even come close. Indeed, after 10 hours of reading, TRI was only able to get through less than 1 percent of the tax code.
At the end of this day-long marathon, TRI Executive Director Dan Johnson took a few minutes to explain to viewers precisely why TRI spent Tax Day reading our “glorious” tax code.
“[W]e want people to understand that this tax code is not going to be ‘reformed.’ It’s not going to be tinkered [with] on the edges. It’s not going to have a little band-aid put somewhere,” he said.
“In Congress, they’re talking about tax reform this year. They’re selling people that ‘most Americans will be able to fill out their taxes on a postcard.’ And they haven’t talked at all about what they’re going to do about the 74,000 pages of US tax code.”
It’s true that the politicians in Washington have yet to address this and more. In fact, in early March, Johnson released another video in which he explained why Republican “tax reform” isn’t really tax reform at all.
This time, Johnson took it one step further and did not mince words:
“Anyone who thinks that we’re going to fix the tax code instantly, or fix the tax code without basically setting it on fire, clearing it out, and starting from the beginning, they’re lying to themselves and they’re lying to you.”
Johnson further explained that the only way to ever disentangle this “abomination” is to recognize, once and for all, that we need to take “more of life” out of taxes and out of the tax code.
In other words, any “reforms” that aim to make taxes flatter, fairer, or simpler won’t cut it, because they ignore the nature of taxation itself.
TRI Senior Advisor Jeff Lewis sums it up best: “We don’t need tax reform. We need a tax revolution, and we need it now.”
The Tax Revolution Institute wants to strike at the root of the problem — the corruption, lack of accountability, waste, and inefficiency in our government — by making our “voluntary” tax system actually voluntary.
To learn more about how TRI plans to place the power of the purse back into the hands of the people, join the revolution and subscribe to the Ten40 Newsletter below.