September 18, 2020

Modest Proposals Part II: Abolish the income tax system; reform criminal juries

In my first “Modest Proposals” column, wherein I hijacked 18th Century Anglo-Irish essayist Jonathan Swift’s literary modus operandi, I provided innovative solutions to two major issues: 1) the current sexual harassment crisis (shock collars) and 2) the disputes relating to Russia and the 2016 election (a general amnesty for all in exchange for everyone shutting up).
Putting those two matters to rest freed up additional time for me to solve other weighty problems. I have worked through the following two modest proposals and run them by my fellow Mississippi Mensa members at our statewide conference in a refurbished phone booth in Booger Den, Miss.
Abolish The Internal Revenue Code
The recently passed Big D/Ryan/McConnell tax reform act is a good thing. With the repatriation of $3 trillion currently overseas, the reduction of the corporate and individual rates, and the immediate expensing of capital expenditures, the economy should enjoy explosive growth.
But there is no simplification. The tax code is still a Rube Goldberg monstrosity.
Thousands of arcane provisions remain in the “reformed” code and regulations. The loopholes and special exceptions are there because of lobbyists. If you are a regular schlemiel and don’t have a lobbyist, you pay your taxes like the rest of us chumps.
George Soros, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates have already established megabillion dollar charitable trusts under current tax law so that they can avoid all taxation on their billions, yet continue to control the money, even after death.
And all three, by the way, are in favor of you and me paying higher taxes.
Soros, for example, recently transferred $18 billion to his Open Society Foundation, to continue his efforts to destroy America and capitalism by funding radical leftist and anarchic groups who hate this country.
Modest Proposal: Let’s stop using the tax code for social engineering.  Abolish the income tax system and adopt a national consumption tax, using the point of sale system already in place for state and local tax collection and remittance.
This tax would reach the “underground economy” that now goes untaxed—cash income on goods and services, and cash generated by illegal activity, which some economists estimate to be more than a trillion dollars a year.
Currently, the IRS audits fewer than 1% of all returns. Some people take their chances—they don’t file, and they don’t pay.
The consumption tax is regressive, but it’s also voluntary. If you don’t want to pay tax, don’t buy anything. The Fair Tax proposal that’s been around for years has provisions to lessen the impact of the national sales tax on the poor.
Reform the Criminal Jury System
The Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury should be brought into the 21st Century. No sane person wants to serve on a jury, especially highly publicized trials which may take many months. The people who want to serve are exactly the ones you would not want on a panel if you were on trial.
The jury system developed in England in the 13th Century. Jurors who knew something about the accused and his predilections were selected. Today, the opposite is true. Defense lawyers want ignorant jurors who know nothing about anything.
Jury trials are lengthy, expensive, and dangerous. Publicity in major cases poisons potential jury venires, and outcomes occasionally make celebrities out of murderers. In today’s hyper-partisan environment, the defendant’s race and political party affiliation are more important to some jurors than the facts of the case.
The 6th Amendment guarantees the right to a “speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.” It doesn’t define “impartial jury,” though numerous U.S. Supreme Court decisions have.
Modest proposal: Each county develops a squadron of professional, intelligent jurors, tested and vetted for bias, who hear all felony trials. Rules of evidence are amended to allow the state, and the defendant if he/she chooses, to utilize brain scan technology, pharmaceuticals, waterboarding, cattle prods and any other proven scientific method to determine the truth.
I added waterboarding and cattle prods to see if you were paying attention. Happy Holidays.