President John F Kennedy was the first president to ever visit the offices of the Internal Revenue Service.
The quotes I have heard or read from President Kennedy, including this one, remind me of how much some politicians have changed their political philosophy over the last 50 years.
President Kennedy spoke at the IRS on the topics of tax burdens and efficiency:
“So many taxpayers have become so preoccupied with so many tax-saving devices that business decisions are interfered with, and the efficient functioning of the price system is distorted.
“Moreover, special provisions have developed into an increasing source of preferential treatment to various groups. Whenever one taxpayer is permitted to pay less, someone else must be asked to pay more. The uniform distribution of the tax burden is thereby disturbed and higher rates are made necessary by the narrowing of the tax base. Of course, some departures from uniformity are needed to promote desirable social or economic objectives of overriding importance which can be achieved most effectively through the tax mechanism. But many of the preferences which have developed do not meet such a test and need to be reevaluated in our tax reform program.”
Fascinating. Let’s examine his great quote once again:
Special provisions in the US tax code have developed into a way for powerful interests, lobbyists, corporations and people with a strong understanding of tax law loopholes to enrich themselves by paying less taxes than the government intended.
Whenever one taxpayer (private or company) is permitted to pay less income tax, someone else must be asked to pay more to account for this disparity. The tax burden becomes unevenly disturbed and the US government is forced to find other ways to increase tax collection to account for the loss of revenue from those who did not pay their fair share.
Our politicians of today should heed his straight forward, common sense views on this point.