He that has light within his own clear breast May sit in the centre, and enjoy bright day: But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts Benighted walks under the mid-day sun; Himself his own dungeon.
- Milton, English Poet (1608-1674)
How many millions of hours do you think Americans spend on government paperwork every year?
The answer is staggering. It is measured not in the millions of hours, but in the billions — 9.14 of them, to be exact. Suppose that we value one hour at $20 (a conservative estimate). If so, the government imposes an annual reporting cost of more than $180 billion on the American people.
The article was written by Cass R. Sunstein, who goes on to say:
There is reason to be hopeful. From 2009 to 2012, I led the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which oversees the Paperwork Reduction Act. (Yes, there is such a thing.)
As part of President Obama’s continuing effort to streamline regulatory requirements, we took a series of quiet but aggressive steps to cut pointless red tape. In the last decade, the estimated paperwork burden peaked between 2007 and 2009, and while it remains far too high, we were able to chip away at it.
I’m still trying to get over the shock that the Obama administration has given anything other than a token thought to trying to reduce the massive burden of paperwork and red tape the government lays upon our people and businesses, but when you consider that tax preparation costs this nation 9.14 billion hours in lost productivity, we need to do far more than just chip away at the problem.
President Obama has spent a lot of time talking about the need for people to “pay their fair share.” Turns out Obama’s fair share this year was 18%. Shouldn’t we all follow the example set by our dear leader and pay the same?
Our obscenely massive and convoluted tax code is the breeding ground for all that is evil in D.C. In a single stroke, a flat tax of 18% would put a stake through the heart of the legion of lobbyist vampires selling out average Americans for special interests and corporate welfare.
If our most patriotic president‘s fair share is 18%, may we all be just as patriotic and pay 18% as well. Now that would truly be fair.