Ted Cruz’s Petition to Abolish the IRS Goes Horribly, Laughably, Ridiculously Wrong

Sen. Ted Cruz’s abolish the IRS PR stunt has gone horribly wrong, and actually calls on Republicans to increase their own taxes.

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Here is the video of Sen. Cruz urging people to sign his petition a.k.a. collect names and email addresses of people that Senate Republicans can hit up for money:


I’m Ted Cruz in recent weeks the IRS is admitted to unlawfully targeting conservative groups and tried to silence the president’s critics this is wrong. A chilling abuse of power. It needs to be fully investigated and those involved must be held accountable. We also need to make sure it never happens again. It’s time to abolish the IRS. We need to get rid of the army of IRS agents trying to police every aspect of our lives. No more discrimination no more intimidation and no IRS enforcement of Obamacare. We need a tax code that’s simple fair and the protects our freedom. I’m working to lead this effort the US Senate, and I hope you will join me by signing a petition to abolish the IRS.

Cruz explained his plan to abolish the IRS to Fox News, “I think we ought to abolish the IRS and instead move to a simple flat tax where the average American can fill out taxes on postcard. Put down how much you earn, put down a deduction for charitable contributions, home mortgage and how much you owe. It ought to be a simple one page postcard, and take the agents, the bureaucracy out of Washington and limit the power of government.”

If there are no IRS agents, who is going to know if you are telling the truth about your income? By using the phrase moving the bureaucracy out of Washington, Sen. Cruz is suggesting that the power to collect taxes will be moved to the states. (Cruz is trying to dupe conservatives into thinking that they are getting rid of the tax man, when it reality, he is just moving the tax bureaucracy out of DC.)

As Ezra Klein pointed out, Cruz’s plan actually makes the case for why we need a federal tax collection agency. We all know how much red states hate government. What if a red state governor doesn’t staff the tax collecting agency? Who will collect the taxes? Who will make sure that people are paying their taxes? Who will enforce the law? How will Sen. Cruz explain to soldiers that they won’t be getting paid, because red states didn’t pay their taxes this year?

The truth is that Republicans have no interest in ever passing a flat tax, because the flat tax doesn’t work. Sen. Cruz tried to spice up the plan with a few snazzy deductions, but it is still the same bad theory that doesn’t work. The big secret behind the flat tax is that it raises taxes on the poor and middle class, while lowering them for the wealthy. The flat tax is only fair if you are rich. Flat taxes massively shift the tax burden downwards, so that those who have less pay more.

You might think that with the IRS being such a huge scandal, conservatives would be flocking to sign this petition, but as of this writing they have gotten 13,000+ signatures, and the video has been viewed 4,000+ times. It is a safe bet this petition will do very well with the right, but it doesn’t look like it is gaining the kind of momentum that will make it into a viral movement that will sweep the nation.

Senate Republicans are hoping this petition catches fire, because they have an email/donor list to build. Republicans have no intention of ever abolishing the IRS, but they are happy to fleece the the rubes out of their hard earned money. Ted Cruz is the latest right wing snake oil salesman who is trying to sell Republicans a dream that will never be.

Cruz’s plan to abolish the IRS wouldn’t really get rid of the tax collector. They would just be relocated to a new neighborhood. His plan is so poorly thought out that it actually makes the case for why we need the IRS, and it would increase the tax burden on the vast majority of his fellow Republicans.

Ted Cruz is trying to convince Republicans to sign a petition supporting raising their own taxes, and so far tens of thousands of them have been foolish enough to do it.

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