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Real Answers™
Copyright: © 2011 Gregory J. Rummo
630 words


By: Gregory J. Rummo


General Electric reported a $14.2 billion worldwide profit, yet it calculated a corporate tax bill for 2010 that added up to zero, via “a creative series of tax referrals and revenue shifts.” 

GE owns NBC which is one of the Big Three Members of the Mostly Liberal Mainstream Media; the other two being CBS and ABC. Since liberals are the champions of bashing “The Rich” for not having paid “their fair share” of taxes, can we expect an outcry from the talking heads on the NBC Nightly News or the Today Show? Don’t hold your breath.  

The rest of us poor slobs have to face the April 18 deadline looming in a little more than a week.  Unless you have filed for an extension, or you’re lucky enough to have a creative tax accountant like the ones employed by GE, you probably are feeling a touch queasy right now; especially if you owe more than what was withheld from your paycheck throughout the year.

And if you thought your tax return was too complicated, you’re in good company. Albert Einstein remarked, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax…[it] is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher.”

A case in point: Up until about six years ago, I did my income tax return by hand. But due to the increasing complexity of the tax code—and my life—which now includes a family with four children, a house, a regular 9-5 job, this gig writing newspaper columns and some savings, I was forced to turn to H&R Block’s computer program to keep track of it all.   

This year’s federal return, sent electronically to the IRS in late February, amounted to 23 pages. If the supporting documents are included in the tally, that number jumps to 65. Include the mini-worksheets and itemized lists and we’re talking 117 pages.

But is such complexity really necessary? When I went back and calculated what my effective tax rate was based on my gross income without any deductions, exemptions or allowances, it was slightly over 10%.

This reminded me of God’s “tax code”—one simple paragraph—which levied a flat tax of 10%, applied fairly across the board, to everyone earning a living even if that income was in the form of an agricultural commodity. The twenty-seventh chapter of Leviticus records God’s guidelines: “[E]very tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s…”

So the farmer who harvested 10 tons of wheat owed one of them to the temple treasury. The rich tax collector earning the equivalent of a million dollars a year was expected to pay a tithe of $100,000.00.

Imagine having a system like this in the US. You could fill out your tax return on a post card:

LINE 1: Wages, interest, dividends, net capital gains, profits from self-employment. 

LINE 2: Tax (10% of line 1)

Such a tax code would ensure that everyone would pay something; “The Rich” more than the middle class and the middle class, more than poor. GE would owe the US Treasury $1.4 billion.

Of course liberals will be apoplectic over such a proposal. They never have enough of other people’s money and continue the harangue that “The Rich are not paying their fair share,” despite IRS statistics showing that almost 97% of tax revenues come from the top 50% of wage earners.

But even a 10% flat tax might still be too much for some conservatives. Benjamin Franklin commented, “It would be a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their income.”


Gregory J. Rummo is a businessman, journalist, and the author of “The View from the Grass Roots,” and “The View from the Grass Roots – Another Look.” Contact him at   Visit his website,, where you can subscribe to his free, weekly newsletter.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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