published on August 16, 2016 - 9:37 PM
Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.

Everyone knows the U.S. has the most powerful army in the world, but did you know, in terms of manpower, that it is dwarfed by another kind of army?


As recently pointed out by Chris Edwards with the Cato Institute and the Tax Foundation, our “tax army” is even bigger than our uniformed military. The tax army is the amount of people it takes to complete the estimated 8.9 billion hours a year Americans spend on federal tax paperwork.

It would take 4.3 million people working full-time and year-round to complete that much paperwork. This so-called tax army dwarfs our country’s uniformed fighting force of 1.4 million active-duty service members.

Expressed in dollars, the Tax Foundation finds that tax paperwork imposes a $4.9 billion annual cost on the economy.

Those numbers alone should serve as a compelling argument to simplify the tax code. The Tax Foundation estimates that replacing the federal income tax with a simple flat tax would reduce the paperwork burden by about 90 percent.

Not a bad way to demobilize the tax army.


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