Analysts from the Tax Revolution Institute (TRI), a Washington D.C.-based libertarian thinktank, are attempting to read the entire federal tax code outside the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building. They will read for 14 straight hours today through the convoluted minutia of the documents, hoping to finish reading it in its entirety when the day is concluded.
They are calling their display the “Tax Day Reading of Our Glorious Tax Code” and it is already underway. The livestream of this demonstration can be found here.
“Complying with the tax code costs the United States a cool trillion dollars per year. That’s the entire GDP of Mexico,” TRI Communications Director Robin Koerner said in a Liberty Beacon op/ed.
In the fiscal year 2016, the federal government confiscated an incredible $3.27 trillion from taxpayers, which set a new record. Income taxes contributed a staggering $1.55 trillion to that total, nearly half of the revenue collected. This still wasn’t enough to cover the operating costs of the federal government, as they still ran a deficit of $587 billion.
The income tax system has drawn frequent ire from conservatives and libertarians, but substantial reform has been a non-starter. The TRI is bringing a new idea to the forefront of the discussion that they hope will finally gain enough traction to be enacted: voluntary taxation.
Founded in 2015, TRI’s goal is to create less coercive federal tax code. They envision a tax code where individuals could choose to spend their money on programs that they support. The project is in its initial stages, and TRI hopes to raise awareness of their solution with protests and displays like the one they are holding today.
“The future is promising if we take decisive action. The American people deserve better. We can do better,” TRI founder Daniel Johnson said. The demonstration is expected to go into the long hours of the night.