It’s tax day and one’s thoughts naturally turn to the political abuse of the IRS to target government enemies. That, and the fact that we’re paying too much in return for too little of what we want, as well as an overabundance of disincentives to the basic notion that we can and should, as much as possible, take care of ourselves.

Talking about the complexity of the tax code may lack drama–until you look at the ramifications. In the early 1980s when Ronald Reagan simplified the code, it was possible to estimate what you’d owe–even if you were running your own business and had a few mutual funds. Now, forget it. The rev’nuers are forcing the complexity of accounting for large corporations onto the backs of sole proprietors. "Better hire an accountant, bub."

And if your business succeeds, and you’re able to hire employees–think twice. Once you reach 11, you’re on the hook for OSHA compliance. At 15, you’ll be writing an EEOC compliance plan instead of running your business. Of course you can then hire a team of human resources professionals to help you keep up with the constant stream of regulations and advisory notices.

Don’t forget legal liability. As Glenn Reynolds likes to remind us, prosecutors joke that they can find a way to sue a ham sandwich if they want to. 1000-page federal bills are the norm, each one requiring a team of specialized consultants to decipher it. Yet these monstrosities affect the way you pay your doctors’ bills and prevent your bank from offering you free checking.

It’s too much. It’s out of hand. Keep it simple, stupid–that’s a basic principle that almost everyone can relate to. Down with bureaucrats, we don’t need no stinkin experts. Mother, please, I’d rather do it myself!

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