Ok, looking at the other poster's Wiki link, what I got on that report:
1/3 of tax revenues are wasted by govt ops
1/3 aren't collected because people don't pay what they owe
1/3 are used to pay interest on the national debt
It predicted that our debt will be 13Trillion by 2000 but that didn't occur till the Housing bubble burst in 2008. For a 15 year forecast, 8 years off ... is kind of bad. Nor does the report take into consideration or provide recommendations to the impact of Congress varying tax rates or the economy's performance.
1/3 is wasted. This is pretty much true of ALL large organizations. Not just governments. And before people bring up private vs public funds... If your primary customer is the government (Lockheed), you are a country's darling industry (GM, Chrysler, Steel workers), or just too big to fail (Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup) the emergency funds are all tax payers'. Even their suppliers are supported by tax payers.
1/3 is not paid. Right, you are arguing that the government steals our money, wastes it, and provides nothing in return. But the primary reason for nothing in return is that 1/3 don't pay what they owe? This would go up if we switched to only a sales tax like the grand parent says.
1/3 is used to pay national debt. Its silly how people talk about national debt; like its a singular metric used to define government inefficiencies. Its the flip side of but the same as how people argue about the performance of a company based on revenue increases; never taking into consideration the many other factors in play.
But paying off debt is easy; we can always just print money. But we don't, because it would hurt the US citizen the most. Because most of the national debt is to ourselves. Far more (2/3s) so than all the foreign nations & entities combined! But really, why are we complaining that others are willing to lend us money to invest in our economy? If they feel we are risky or bad, they will either make it unaffordable or not lend us. The debt stays in a band of efficiency all by itself. Go too high, we print money; go too low, interest rates tank.
The report is basically bullshit and Congress rightfully ignored it.
BTW, Tax Withholdings are actually mandatory by law since 1943. The President vetoed it, but Congress passed it. Meaning the State reps overrode the Federal in passing that law. Most states also have Tax Withholdings. So do some cities! Its a fair way for the public (aka government) to collect revenues to pay for the daily services you consume. The alternatives are to pay up front for the year's services, or the federal government takes a loan that is serviced by the year end collection. Without continuous collections to pay continuous services, the public would actually be more in debt. Additionally, most people aren't disciplined enough to actually save their salary to pay their taxes. So the number of people NOT paying their fair share would go up if all collections happened on Jan/April.
Finally, you can OPT out of most monthly Withholdings! You can elect allowances to reduce the Withholdings. You can even file an Exemption from all Federal Withholdings if you don't own taxes! But of course within a certain margin, you must still pay your total year's worth of taxes on a regular quarterly basis. But the power is entirely within your hands to push your tax payments to the last minute possible. You don't have to pay too much every month and get the extra back a year later.
Knowledge IS power!
Also, Ft Knox would be the epitome of "big central government". Federal Reserve is decentralized governance backed by tax payers. Individual banks would be like little governments.