It’s that dreaded time of year

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — The most dreaded time of year is here again. Income taxes are due tomorrow. Millions of Americans have pulled out the shoebox and are sorting through receipts and bills. If you haven’t started yet, you may be too late.

On average, Americans filling out the long form spend 21.4 hours wading through the 172 pages of explanations for the federal form. Some 86 million more already have taken their records to a professional.

Every year the federal tax code gets longer. That’s because thousands of industries and special interest groups across the country are constantly beseeching Congress for more deductions, exemptions, credits and exclusions.

And they are ever increasing because the rewards are generous for members of Congress who help those who can afford to return the favor with hefty campaign contributions.

These special benefits are estimated to reduce federal income taxes by $1 trillion a year. New Mexico is not a bit better. Our giveaways are estimated at $1 billion a year. Get rid of them and we’ve more than solved our deficit problem.

How do we solve this raid on the treasury? We don’t. And likely never will. It’s the American Way. Some call it free enterprise. Some call it capitalism. Some call it graft. Whatever you call it, there’s no way to stop it.

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