Type to search

Columnist Guest Columnist

Straight from the Mike…The deafening sound of silence


Where is the outrage from the people, our community leaders, and the like? It is becoming abundantly clear that we are at a critical point in our society today. There are some ominous clouds flowing overhead and they deserve our attention, now. 

If you reflect, as I do each time I hear, dare not attempt to sing the passage in our National Anthem, “Land of the free and the home of the brave” or recite our pledge of allegiance, “… with liberty and justice for all.”  I think about this wonderful country of ours of which we are full-fledged citizens and stakeholders. 

Our freedoms and liberties appear to be dissolving like an aspirin in a glass of water. The ‘clear’ difference being the aspirin is in its effective form, our fate may not be.

The silence emanating in our midst concerning the proposed IRS rule giving the tax gods an even wider open window into our privacy is quite sobering.

Thankfully, there have been noted objections and concerns from both the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Bankers Association. 

Mr. Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber says, “This blatant overreach by the government would place an undue burden on our state’s banking institutions and small businesses that make up 99% of Georgia’s business community. It clearly undermines the privacy of everyday Georgians and simply outweighs any hypothetical, unproven gains.” Add that to the words of Mr. Joe Brannen, president and CEO of the Georgia Bankers Association, “This is an infringement on personal and business privacy without grounds for suspecting tax fraud.”

I find no solace in the rejoinder from the proponents of the measure. Their suggestion is that it would reduce the tax cheats among the wealthy class in our country. Yeah, right! I want to be clear. My concern here begins with the jolt to our freedom, our liberty, and our privacy. I am not rooting for the ‘haves’, not even the ‘have not’s’. I am rooting for the ‘trying to get’ in our society that work everyday trying to get over the hump. You look up and there is the IRS dressed like Sherlock Holmes, donning a spyglass, no less.

It may be notable to point out here that Georgia ranks in the top five in the nation in having the highest number of unbanked and under-banked citizens. This provision, if enacted, would not only hinder those individuals already skeptical of banks, to remain so.

The additional cost for monitoring each account will only serve to make it more expensive for banking services.

This entire foray leads me into an area of long standing interest for me.  I have opined for several years our need to replace the tax code. Prior efforts to simplify the current code have been fruitless and superficial, at best. It does not bode well for a code that practically requires working class individuals and families to engage the services of professional tax preparers. This is often done under the lure of getting an early refund of their own money, in the first place. Yes, and with no interest applied.

Furthermore, locally, I have been an active advocate for a remedy to the bank desert in South Cobb. State Senator Michael Rhett worked tirelessly for three legislative sessions to get SB20 (Bank Improvement Zones) passed and signed by Governor Brian Kemp.

Every lever is in place, ready to be pulled for a bank to be located in South Cobb. A prime location has been identified. The next step is up to the BOC. A bevy of aspiring and existing entrepreneurs and citizens need an entity, a financial partner with a sensitive ear. The experience of ‘benign neglect’ received by numerous businesses attempting to get PPP loans should have ignited a fire with a glow and heat to initiate action. Like a young man, finally getting the nerve to ask that lovely lady for a date. You hate to be rejected.

Finally, I want to emphasize that even the discussion of a mandate of a $600 threshold, a ways down from the current $10,000, should start a drum beat from ‘we the people’ to replace, not reform or simplify the US Tax Code. A government document, proposed legislation over 2,000 pages needs to be condensed, if for no other reason than to save our trees.

It is simply disingenuous and deceiving to earn an incentive bonus, as an executive, a first responder, teacher, etc. but when you receive your check, it has been hijacked first by Uncle Sam. Imagine you have worked overtime on your job and you get your check, only to realize that you have a silent partner.

Rise up! Make some noise. Write or call your federal representative. Benjamin Franklin put it so aptly. “ A government that fears its citizens, we have liberty. Citizens who fear their government, we have tyranny.”

Beware, the taxman cometh.

Until next time…

Michael Murphy 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *