SOME GERBILS DON'T LIKE RUNNING THE MAZE. The editors at the Northern Star discover how much work goes into filling out tax forms.

It takes an average of almost 27 hours to fill out a simple 1040 and the documents that go with it, including the time it takes to gather information and learn the rules, according to the National Taxpayers Union. Surely, that contributes to many errors in the forms.

The country wastes $203.4 billion a year dealing with and enforcing the code, according to the Tax Foundation. Instead that money could be going to support schools or health care.

I just headed over to the Tax Foundation site and running that estimate to earth is going to involve more work than I care to put in this evening. It almost certainly conflates compliance costs (such as the $1.25 in photocopying for $1 off on a tax bill) and enforcement costs (to deter "do-it-yourself" tax cuts.) That "instead," however, is priceless: doesn't much of that school and health care money pass through the State and Federal Treasuries first? It's not dropped from helicopters.

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