The income tax system cannot be fixed. It must be destroyed.
It's not just that the income tax system is broken; like the protagonist in classic Greek tragedy, it was fatally flawed from the start. It violates every principle of good government. Like a cancer, it has spread throughout the financial life of the nation, creating perverse economic incentives and centralizing vast powers in the federal government.
It is for this reason that the Founders never established taxation on personal income. Not until 1861 was it instituted: a temporary version was enacted during the Civil War and then was repealed afterward. Then, in 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment established income tax as a permanent feature of American life – but even then, it was very small, and was literally a tax only on the wealthy.
Since then, the practice of taxing income has expanded downward, to the lower levels of the economic ladder, imposing a burden even on those living on bare subsistence wages. Worse yet, the tax code has morphed into a complex, indeed convoluted, social engineering scheme, acting in some ways as a welfare system.
The income tax is applied in a deceptive manner, in that by withholding taxes from paychecks, it becomes effectively invisible to the lower-level wage-earner once he gets over the initial shock of seeing his first paycheck arriving at far fewer dollars than he had counted on.
The Internal Revenue Service has become a behemoth that has power to destroy individuals, a power that Barack Obama openly used to attack his political opponents, notably the Tea Party. He did not need to collude with Russians. Lois Lerner did the job as well as any KGB commissar could have.
The need to abolish the income tax permanently has become glaringly apparent. Congress has become paralyzed trying to reform a system that is beyond broken. Any fix in any one part of the tax code causes it to break somewhere else. It is a system of exemptions for favored portions of the population, who are in effect subsidized unfairly by those less favored.
The tax code has created the insane idea, ingrained into those who make laws, that your money is not really yours at all, but rather, it belongs to the government. Government takes what it wants, gorging itself in wasteful profligacy, and then doles what is left of it back to you, as if it were doing you a favor.
Worse yet, tax laws are used (in effect) to buy votes. Politicians adjust the tax laws to help their campaign donors, reducing their taxes at your expense. They then get re-elected to repeat the process.
There are many other systems of taxation that would work better, more simply, and more fairly than the one we have. A national sales tax, or a national property tax, would be openly visible to the public.
The politicians reject those ideas, however, because the present system gives them the power, as the U.S. Supreme Court noted (McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819), to destroy you. And they will use it rather than lose it.
The income tax system cannot be fixed. We must destroy it.