There’s Only One ‘Fair’ Tax Plan

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To hear the liberals tell it, government exists to make life fair. We need “fairness in broadcasting.” The “rich need to pay their fair share.” Under the “Our Party” tab on its website, the Democratic Party crows:

(W)e’re greater together than we are on our own–that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules.

Granted, the Democrats’ idea of “fair” diverges from the definition suggested by Messrs. Merriam and Webster. After all, it isn’t fair that their support groups get all the really friendly Internal Revenue Service examiners. It isn’t fair that the corporate media lists so far to port that it’s in danger of capsizing. It isn’t “fair” that they’ve done to higher education what termites do to untreated lumber. And it isn’t “fair” that they get to hog all the best tee times at all the best golf courses.

Now, we may never devise a method to play through the Obama foursome on the back nine at Isleworth, but we can devise a method to assure that no American is ever again asked by some Federal goon about the content of his prayers. Fortunately for us, someone already has.

In the late 1990s, a group of green-eye-shade types put their heads together to come up with a way not only to protect their fellow citizens from Uncle Sam’s shock troops, but to render the shock troops themselves obsolete. The fruit of their considerable economic IQs is the FairTax.

The FairTax would end the punitive tax system the Democrats currently employ as a political weapon and bury the corruption engendered by allowing political hatchet men access to law-abiding citizens’ private lives. By replacing the graduated income tax programs currently in place with a one-time sales tax of 23 percent on new item purchases, it straightens out our byzantine system by walling it off. And with exemptions (in the form of “prebates” keyed to necessities and needs) built in, the FairTax even allows for those who have yet to achieve the American dream to keep more of the tools they need.

Picture it: a Nation flourishing under a 23 percent consumption tax. The American economic engine would be driven by the total participation of every single American. And the FairTax is the economic definition of egalitarianism. When some overpaid liberal Hollywood twerp buys a brand-new Range Rover in which his chauffeur will ferry him to Democratic fundraisers, he’ll pay a 23 percent tax on a really nice car. And when some overworked small-business owner buys a new minivan to ferry his kids to school, he’ll pay a 23 percent tax on a soccer-mommy mobile.

Of course, the FairTax “prebate” system does produce a sizable amount of data and/or paperwork related to Federal disbursements to families. But that volume is merely a babbling brook compared to the oceanic roar of the current system’s endless warren of bureaucracy. Besides, I’d rather the IRS be reduced to digitally rubber-stamping outgoing checks than hassling people about the content of their bedtime prayers.

And a system that provides entitlements based on the number of household dependents does open itself up to potential fraud. But such cases would be mitigated by the set limitations on entitlements, rendering abuses simple shoplifting compared to the grand larceny that goes on now.

With the FairTax, scandals like the one assaulting our senses in Washington right now will be just a sad memory. Democratic politicians bent on destroying the fabric of society by deploying IRS storm troopers to comb through the lives of their perceived enemies will be thwarted by the complete lack of IRS storm troopers. Never again will a brazenly corrupt President be able to deploy a tax tomahawk at a guitar manufacturer. Never again will a cruelly fascist political party be able to fire a fiscal cruise missile at a citizen’s group just because the group has the word “Constitution” in its name. No longer will we have to gaze collectively at the television screen while the people in charge of collecting our hard-earned pay treat the truth the way Roman Polanski treats underage starlets. We will be the ones in charge of disbursing our funds to the government, and each such disbursement will include a benefit to us in the form of whatever we just bought.

With the FairTax, we get rid of loopholes, offshore money-laundering and Constitutional abuses. Everyone pays his “fair share.”

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

  • Harold Olsen

    Fair tax? The only fair tax would be a flat rate tax where everyone, no matter their income, pays the same percentage of their wages in taxes. No deductions. No loopholes. Idiots like Steven Forbes proposes what he says is a flat tax but still wants to allow deductions and loopholes. That is not a fair tax. If we are going to have a fair tax system, let’s ensure it IS fair.

    • rhcrest

      We need to eliminate any system where we are reporting what we made and all financial activities to the gov’t every year which is what our tax return does. It gives the gov’t a summary of anything we earned, if we got married, divorced, had kids, bought or sold property etc. It is NONE of the gov’ts business what we do with ourselves during the year. A flat tax means you would still be reporting your income. And also are you aware that our current system started out as a flat simple small tax? Any tax on income will morph back into the current disaster we have now. And besides a tax on income is unconstitutional and the 16th amendment was never properly ratified. Tax on income is immoral.

      • Don in Ohio

        rhcrest, exactly right.

      • Henry Salo

        Correction: Even with the so called Fair Tax, Income still has to be reported in to the Social Security Administration which is Federal. That way when you retire, they go by your payroll record. And of the 16th Amendment was never properly never ratified, that is your conclusion. It was ratified Feb. 3rd, 1913. And it is your conclusion that tax on income is unconstitutional. What happened in 1913, we were never there. There were court cases on this issue when people brought it up and every court case, the people lost the case. We can go to every Amendment in the Constitution and see if they were properly ratified. Some people want to get rid of the 2nd Amendment, some want to get rid of the 1st. When this country started, there was a tax rebellion called the Whisky Rebellion. The U.S. government wanted to tax whisky to pay for the new government. Pres. Washington sent an army to stop it. Was that tax legal? Who knows.

      • Henry Salo

        Even with the so called Fair Tax, you still have to report yourself, your family and how many children you have to the Federal government. In order to apply for the so called Prebate, they have to know how many members in the family. You still have to report.

    • RAND PAUL IN 2016

      What about charitable deductions? If they are eliminated, charities would suffer greatly. The only fair system is three levels of rates, something like: 10%, 15%, 25%….no loopholes, no deductions, except for charities.

      • rhcrest

        You know what? Before the income tax of 1913, there were so many charities that there were special directories to keep tabs of them in cities. So that people could keep them all straight. People thought of charity as the Christian thing to do on a voluntary basis. It was not forced through taxation. And the poor were taken care of. Although back then, there was shame in taking the money so people did whatever they had to to get by and charity and was a last resort. Unlike today where it is encouraged and systemitized by our gov;t.

        • Chester

          Yeah, the poor were “taken care of” all right. Seems most every town and nearly every county had some facility for “taking care of” the poor. Might look up poor houses and poor farms. Yes, such things DID exist, and NOT for the benefit of the residents.

          • rhcrest

            And what we have today is better? Half the country sitting around relaxing all day at the expense of others. No system is going to be perfect but at some point people need to be responsible for their own lives.

          • Chester

            Are you “responsible” for the cancer that takes all your life savings and the insurance you try to keep paid up decides that you are too expensive to carry any more? Are YOU responsible for the on the job accident that totally disables you for long enough that you no longer have any savings? That is essentially where a good number of the “half the country” got on the system. You also have all those military retirees who wrote and signed an IOU to the country as a whole and now are trying to collect what was promised them in return. Now add in the people who live solely on social security in one form or another besides disability and that leaves maybe ten per cent who MIGHT be leaching on the system, NOT the forty-seven per cent Mr. Romney hated so thoroughly in his off the record remarks.

          • rhcrest

            Am i responsible for my own health? Of course i am! If i got a terrible disease why on earth would i think to look to someone else to take care of me? Yeah we have over 10 MILLION people who are “disabled” . And i have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. As i say people used to turn to family, friends, churches and charities when they really couldn’t take care of themselves and that is the way it should be.. The people that REALLY can’t take care of themselves is a very small percentage of the country which could easily be absorbed by charities etc.. And also if people didn’t have to pay so much in taxes they would have more money to give to charity and would be more inclined to do so. Many people feel that they already gave at the office because they pay so much in taxes already. And as far as the military goes, that is one of the enumerated powers of the Constitution and the military should be taken care of for the sacrifice that they have made. And if someone paid into social security their whole lives then that is their money they are drawing out which is fine If they didn’t pay anything , then they are stealing that money out of someone else’s paycheck.

          • rocketride

            Probably not, or at least not much. But how the hell do you reckon that I am and am responsible for paying for it at gunpoint?

          • Frank Kahn

            So many things are wrong with your post it is hard to decide where to begin.

            First off, you are mixing things up way too much here. You have disabled and retired people mixed in with social security benefits and welfare.

            You also make a proof by bald assertion logic error by saying everyone but 10% are legitimate. And when you mention Social Security, you got it backwards. Or, at least your grammar seems to make it look like it is backwards. Then, there is the part where you are dissing retired military personnel.

            Since you brought up Romney’s remark about the 47%, we need to separate benefits from entitlements. A benefit is something that is earned, it might be through service or investment. An entitlement is something you get just because, because you are a single mother, an illegal alien with a child born here, an oppressed minority, displaced unjustly by the government or just because the system doesn’t have the safeguards to prevent you from getting it.

            Retirement benefits generally never raise to the level of entitlements unless they are influenced by Unions or controlled by the government. Even with government control of military retirement, there is no exaggeration of compensation that would rise to the level of entitlement for most retired military members. The worst entitlement occurrences in retirement packages is when they are handled by a combination of government and unions.

            Handled correctly, the SS system is a benefit program not an entitlement. The parts of SS that are benefits are retirement and disability. Both of these are based on investment in the system, you receive a return value based on the amount paid in. Once you move to SSI (Supplemental Security Income), you are now into an entitlement. This is generally based on the premise of just because, just because you claim to be unemployable. I say claim, because the guidelines for being unemployable are blurred and can be twisted to fit situations that are ludicrous. I have a problem with authority figures so I can’t handle being bossed on the job, I am unemployable. Even the retirement portion has been tainted by government policies. The U.S. government made an agreement with Russia, that if their senior citizens immigrated here, they would be eligible for social security retirement benefits (entitlements) even though they never contributed to the system.

            There are many forms of pure entitlement programs. Even our federal tax codes contain entitlement provisions. The earned income credit is one. If you have more children than you can manage to support with your income, you will l get a government tax rebate to help subsidize your household purchases. Welfare is another set of entitlements, and one that is severely abused. The welfare system will pay the cost of renting a home, give you money for necessities, provide food stamps for food, pay your bills and cover medical needs as well as education. This system is available to all U.S. citizens, unfortunately a baby born to illegal aliens while present in our country is a citizen. This means a foreign national, like a Mexican, can cross our border to have a baby and instantly be eligible for welfare.

            Now, if you take away the benefit recipients from the equation, you are left with a different group of people. These are people who are receiving assistance that they have not earned through their personal efforts. They are getting it just because. They are getting it because our government allows it. Some have just fallen on hard times, and deserve to receive these entitlements temporarily, until they can get back on their feet. Others use it as a crutch to live off the fruits of others labors. But, when you factor in human nature, you will find that those who are dependent on these entitlements are not pleased if someone wants to limit or eliminate them.

            I don’t know the exact percentage of the population, of this country, that are actually receiving entitlement payments. But, whatever the percentage, it is true that those people will not be inclined to vote for a candidate that supports a policy that would take their entitlements away from them. If you are a candidate that is in this position, you can be honest with yourself, and others, that those people will not vote for you while you maintain your ideals. Voicing that conclusion is not a statement of hatred either, it is just common sense and realistic.

            So, even though I did not support Mr. Romney, I don’t consider his statement about people on entitlements not voting for him, to be egregious.

            And, saying MIGHT be leaching is pushing buttons. The word leach would be inflammatory, and I don’t recall him using that word. On the government dole means living off government money, that would not mean you are a leach, unless your reason is unethical or immoral.

    • shavager

      YOU will never get a ‘flat tax’ because the DemocRATS will not settle for the wealthy paying a flat tax that everyone is paying, so you’re back to different ‘flat taxes’, then as soon as Congress needs more money–they do just as they did after both Reagan and W. Bush got ‘flat taxes’ in place–they RAISED them again. As long as the income tax exists–it will NOT REMAIN FLAT while there is a U.S. Congress. GET RID of income taxes and go to FAIR TAX system with income taxes abolished. NO more reporting income, NO audits, NO tax preparations, NO arguing–everybody will be paying their “fair share” based on their own spending habits–not someone else’s idea of who should pay the most taxes.

      • Henry Salo

        Correction: Income still has to be reported in to the Social Security Administration which is Federal. That way when you retire, they go by your payroll records.

  • Dodged5

    Yeah, 23% this year. What about next year and the year after when the boys in DC decide they aren’t getting enough of our dollars. What will it be them? will they just vote to raise the percentage to 25%, 30% 45% 50%? It all sounds real nice but I just don’t trust them so unless the American people have to vote in favor of a raise in the “Fair Tax” rate I will remain against it.

    • rhcrest

      If everyone is paying the same rate it will be a lot harder for them to get a tax increase passed. Right now it’s easy because everyone wants to tax the other guy and that’s how it’s done. I.e. tax the rich. There wouldn’t be another guy with this system. Everyone pays the same.

  • DLKSR

    Our Government can no longer collect enough taxes to pay all money that is in just one years budget! No tax plan is fair to the American people until the Spending Budget of Government is Reduced to meet Todays Current Revenue Intake!
    Any other plan to collect taxes, under any other Formula or Name, does Not Address Our Government’s Addiction to Spending!
    That is Where the Real Problem Lies! ~~~ Not In Enough Collected Taxes!

    “Tax reform is taking the taxes off things
    that have been taxed in the past and
    putting taxes on things that haven’t been taxed before.”
    — Art Buchwald
    (1925-2006) American Humorist and Columnist

  • Holy Smokes, Wakeup

    Yes, the fair tax is just another scheme in sheep’s clothing. Fair is equal representation, which also means equal responsibility. We need to pay an equal amount across the board, that is the only way everybody gets equal representation. The amount will obviously be too high right now, which is a call for reduced government. A lot of which will be gone with the fraudulent tax system that was never ratified in the first place. And with the IRS, also get rid of our biggest money drain, the Federal Reserve, and we’ll be well on our way to starting a recovery.

  • Scifidave

    Pure and simple, the ‘fair tax’ is an illusion and not a vry good one. The tax burden would fall more heavily on the poor, who can ill afford it. Rich? We gavet hem tax breaks and instead of the ‘job creators’ creating jobs with that windfall, they bought derivatives – investment vehicles that have no clear line of owner responsibility and that are very good at creating enormous wealth, butn o jobs.

    • rhcrest

      There is a prebate up to the poverty level with the fair tax so that the poor don’t get affected as heavily. And besides why are the poor supposed to get away with paying no taxes and having no skin in the game? They live in this country too and should pay towards things that we all benefit from the same as the rest of us. It isn’t fair to use the buzzword of the left that they pay nothing or even less than nothing if they get tax credits. They need to pay something to run this country. It isn’t right that they don’t.

      • Scifidave

        The heart of the progressive tax system is that those who benefit the most from our economic system should do the most to support it. Now, if you’re willing to level the playing field somewhat, that wouldn’t necessary, but this is the real world and the rich have an unfair advantage.

        Let’s start by making sure everyone has access to health care without the burden of medical bankruptcy or the threat that something else, like food and shelter, needs to be short-changed in order to pay for medical care.

        Next, make sure everyone has access to higher education without going into debt for the rest of their life to pay for it.

        Third, see to it that corporations pay their employees a ‘living wage’, not subsistence or slave wages as is the case for millions today. The big players, the banks, the investors and major corporations are wallowing in wealth while so many are starving or doing without basic necessities. There is something horribly wrong with that being the case in the ‘greatest nation on earth’.

        • rhcrest

          The system you are describing has been tried in the past with huge failure. It is called communism, fascism or whatever you want to call it. When you try to make sure everyone is equal, people end up being equally miserable and poor except for the elite of course. Think real life hunger games. So you think everyone has a right to health care? Then you are saying that people have a right to the free labor and resources of doctors, hospitals etc. This is also known as slavery.Didn’t we do away with that a while back? Same thing with education. Everyone having access to education means someone else is paying for it right? So then students have the right to a free education meaning that they have a right to the free labor and resources of the colleges and teachers. The higher the minimum wage goes the less jobs there are. It’s something called economics. There isn’t a pie that means that if one person gets something that means you don’t. If all you are being paid is minimum wage then that is all you are worth. Plenty of people have worked hard and amassed great wealth after coming from sheer poverty. No one owes you anything just because you are alive. Life isn’t fair and for some reason you leftists never learned that lesson when you were growing up. You act like little kids screaming to their parents or in your case the gov’t – hey no fair! So and so has more than me! Grow up. If people want to have more money they need to figure out how to do that like plenty of people have done in the past instead of demanding that the gov’t mandate them being paid more than they are worth to the marketplace.

          • Scifidave

            Comeon. Let’s not get stupid here. Our gov’t has a fair amount of socialism built in, but helping those that need the help is a far cry from fascism or communism.

            It is a social impossibility to make everyone equal and the playing field perfectly flat. But the rich have an enormous advantage of far too many of them see those who don’t strive for their level of wealth as inferior and thus deserving of whatever fate befalls them.

            We once were the greatest nation on earth, but we’ve falling away from that ideal. With the enormous wealth this nation posesses we could provide medical care and education for everyone. Like European countries we’d pay more in taxes, but as we’ve seen, this always greatly improves the well being of all.

            We’ve seen no direct, derogatory connection between higher wages and economic loss. In fact, the unions brought about tremendous positive change for our society as a whole and that included benefits and higher wages. When the middle class does well, the nation does well. Basic economics.

            Keep part of the society downtrodden and we all pay the price, with the exception of the enormously rich.

            Your arguments against a fair and benevolent society are flat out wrong.

          • BobinCA

            Much of the wealth you speak of goes untaxed right now for the rich, but if they had to pay sales tax on everything they spent their money on they would be paying more. The more you spend, the more you pay. Or as in the case of the low income wage earner, the less he spends the less he pays. This conversation is about taxes, not how much we need to give out of our taxes to support those who don’t make enough to survive or need medical care beyond their means.

          • CongressWorksForUs

            @Scifidave, you are living in la-la land. I have lived under the very kind of system that you are espousing and it does not work. It has never worked anywhere it has been tried. The rich stay rich, the poor stay poor, and the middle class get poorer and poorer every day.

            It is not for you to determine who I should support. If I wish to support my local charity, that is for me to decide. It is not for you or anyone else to steal from me and give to the poor. That is my decision.

            And yes, I do precisely that. Oddly, it’s always the liberals who fail to donate to worthy charities, as is demonstrated repeatedly when politicians reveal tax returns…

            This country was founded on an idea that you clearly do not believe in, so get the hell out and go ruin other people’s lives instead.

          • rhcrest

            Exactly!

          • rhcrest

            Paying taxes improves the well being of all? Since when? Those European countries are dying from high unemployment and overspending. Their medical care sucks as well. Why should anyone pay for someone else’s education and medical care? What right do you have to demand that of someone? You don’t. And higher wages are fine when the person is worth those higher wages. When the gov’t mandates that someone be paid more than they are worth then less jobs are produced. Read about the history of the minimum wage. And i am for a free society. If you don’t want to work hard then that is your free choice but you should not expect that the rest of us owe you anything. And this country grew from nothing at the time of the Revolution to a nation of incredible wealth and opportunity at the turn of the century, around 1900, all with a tiny limited gov’t and a self sufficient populace. Now for the past century the gov’t has grown into a monster and we are on the verge of our entire economic system collapsing because of it. We have half the country sitting around all day living off the the fruit’s of the labor of others. The gov’t is killing small businesses and individuals with its crazy regulations. The gov’t is sticking its nose in where in doesn’t belong left and right.The golden goose, the productive sector and the middle class is slowly being destroyed with excessive taxation and regulations. And you want more? And there is no constitutional basis for your argument at all anyway. And the general welfare clause doesn’t cut it sorry. If the Founding Fathers defined the welfare clause the way you leftists do, they would have stopped at the preamble. That would have meant that they believe in an unlimited gov’t that has no limits on its powers. And we all know through their writings and speeches that that was not what they believed in at all. They just fought the crown of England because they felt it was too powerful etc and to think after all that that they would turn around and set up an unlimited all powerful gov’t here, justified by the general welfare clause is just ridiculous.

          • Scifidave

            Get your facts straight. The standard of living is substantially higher in Europe than here. We have a much higher new born mortality rate and that is only one factor among hundreds.

            Europes medical care is much better and provided at lower cost. Take the time to read up on the innovations the French have made.

            Unemployment in all Europen countries is no higher than here.

            Paying for medical care and education boosts economic activity, which benefits us all. One of the problems we have is that we have to import qualified people because our financially punitive system of higher education produces an inferior product and saddles young people with enormous debt. Only the bankers make out in such a situation.

            Paying a living wage benefits us all by reducing the costs of supporting those who can’t afford to. It takes everyone, from the dishwasher to the CEO to make our economy work. Without the dishwasher and other low paid workers, the CEOs couldn’t concentrate on doing their jobs.

            So you’re telling me it’s okay to pay someone less than subsistenace wages because they were born in lesser circumstances. Not very Christian of you.

          • rhcrest

            The standard of living in Europe is higher than here?Are you absolutely out of your mind? My family is first generation Italian with some family moving to America, some staying in Italy and some moving to France. Our families visit each other and i can assure you that their standard of living is substantially lower than ours. THeir medical care is absolutely HORRIBLE. When my family goes and visits and they need care, they usually can’t wait to get back here to see a doctor or if they really get sick on vacation, they cut their trip short and come home. When my relatives come here, they can’t believe how much we have in comparison to them. You are really living in la la land. And as far as wages go, i am saying to pay someone what they are worth. Since when would Jesus advocate forcing people to pay employees more than they are worth? Where do you get these crazy ideas?

          • Scifidave

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-of-life_Index

            I thought you might find this interesting, as a starting point.

            I’ve watched a few shows that cover quality of life subjects, read a bit more and have talked to people who travel Europe or live there and travel.

            Most would disagree with you.

          • rhcrest

            Wikepedia?And i am sure you watch shows that are biased to the left. I have seen Europe’s standard of living compared to ours up close and personal and to say that theirs is better than ours is just laughable.

          • Henry Salo

            rhcrest: Scifidave is right about the standard of living in Europe is higher than here plus their medical care. It depends on what European country you look at. Your family comes from Italy and you compare Italy to all of Europe. My family comes from Finland and their standard of living is higher. Scandinavian countries, Germany and other northern European countries have higher standards of living but southern European countries like Greece, Italy, Spain and so on have lower standards of living. I went to Finland to visit relatives and I saw what was there. You can’t compare what your family went through in Italy and say it is in rest of Europe.

          • rhcrest

            Germany has a higher standard of living? I know someone from Germany and people there can’t even buy houses and the houses they do buy are really tiny. And their medical care is well known for being atrocious. And my family is also from France. I really really doubt that their standard of living is higher. If that were true, then why are they not noted for being economic and military powerhouses? Countries with high standards of living tend to be powerful. What you are saying makes no sense. If they are so powerful and wealthy then why have they needed America to protect them militarily all these years? A powerful country should be able to protect itself.

          • Henry Salo

            Finland doesn’t depend on the U.S. for military protection. The country is very capable of defending itself. Finland is not part of NATO, same as Sweden. The U.S. does not have military bases in these countries. You are trying to compare France and Italy with these countries. What I’m saying, makes a lot of sense. Yes, Finland buys fighter planes from the U.S, Sweden and some from Russia, they buy tanks from Germany plus their naval ships are built in Finland. They also built some naval ships for Russia. I’ve been to that country and I saw what they have. Your comment makes no sense.

          • rhcrest

            Well our country’s well being is being dragged down by all the third world filth that is coming into this country. So any statistics that you look at are going to be mixing in third world trash with that of regular Americans. And the well being of regular Americans is also being dragged down by third world trash that is being allowed to invade this country. Parts of this country already resemble the third world. It’s our multicultural and diverse future – to become a third world cesspool of human filth and trash

          • Henry Salo

            Now you’re making sense. I agree with what you’re saying. I read some European countries do have troops in Afghanistan, Finland including. I think Poland pulled their troops out. Finland will be pulling their troops out soon. European countries, Japan, I think China has naval ships protecting cargo ships near the coast of Somalia. The reason: Pirates. These guys are vicious. Take care.

        • BobinCA

          The heart of the progressive tax system; WHY should someone that works harder have to pay the way for those that are too lazy, too high on drugs or here illegally get what they want? This country wasn’t founded on lazy, you made your money by working with your skills, selling what you made or did and buying what you needed. Not sitting on your rear, smoking dope, or sneaking across so border to get free hand outs! And no one give out your tax money to someone claiming to be hurt and unable to work….that’s when their church would help them out, oh, I forgot, too many people don’t believe in that anymore! This progressive tax system idea SUCKS! Everyone needs to pay their fair share! If you want to work less or earn less by not getting the education to get the pay, that’s up to you, not up to me to make up for your lacking of performance or idea of getting an education to began with! I’m sick of people with their hand out, looking for hand outs! If it wasn’t given to them, many would be working or at least trying to work, instead of making more kids to get more money from the government! So pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get to work to help yourself out! And if that doesn’t work, report to your nearest church and talk to God about it!

          • Scifidave

            You assume everyone that isn’t a CEO is lazy and good for nothings sucking off the system.

            Go to school. Take a course in economics. Learn how business and the gov’t works, than maybe you can make a cogent argument. All I hear here is self-serving, scerw everybody else baloney.

            Sorry, but fighting abject ignorance isn’t worth my time.

          • BobinCA

            I didn’t assume a darn thing, nor did I say anything about a CEO. I think the only ignorance here belongs to you. You can’t read, so you go to school, learn how to read and maybe when you get over yourself you’ll be able to offer a statement of fact instead of your ignorant statement. The only one here self-serving is you and the only ignorance here is your lack of a proper argument to my statement concerning your heart of a progressive tax system that makes all of us hard working people pay for all the no-loads out there. I’m sick of you bleeding heart A holes telling me how I have to carry you and your kinds dead rear ends in life with my hard work and tax dollars. You and yours’ is why this country is in the tax mess it’s in. So, when it comes to fighting ignorance, you are your own worst enemy! You go through life with blinders on and when someone doesn’t agree with your garbage you call them ignorant and take a hike. Pansy! Oh and by the way, sorry I didn’t get back to your name calling sooner, I had to go to work and didn’t get home until after 8 pm.

        • Gary

          Last time I checked, the Constitution says NOTHING about guaranteeing healthcare or higher education. If you want those things, freely donate YOUR money to a private agency that helps with that, but don’t FORCE me to do the same at the barrel of a gun, i.e. the Feds.

          • Scifidave

            The Constitution doesn’t say anything about a number of issues that are relevant today. The founders, for example, knew nothing of automatic weapons designed only to kill other people, and magazines giving the shooter the ability to slaughter a large number of people in seconds. They had single shot muzzle loaders that took up to a half minute to reload.

            Your point is irrelevant.

          • Gary

            That is my point. We do a lot of things that are not Constitutional. I would like to see the country go back to Constitutional principles, since we were established as a Constitutional Republic. You are free to hate the Constitution and freedom, but stop turning my country into a socialist utopia. Last time I checked, widespread socialism/communism ends with tens of millions dead.

          • Scifidave

            Sure. Why don’t we go back to the robber-baron days. You know, before gov’t came up with consumer protections, before the 40 hour work week, before SS kept oldsters from being tossed in the dumpster, before the national road system, before all those thousands of things that gov’t does right and has made our society safer and better in countless ways.

            I don’t think you’d like living in that time, so be careful what you wish for.

            You make a lot of assumptions and you bandy about words in a most hateful manner.

            Obviosuly you’re a little shy on history. I suggest you study it as you begin your study of economics so you can talk without name calling and categorizing. Both are just excuses for not putting forth a cogent argument.

          • Gary

            And if you don’t like the 2nd Amendment, there is a process to repeal or “amend” it. So while the founding fathers may not have anticipated all advances in technology, they did have the foresight to put in place a deliberate process to amend the Constitution. Btw, it has been done several times in our history. In fact, one of our amendments was repealed, so even when the process gets it wrong, it can be undone.

          • Henry Salo

            One of our amendments was repealed? That was Prohibition. The people love their sauce. So it became legal to drink alcohol. No Winner there.

          • Henry Salo

            After the Constitution was written, the Founding Fathers must have had some idea guns were changing. They were going from flintlocks to percussion caps. I was watching “History Of The Gun” on History Channel. During the late 1700’s to the early 1800’s, the Germans and some European countries were developing new type of guns and some of their technology and guns were coming into this country. They knew changes were coming and even though they never saw automatic weapons.

        • Bill

          SciFiDave,
          Just move to Sweden and you can have all that free stuff

        • BobinCA

          “Let’s start by making sure everyone has access to health care without
          the burden of medical bankruptcy or the threat that something else, like
          food and shelter, needs to be short-changed in order to pay for medical
          care.” OK bright boy, but lets do it my way. We drop ObamaCare so he can’t give his friends wavers from having to pay in to it and instead pass a law that states; all employers must supply their employee’s health care. So the retail price of everything we use will go up to cover the costs of health care being supplied by the employers. Now it is being paid by all of us and as long as you work for a living and don;t sit on your rump or come here illegally you will have health care! Paid for by all of us and if you don’t work you don’t have health care! Now if someone has a history of working all their life in this country and lets say got hurt and couldn’t work we can have a government subsidized medical program to help those normally hard workers, paid for by, you guessed it, the people via their federal sales tax that is the same for everyone. This way the only ones left out are those that don’t work or come here without following the laws for entering this country. Sounds more than fair to me.

      • Wizzardly

        If the “poor” had to pay the same tax rate as the “rich”, they’d be just as pissed off at the government’s profligacy as the rest of us, instead of voting to keep in power those who buy their votes with that profligacy.

        • Chester

          In many ways, the poor pay HIGHER tax rates than the rich, if you look at all taxes paid as opposed to income to pay them with.

        • Bill

          Good Analogy, Wizzardly
          I guess you would call that “Wizzardly Words of Wisdom”

      • Chester

        Might want to take a look at the percentage of income the poor pay in taxes now. If there is a seven per cent tax on all purchases, who is going to spend more of their income as taxes, the man making ten thousand a year who has to spend half or more of that on necessities that are taxed, or the man making a hundred thousand a year who will spend about ten per cent of his income on taxed items? That is where we are now, and a “pre-bate” assumes you will have a given income in the first place, so you will be authorized this much money back, before you actually spend anything. Only way that would work would be for those on some sort of government payment in the first place, as those are the only ones with a more than halfway guaranteed income.

        • rhcrest

          Half the country pays nothing in federal income tax or even gets a tax credit at the end of the year. The poor need to have some skin in the game along with the rest of us. Not only do they get “guranteed income’ but they don’t even pay taxes on that income. Sorry but my patience with all this talk about the poor has reached its end. I have my own family and children to worry about and take care of – NOT strangers that i don’t even know. If i want to volunteer my money then fine but it should never be forced on me to take care of anyone else. My father came here from Italy with nothing but the clothes on his back and not speaking the language. He worked his butt off and built a successful business and raised 4 kids, bought a nice house etc without ONE dime in assistance or speech translation assistance or ANYTHING from the gov’t. This was after he survived the Germans bombing his village on a daily basis in Italy and barely having anything to eat because they would come in and steal food from the villagers. So sorry but i don’t feel pity for the poor. They can get up off their butts and do something for the money they get. I am sure there are lots of things they could do for their local communities to earn that money instead of sitting around all day whining.No one demands anything of them. They just demand that the rest of us work harder to make more money to give to them! Well screw that!

          • Chester

            You have decried the poor for being poor long enough. How about going down and living where all you can get is a $7.25 an hour job, 20 hours a week, and you HAVE to be available to work with ten minute notice. That does make it difficult to hold two of those jobs, as often both jobs will want you to show up at the same time. Been there, done that. You also complain that they pay no income taxes. Maybe true, but they DO pay the social security and medicare taxes, and are still stuck with all the sales taxes and property taxes that the local environment demands, with less income to pay them with. Until you walk a mile in a man’s shoes, do NOT complain that he isn’t doing all he can do for himself and others.

          • rhcrest

            Oh please. I see the “poor’ in person. My husband manages an apt building filled with section 8 tenants etc whose full time job is to make sure that all their forms are up to date so that they can take advantage of every gov’t program out there. Then they hit up the private charities on top of it. The rest of the time is spent going to the beach, taking the kids to the movies, amusement parks, sitting around the front porch shooting the breeze etc. They have large apts, cars, indoor plumbing, heat, refrigeration, free health care, education, plenty of high quality food that they buy with their food stamps etc. They are considered middle class by the standards of most of the world. At Christmastime, one of them opened up a closet filled with toys for their kids to show my husband. Multiple x boxes, expensive stuff. Items that we can’t afford for our kids. All gotten for free at the local charity like Toys for Tots or purchased with taxpayer money.I have no pity. Sorry.

    • oldguy

      You must read a lot of scifi to be spouting off about things you obviously don’t have the capacity to think through. Maybe you haven’t taken the time to read through the fair tax proposal or just maybe your reading comprehension suffers from too much Kool-Aid. The fair tax is not regressive. As far as the derivative markets your friendly taxpayer rescued bankers were to blame for that. If you’d do just a smidgeon of research before you open your big mouth you might actually learn something instead of being one of those “my mind is made up don’t confuse me with the facts” people.

      • rocketride

        Scifidave is obviously not reading the good stuff. (Or, at least, not comprehending it.) There was no room for his kind of foggy-headedness in Heinlein, for instance.

      • Scifidave

        The answer is to turn to demeaning language?

        I have a degree in business with my post-graduate studies in economics.

        I’ve read the fair tax proposal. I’ve not said it was a ‘regessive’ tax, but it does have a much higher impact on the poor, despite all the arguments to the contrary. I used to listen to Neal Bortz pontificate on it at great length.

        Derivatives were created to provide the wealthy with a product that held no line of ownership (responsibility) for which enormous wealth could be generated without the bother of building factories and hiring people. In effect milking the much lower capital gains tax rate that disproportinately benefits the big investors. Even the market regulators said this was an unregulatable product, yet despite the fact that this one product was instrumental in the Wall Street collapse, Congress refuses to ban it.

        It wasn’t the taxpayer that bailed out the banks. The majority of voters were against the bailout. The blame lies with Congress. In fact, the whole mess is the responsibility of Congress. They wrote the rules that allowed the big players to game the system, just as they did under Reagan. In return the taxpayer picked up the tab and the wealthy walk away untouched.

        I think you need to do a little homework yourself.

        • BobinCA

          “The answer is to turn to demeaning language?” Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

    • BobinCA

      The clear line would be shown really fast when the money made by whomever is used to buy something. The money made from what you’re speaking of wouldn’t do anyone any good if they can’t reach their bottom line of spending it. As soon as they did they would have to pay taxes on it. The money made is no good if you can’t spend it. Your idea is no different than money made by drug dealers. It maybe unaccounted for income, but don’t you think the guy getting rich from it wants to buy things equal to the level of income he or she makes?

    • Bill

      SciFiDave,
      Your opinions are formed by the media and not your own independent thinking.

      • Scifidave

        My opinions have been formed by listening, discussions, education, research and experience.

        The media sources I use must pass a high credibility bar. FactCheck.org is just one of the resources I use to vaildate what I read.

    • BobinCA

      And tell me how the tax burden would fall more heavily on the poor? If they don’t have much to spend what are they going to pay tax on? Your statement is an oxymoron, who can ill afford it. What does giving the rich tax breaks have to do with a sales tax that is the same for everyone at the same rate Mr economics? You are only going to pay more if you buy more or buy items at a higher price…. I buy a VW for 20 K and you buy a BMW for 50 K, who is going to pay more sales tax, you or me? The guy that can afford a 50 K car or the guy that can only afford a 20 K car? Neither they both paid 10% or you because you paid 5000 and I only paid 2000? We are talking taxes and you are talking tax breaks. When does taxing someone produce jobs? Never! Where did this Fair Tax article call for tax breaks to produce jobs? You sure need to go to school and learn to read before you start making comments and calling others ignorant! The only illusion here is your fodder trying to hid the truth that you and your kind don’t like, you’ll have to pay your own way! And just to be clear, your progressive tax SUCKS!

    • Frank Kahn

      Might make sense to a handicapped liberal like yourself, but your statement is full of holes.

      Since the fair tax is applied only to new items, how do you think the poor would be paying more (heavier tax burden) than the rich? If you know lots of poor people that are buying lots of new cars, houses, boats and appliances, you might want to investigate their true financial capabilities.

      All of the poor people, that I know, either bought a USED car, or they ride a bicycle or walk to their destinations. If they have a bicycle, it is usually an old used one.

      From where I am sitting, most poor people would pay little or no taxes under that system.

  • Don Berry

    Go back to Eisenhower-era tax rates, eliminate the loopholes, and the problem will take care of itself.

    • CongressWorksForUs

      No it wont, because we’d also have to go back to Eisenhower-era spending…

  • Al Chemist

    “What is your ‘Fair Share’ of what someone else has worked for?”…Thomas Sowell

  • oldguy

    The “fairest” tax can only be a consumption tax that’s based on sales. You are only taxed on what you purchase. The wealthy will buy their mansions and Mercedes, us poor will buy our mobile homes and used cars but we’ll all pay the same percentage.
    That’s the only way that ANY tax will ever be “fair”.

    • BobinCA

      Exactly, Who cares how much you make, what counts is what you spend. If you tax all purchases other than basic needs like food and meds. everyone will be paying, including those with normally unclaimed income. Drug dealers, garage sales, on line sales, it won’t matter how you made your money, but it’ll matter when you try to buy expensive things with it. Not taxing basic needs will protect the low income family trying to buy food, meds., and other basic needs. This will reduce the IRS to doing nothing but collecting the taxes collected by the retail businesses and corporations. This only leaves the job of working out what businesses should pay on company profits and what they are allowed to write off. Another thing is the taxing of any money transferred to accounts out of the country, they should be taxed the same way. This would help to keep money made in this country stay in this country, along with taxing of overseas purchases and import taxes. This should support our countries industry growth.

      • Hat Bailey

        So now you think the so called “government” owns your capital Robin? They should be able to tell you whether or not you can move your own money overseas? Where is the “land of the free” in all that? As a being created equal to other men I don’t consider anyone else but God to be qualified to rule my life and tell me what services I need and how much I am required to pay for them. Leave me out of that okay?

        • BobinCA

          Sure, just one thing, who in the h*ll is robin? Other than that I think you missed my point. But never mind it too late and I’m too tired, so just tell me why you call me robin, you’ve done this in the past too.

    • skippy

      og….why does one have to pay sales tax on a USED car when full tax was paid when it was NEW?? I have always wondered that………..!! :)

      • BobinCA

        You’re not taxing the product, you’re taxing the buyer.

        • skippy

          Well………..talk about NOT fair!! LOL

          • DFoxworth

            The FairTax does not tax used items. Only retail of new items.

          • BobinCA

            Then it will not work, all I’ll have to do is buy a used house, used car, used clothes, etc. and no one will be paying taxes! I’m for a one percentage amount charged on all purchases made by all. The only none taxed items would be things like food and medical needs. Everything else and everyone would pay the same sakes tax charge, just like we do in the states now. Whats fair about a tax that only is charged when it’s a new item being purchased? This fair tax idea sucks than. I’ll have to read more, I guess I thought this was more like a state sales tax that covers everything from gas for your car to buying a house, new or used. I like my other idea, drop the federal taxes and pay them through the states as I spoke of here else where. The hick with it, I’m going to bed!

          • DFoxworth

            Yes if you buy used items you wil not be paying taxes. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? You get to control the amount of tax you pay to the federal goverment by how you spend.

          • john goult

            I think at one time in American history the Fed Gov only could Tax the State, not the Person. The State taxed the person living in the State and the Fed Taxed the State to maintain the Army/Navy etc. The IRS like tha FED BANK is and has always been a Scam on the American People!

      • Burle Cook

        The Fair Tax only taxes new purchases not used purchases. So that used car would have no tax on it.

        • Henry Salo

          Correction: Any states sales tax will be added on.

          • shavager

            The FAIR TAX replaces ALL Federal taxes, it does NOT affect or replace any state/local sales taxes.

          • Henry Salo

            Not all Federal taxes. It only replaces 7 taxes: Fed. income tax, alternative minimum tax, corporate income tax, capital gains tax, payroll tax including S.S. and Medicare withholding, gift tax and estate tax. It does not get rid of Fed. gas tax, cigarette tax, liqueur tax or any tax by the Excise Tax Bureau. Employers or employees still have to report all payrolls to the Social Security Administration. The reason: when a person apply for Social Security benefits, they go by payroll.

          • Henry Salo

            Also I forgot to say this, Fair Tax will be added on with the Federal gas tax and State gas tax. So there will be 3 gas taxes. Expect a dollar increase over existing prices.

    • justus brother

      tax is only paid on new mobile homes and new cars not used.

    • shavager

      NOPE–my understanding of the FAIR TAX is ONLY NEW ITEMS are taxed under this system–“used” items including autos are exempt. NO more offshore accounts to hide money, NO more audits from IRS, NO more tax preparations–ALL those Federal taxes will be collected at the cash register at time of purchase. NO MORE REPORTING INCOME–the income tax will be abolished, a remnant of government oversight may be needed to assure correct collections are made. EVERYBODY will have some “skin in the game” since their will be NO EXEMPTIONS from paying into the system. Drug dealers who never report any income WILL PAY taxes no matter what, anyone in the U.S. who participates in the economy WILL PAY SOME TAXES. All those BILLIONS in offshore investments will come home to banks, financial industry for investment, loans for autos, college tuitions, homes, etc..new business startups or expansion of existing businesses.

  • BobinCA

    Here is a whole different idea to chew on. Close the IRS and Federal taxes completely. Put all tax collection at the state level collected as sales and income taxes and have the states pay so much per person to the federal government to keep it going and pay all state and federal elected officials from the states they represent. This will return control of of our federal government to the state level and allow for better control by “we the people” as it was meant to be.

    • Don in Ohio

      BobinCA,
      I agree with that the states should collect the tax and *give* the Feds a certain % per person.
      See my other post concerning the prebate thingy.

    • jbakerjonathan

      I like this idea!

      Rather than keeping the Federal Government in the driver’s seat, put the States back in the driver’s seat and reduce the size and power of the Fed. By having the States pay the representatives we send to D.C., they will become much more aware of who they represent. Lobbyists, big business and special interests will lose their monetary advantage. My God, this idea is earth-shifting!

      Wait a minute…Article 1, section 6 of the constitutional says that the U.S.Treasury shall pay the congress critters; amendment needed there.

      • BobinCA

        Couldn’t the states pay the Treasury and the Treasury pay the congress?

  • dan

    IRSS….funny how we ran and financed the country for a hundred years without them before the Federal Reserve using import and exise/tarriffs (Constitutional) taxes….
    of course you only have to ask where your tax money goes once they receive it.. …follow the money

  • Bill

    The only fair tax is a flat tax with the same rate for all. It has worked in Hong Kong and has created one of the most vibrant free market economies in the world.
    It has worked so well that the Russians have recently tried it at a rate of 13%.
    Hong Kong has two rates, 15% for personal or 17% for business. That is the only tax they have in Hong Kong, no property tax, no sales tax, no any other tax.
    But then again, they know that you cannot spend more than you bring in. We spend almost double what we bring in. And the worst part about it is that no one seems to care.

    • rocketride

      Nobody much in office seems to care. Plenty of real people care.

    • shavager

      We’ve already had FLAT TAXES under both Reagan and W. Bush–and Congress came right back and RAISED THEM. GET RID OF INCOME TAX WITH THE FAIR TAX. STOP punitive taxes on people’s incomes, go to a national sales tax–FAIR TAX! ABOLISH the income tax–our Founding Fathers did NOT want citizen’s wages TAXED–they preferred a sales tax on consumer items and services.

  • Fred

    We must point out that the “sizable amount of data and/or paperwork related to Federal disbursements to families” additionally creates jobs for those in the accounting field and those poor displaced federal employees. I have repeatedly heard the argument from the high-tax pro-IRS left that such a system would kill jobs for bean counters…..hogwash

  • DFoxworth

    I have been a supporter of the FairTax since the early 2000’s. Is it perfect? No. But no tax is. However it is tremendously better that what we have now 16000 pages of corruption. Just think how much money we taxpayers will save by abolishing the IRS. The FairTax is a consumption tax on new goods only. Used items are not taxed. I have been reading the comments and beleave that most of you have not heard of the FairTax until now. Please educate yourselves by checking out the website at fairtax.org. Read trough the FAQ’s. Allot of your question will be answered. After reading about and understanding the FairTax, I’m sure most of you will see that it would be the best possible approach to tax reform. Those of you who think a flat tax would be better the income tax started as a flat tax. Look at what that got us 16000 pages of corruption. Our founding fathers did not want to tax incomes. To them this was an assault on personal liberty. The Federal goverment was funded for about 150 years on consumption taxes. It wasn’t until 1913 that the goverment started taxing incomes. Guess what else was started in 1913. You got it the Federal Reserve. Since then our economy has been an up and down roller coaster. Please check out the website fairtax.org. Then get involved and spread the word. Demand your congressman and senators push for the fairtax. Our economy would be booming because there would be so many jobs available with out the corruption of our current system.

    • rocketride

      Just one question? Why is the proposed rate as high as 23%? The mid teens (or lower) would probably make more sense unless we want to keep all of the rest of the leviathan.

      • DFoxworth

        It has to replace the current level of tax collected. If we can get the goverment to shrink. Then the rate can go down. That is another fight. We have to take one fight on at a time.

    • Henry Salo

      DFoxworth: When you said “educate” yourself, you are insulting the very intelligence of the person you are talking to. There are better words to used like familiarize yourself, look it up, read up on it and so on. Any Fair Tax person using that word “Educate yourself”, I put that person as insulting. That is why I don’t back the Fair Tax because of the people behind it. Plus using that word “Educate Yourself”.

      • DFoxworth

        Henry: I meant no disrespect. I was only suggesting to learn more go to fairtax.org.

      • Frank Kahn

        Read up on it would imply that you would learn something from the reading. If you are learning something new, you are getting an education. Being unusually sensitive about a particular word is ridiculous. And, by the way, “educate yourself” is a phrase not a word.

        • Henry Salo

          Correction: Educate yourself is still an insult because you are saying it to someone else. I hear Fair Tax people say that word when the Fair Tax person has a high school diploma and saying it to someone who has a college degree. I would never say that word “educate yourself” to my father. Would you? There are better words or phrases to use instead of that.

        • DFoxworth

          Frank: Henry already knows everything. So he is beyond educating

  • Wiley2

    The FairTax is a good idea, but a markup of nearly one quarter to be paid to the government on everything we buy is way too high. Government needs to be downsized by about ninety percent, not funded at its current morbidly obese levels.

    • DFoxworth

      The cost of goods will go down by about 25%. All corparate taxes are gone so the price of production will go down.

      • Wiley2

        Unfortunately, the large percentage of the final cost of products that’s hidden as taxes paid by producers and retailers and passed along to consumers guarantees that the government will never agree to a change in the tax structure that makes it easy to see just how much they’re taking from us.

        I wish I was more optimistic, but I think the corruption and deception are too deep and widespread to be rooted out without a total economic collapse and a complete restructuring of government, and the powers-that-be will use every violent means at their disposal to prevent that restructuring.

    • DFoxworth

      I agree that government should be spending less. Downsizing goverment is another issue.

    • shavager

      There is NO markup–YOU are assuming that a 23% TAX will be ADDED to consumer products–WRONG–that 23% is ALREADY contained in almost every consumer item on the market–some items could be pennies more or even less than the 23%, the Fair tax will require each item to have the required 23%.

  • Carl-Cathy Wisnesky

    We support the flat Tax over the Fair Tax for 1 main reason. Congress & the IRS has PROMISED current working citizens & Seniors (59 1/2+) that, if we would prepare in advance to take care of ourselves in our old age & therefore not be a burden on society, by investing in a ROTH IRA during our working years, though the initial contributions are taxed each year as regular income, any profits earned in these ROTH IRAs would not be taxed. A fair tax or VAT would break this promise as using money from our ROTH IRAs to purchase goods when we are Seniors would be taxing our ROTH IRA distributions; taxing the initial contributions that were already taxed as earned income AGAIN, as well as taxing the profits made, thereby breaking the promise given to us by Congress & the IRS (of course breaking promises is nothing new to the Federal Government).
    The Fair Tax would also give no incentive for workers to save for their Senior years to stay off Welfare & Medicaid. Therefore, we feel a flat tax would be better. Postcard sized form: I made X this year, X times the rate = tax I owe, here’s my postcard sized form mailed in with my check. Some people would still be needed at the IRS to process W-2s & 1099s sent in by employers & financial institutions to be sure the taxpayer told the truth on the postcard sized form, but IRS would only need about 10% of the current staff to handle this as computers would do most of the verification work.
    In the aritcle, the fair tax would add 23% to the price of all goods & services as a tax. When anyone buys a good or service, they would be paying that 23% tax, even if the money they were using to buy that good or service was already tax as income in the past, such as money people paid income tax on & put into savings accounts, CDs, stocks, bonds, IRAs, etc. So while there would no longer be an income tax deduction from your paycheck with a fair tax, any money that was earned & saved before the fair tax kicked in, would essentially be taxed a 2nd time by the fair tax added to the price of all goods & services purchased. Example: You saved $15,000 over 10 years from your net take-home pay after taxes to buy a car free & clear. The fair tax kicks in. You go to buy the car with your $15k and find out you have to pay an additional 23% for the car to cover the fair tax. Do you feel it is ok that you first paid income tax on the money when you earned it and now have to pay an additional 23% tax when you go to spend your savings?
    A flat tax would tax all new income from wages, interest, dividends, etc. at a flat rate, but would not tax for a 2nd time any saved or invested money from the past that a person already had paid income tax on. when it was earned.

    • DFoxworth

      you have not read the fairtax. It is not a VAT.

      • rocketride

        The Fair Tax not being a Value-Added Tax is a distinction that doesn’t actually make any difference to Carl-Cathy Winetsky’s argument, (which is one I hadn’t thought of) because the other points (besides the retail purchase) at which a VAT is collected by the government are invisible to the retail purchaser. It really doesn’t matter when you’re forking over that extra 23% (or whatever) for that new toaster, that the government actually collected most of it at intermediate steps in the production process and is now just collecting the portion on the difference between what you paid for it and what the retailer did.

        I never did understand the attraction of VATs vs. ordinary sales taxes for anyone– they’re inherently inefficient just from the sheer volume of paperwork needed to track every point at which “value” is added to a commodity. The politicians must have some kind of B&D (or maybe outright S&M) kink thing going on with businesspeople as the “bottoms”. That’s the only explanation that makes any kind of sense from where I’m looking.

        • DFoxworth

          From fairtax.org FAQ’s
          What about value-added taxes (VATs), like they have in Europe and Canada? Are they not consumption taxes?
          While VATs are also consumption taxes, and better than income taxes, the FairTax is not a VAT. A VAT works very differently. It taxes every stage of production. It is much more complex and is typically hidden from the retail consumer. Second, in industrialized countries that have a VAT, it coexists with high-rate income tax, payroll, and many other taxes that, in some instances, have led to marginal tax rates as high as 70 percent. Third, all other industrialized countries, except Australia and Japan, have a much larger tax burden than the U.S., which requires higher rates and makes tax administration much more difficult. Lastly, a VAT is a lobbyist’s dream, allowing them to install their loopholes unbeknownst to the purchaser. A retail sales tax, in contrast, is a lobbyist’s nightmare, applied as it is under the bright lights of the retail counter.

          • rocketride

            I was commenting specifically on the point that Carl-Cathy Winetsky was making. At the point of sale (the point at which the customer sees it) they look the same in terms of their interaction with Roth-IRA income and the promises regarding it not being taxed again. Other than that, they are indeed quite different, as we both pointed out, you in much gorier detail.

    • DFoxworth

      Tax on savings when you go to spend it would only be a temporary issuse. As you save after the fairtax you are only paying once. You do not get the big picture. The income tax is abolished no government intrusion into our personal business. Tell me how much do you make?

      • Carl-Cathy Wisnesky

        It would be a “temporary issue” for us who have been saving for 45 years as well as anyone probably over the age of 18 who has been working & saving for either a “rainy day” situation or for their retirement. That’s a lot of people that would have an “issue” with being double taxed on savings.
        For us, being in our late 60’s, our primary source of income is distributions from our savings plans that we have contributed to since we were in our 20s. Therefore, most of our spending money for the rest of our lives would be double-taxed. Multiply that by 40 million seniors and by 60 million workers over the age of 20 that have been saving for their future and you definitely have an “ISSUE.”

        • DFoxworth

          I’m one of those 60 million workers over the age of 20. I would much rather fix the broken system now than burdon my children and grandchildren with what they will be demanded of if we continue with what we have now. It’s an issue for me not to do something to make it better for them. You still have not told me how much you make.

        • DFoxworth

          I’m one of those 60 million workers over the age of 20. I would much rather fix the broken system now than burdon my children and grandchildren with what they will be demanded of if we continue with what we have now. Not doing something to fix it for them now is an issue for me. Did you save in a plan like a 401k? You did not pay tax on that savings if you did. You still have not told me how much you make.

        • DFoxworth

          From fairtax.org FAQ’s
          Are seniors taxed twice on savings, once when they saved it, and now again when they spend it?
          Simply put, the FairTax is a revenue-neutral proposal, raising no more money than does the current system. The FairTax only changes where the money is raised, not the amount.
          Additionally, some erroneously believe that people who have invested in Roth IRAs will never pay taxes on this money again. They may not know it, but they are paying corporate income taxes, employer payroll taxes, plus the associated compliance costs that are hidden in the price of every retail purchase they make. Under the FairTax, these hidden taxes are driven out of retail prices. And note, they can determine the amount of tax they pay through their own lifestyle choices.
          Furthermore, used goods are not taxed because they have already been taxed once — when they were new. Therefore senior citizens, like all Americans, do not lose purchasing power, but gain it instead. Moreover, the FairTax preserves the purchasing power of Social Security benefits, and seniors receive a monthly prebate so they don’t pay taxes on the purchase of necessities. Tax-deferred investments get a one-time windfall. Savings invested in any long-term, income-generating asset such as a stock, real estate, or a long-term bond that can’t be called, increase substantially in value. Finally, complex estate planning is an artifact of an earlier age.

        • DFoxworth

          From fairtax.org FAQ’s
          What about senior citizens and retired people?
          As a group, seniors do very well under the FairTax. Low-income seniors are much better off under the FairTax than under the current income tax system.
          Some erroneously believe that people who live exclusively on Social Security pay no taxes. They may not know it, but they are paying hidden corporate income taxes and employer payroll taxes whenever they buy anything. Under the FairTax, seniors pay $0.23 out of every dollar they choose to spend on new goods and services.
          Plus, seniors, like everyone else, receive a monthly prebate, in advance of purchases, for taxes paid on the cost of necessities which more than pays for all of the taxes they would pay if they received the average Social Security benefit amount and spent it all. If seniors choose to work, they are freed from regressive payroll taxes, the federal income tax on wages, and the compliance burdens associated with each. They pay no more hidden taxes on goods or services, and used goods are tax free. There is no income tax on their Social Security benefits.
          The income tax imposed on investment income and pension benefits or IRA withdrawals is repealed. Pension funds, IRAs, and 401(k) plans had assets of $12 trillion in 2004. An income tax deduction was taken for contributions to most of these plans. All beneficiaries and owners of these plans expected to pay income tax on them upon withdrawal, but are not required to do so under the FairTax.
          All owners of existing homes experience large capital gains due to the repeal of the income tax and implementation of the FairTax Plan. Seniors have dramatically higher home ownership rates than other age groups (81 percent for seniors compared to 65 percent on average). Homes are often a family’s largest asset. Gains are likely to be in the range of 20 percent.
          The FairTax makes the economy much more dynamic and prosperous. Consequently, federal tax revenues grow. This makes it less likely that federal budget pressures require Medicare or Social Security benefit cuts.

        • DFoxworth

          From fairtax.org FAQ’s
          What about senior citizens and retired people?
          As a group, seniors do very well under the FairTax. Low-income seniors are much better off under the FairTax than under the current income tax system.
          Some erroneously believe that people who live exclusively on Social Security pay no taxes. They may not know it, but they are paying hidden corporate income taxes and employer payroll taxes whenever they buy anything. Under the FairTax, seniors pay $0.23 out of every dollar they choose to spend on new goods and services.
          Plus, seniors, like everyone else, receive a monthly prebate, in advance of purchases, for taxes paid on the cost of necessities which more than pays for all of the taxes they would pay if they received the average Social Security benefit amount and spent it all. If seniors choose to work, they are freed from regressive payroll taxes, the federal income tax on wages, and the compliance burdens associated with each. They pay no more hidden taxes on goods or services, and used goods are tax free. There is no income tax on their Social Security benefits.
          The income tax imposed on investment income and pension benefits or IRA withdrawals is repealed. Pension funds, IRAs, and 401(k) plans had assets of $12 trillion in 2004. An income tax deduction was taken for contributions to most of these plans. All beneficiaries and owners of these plans expected to pay income tax on them upon withdrawal, but are not required to do so under the FairTax.
          All owners of existing homes experience large capital gains due to the repeal of the income tax and implementation of the FairTax Plan. Seniors have dramatically higher home ownership rates than other age groups (81 percent for seniors compared to 65 percent on average). Homes are often a family’s largest asset. Gains are likely to be in the range of 20 percent.
          The FairTax makes the economy much more dynamic and prosperous. Consequently, federal tax revenues grow. This makes it less likely that federal budget pressures require Medicare or Social Security benefit cuts.

          • Henry Salo

            DFoxworth, Are You Retired? If not, your conclusion that seniors will do well with this Fair Tax is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. I don’t care what Fair Tax.org says. I’m retired and I pay very little on Federal income tax and hardly any state income tax. You think that all retirees have IRAs, 401ks, pension plans and so on. The most seniors, I’ve talk to, rely on Social Security as their ONLY SOURCE OF INCOME. I was very fortunate to have a retirement system set up when I started working in 1966. I retired in 2008. I got an email from Fair Tax Nation. They had a new calculator set up and I had downloaded on my Windows Phone. The calculator asked for information on income, state and local taxes and other information. I typed in the information it requested and I got the results. Under the Fair Tax, I will be paying 6% MORE in Federal taxes than with the present system. Fair Tax Nation wrote back the Fair Tax would not work for me. The calculator was very easy to use. You do not have to be a genius to use it. The calculator went by rate of consumption. You can do that with a regular calculator and figure out your rate of consumption. Those clowns behind Fairtax.org don’t know anything what retirees go through. Every retirement is different. AS I said, if you’re not retired and never experience what retirement is, uour conclusion is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.

    • DFoxworth

      No I don’t think it is fair to pay income tax at all.

    • Don in Ohio

      Carl-Cathy,
      You are right about Roth IRA’s, and some provision could/should be made to account for them.
      However, for regular IRA’s, 401K, etc, tax has not been paid and my guess is there are lot more of them than the ROTH type.
      More important, these are a couple of examples of the LOOPHOLES in the current system and they would need to phased out. They are part of the reason there are 80,000 pages of fine print in the tax code.
      With the Fair Tax, all savings would, by design, be tax free until you spend the proceeds.
      This takes a whole new way of thinking because the current system makes us way too consious of taxes!!! And effects every thing we do, usually in a negative way.
      Don

      • DFoxworth

        Well said Don! We have been trained to think with our currant system. We have to think pre 1913 before income tax. The fairtax is the best possible solution to fix our currupted system. Give power back to the people as our founders wanted for us.
        Go to fairtax.org.

  • Neal

    I like the idea of a fair tax, but I wonder about retirees. In my case, I live off my savings. I would be taxed on money that is already taxed. On the other hand, when I am old enough to tap my IRA, that previously untaxed money would only be taxed at 23% instead of the current 28%. Can’t please everybody, but just not having to go through the annual nightmare would be a pleasant change.
    If we pretty much eliminated IRS, TSA, Homeland Security and other useless agencies, we might be able to lower the rate further.

    • DFoxworth

      Seniors will benifit from the fairtax. Read the FAQ’s at fairtax.org. It explains it better than I can.

  • JimH

    “Fair” tax?
    I want the”Good” or “Excellent” tax.
    But even “fair” would be better than the make us “poor” tax we have now.

  • Don in Ohio

    Here’s a few ideas to make it even better than Ben described.
    The states collect one and only one tax on retail sales and distribute to the Feds and local governments. Right now there are 40,000 plus taxing districts! Most states have both income and sales tax and counties and cities have their own taxes, way too complex.
    Have several, say 5, tax rates.
    0% – for basic food, charitable donations, etc.
    10% – fast foods (Ohio taxes eat in food but not take home), clothing, etc.
    20% – beer, cigs, other naughty things. (Sorry beer drinkers)
    25% – for items like cars, boats, etc up to $100,000.
    30% – for items over $100,000 like boats, airplanes, etc.
    All of this could be based on the UPC code assigned to *almost* every thing we buy. The rates are just a suggestion so don’t beat me up too bad!
    Forget the PREBATE thing, this depends on *proving* your income, A VERY BAD IDEA! Allowing the poor to pay very little tax on food gives them a break and *should* replace food stamps, public housing, ADC and on and on.
    Of course, reduced Fed gov spending would have to occur for this to have a chance in hell of becoming law.
    Don

  • Don in Ohio

    Here’s a few ideas to make it even better than Ben described.
    The states collect one and only one tax on retail sales and distribute to the Feds and local governments. Right now there are 40,000 plus taxing districts! Most states have both income and sales tax and counties and cities have their own taxes, way too complex.

    Have several, say 5, tax rates.
    0% – for basic food, charitable donations, etc.
    10% – fast foods (Ohio taxes eat in food but not take home), clothing, etc.
    20% – beer, cigs, other naughty things. (Sorry beer drinkers)
    25% – for items like cars, boats, etc up to $100,000.
    30% – for items over $100,000 like boats, airplanes, etc.
    All of this could be based on the UPC code assigned to *almost* every thing we buy. The rates are just a suggestion so don’t beat me up too bad!

    Forget the PREBATE thing, this depends on *proving* your income, A VERY BAD IDEA! Allowing the poor to pay very little tax on food gives them a break and *should* replace food stamps, public housing, ADC and on and on.

    Of course, reduced Fed gov spending would have to occur for this to have a chance in hell of becoming law.
    Don
    Sorry if this posted twice.

    • DFoxworth

      From fairtax.org FAQ’s
      How does the prebate work?
      Under the FairTax, all Americans consume what they see as their necessities of life free of tax. While permitting no exemptions, the FairTax (HR25/S122) provides a monthly universal prebate to ensure that each family unit can consume tax free at or beyond the poverty level, with the overall effect of making the FairTax progressive in application. There is no marriage penalty as the couple gets twice the amount that a single adult receives.
      While everyone pays the same tax rate at the cash register, the prebate results in effective tax rates (annual taxes paid divided by annual spending) that increase as the level of spending increases a progressive tax rate structure. For example, a person spending at the poverty level has a 0% effective tax rate, whereas someone spending at twice the poverty level has an effective tax rate of 11.5%, and so on.

      • Don in Ohio

        OK, I stand corrected, I should have checked it out a little better. ;-)
        So, are you saying *everyone* gets a certain amount no matter how much they make or spend?
        How would this apply to undocumented residents? Maybe, this would be a good incentive for them to become documented or leave the country.

  • boyscout

    Assuming that some sort of flat tax would be accepted by most as best approaching “fair,” what stands in the way of implementation and why is not our current system? My guess is that those in power (NO, not the Dems/Libs or Repubs/Cons but rather their several sponsors) have long wanted to keep it this way, to enjoy the shelters, loop holes, and subsidies afforded by a magnificently cumbersome system. And yes, I said “guess;” I am not lawyer, accountant, or economist.

  • justus brother

    go to http://www.fairtax.org to learn all about the fairtax plan

  • Lobo VNVMC

    The loop hole in this ‘Fair Tax’ system is if I never buy anything new then I never pay any taxes. I’ve always liked the 10% income tax, no exceptions, no deductions, no credits, and no loop holes. If you earn $100 from anywhere, you owe the government $10.00. You earn $100,000 that year your tax liability would be $10,000. 10% maybe too high, but I think you can get the idea.

  • Patriot66

    The ability of the central government to directly tax US citizen, be it income, capital gains, sales, etc…, needs to be eliminated. The 16th amendment needs to be modified to reflect that taxes can only be derived directly from the States, on a voluntary basis.
    Think of all the problems this would solve. No more pork barrel spending or
    blackmailing of our State officials to do the bidding of the central government. The States would tax accordingly to the State budget. Anything left over would go to the central government, if they behaved… It would be much more involved, but use your imaginations on how many problems this would solve, not to mention eliminating one of the most corrupt agencies in American history.
    Of course, we would also have to remove the back door of allowing them to get
    loans via the Federal Reserve. The only funds they could use would be what the States grant them. Seem like a good idea?

  • Miley

    Ah yes, the world famous VAT! Started off in Germany at 3% and is now 19%. The German citizens were promised “….no taxes….except for the VAT…..”. Strange, that promise was never kept. Germans are now taxed at a rate of just shy of 68% total. IMO, there is no such thing as a “fair tax”. End of my discussion, because politicians always see more money in our pockets and they just have to have a “fair” share.

  • Hat Bailey

    What is fair about stealing any part of someone else’s hard earned labor? I’ll admit that there are some important advantages to this tax scheme, but it is still theft or “services at the point of a gun” which leaves me cold. People should only be expected to pay for what they want or need according to their own conscience. I just want to be left alone.

  • BobinCA

    The only fair tax is one that has nothing to do with income, but is only accountable because you exist. A so much per person tax, the total debt, divided by the total number of people in the country, that’s what you owe to support your government period. Think about it, anything else sucks!

  • David Boone

    The irony here is that the FairTax is actually a lot flatter than the so
    far unspecified “flat tax”. The ground breaking difference is that it
    is a consumption tax, rather than an income tax. Chairman Camp of the
    House Ways and Means Committee has said we need to start with a blank
    sheet of paper. I’m sorry to say his “blank sheet of paper” is still
    cluttered with preconceptions from a tax system that was badly conceived
    from the beginning, and a century later, acts as a huge ball and chain
    to economic progress.

  • dan

    Tax Freedom day was 18 April this year….well,Federal Tax Freedom….sigh.
    The Lord Almighty was satisfied with 10% of ones increase…and He loves us,

    blesses us,and provides a heck of a retirement plan.

  • Albert Maslar

    Fair Tax—Universal MediCare—20% Max Graduated Personal & Business Income Tax
    America is broke but aspirin will not do, as major surgery is absolutely required. The entire tax system needs to be replaced and reinforced with a no-exemption 3% National Sales Tax (NST), divided equally between Budget, Deficit, and Automatic Universal MediCare for all legal residents, as repeal and replacement of ObamaCare. MediCare structure is already in place, and savings would go toward replacing cuts in medical provider reimbursements.

    A 0.5% (half of one percent) tax would be imposed on Wall Street type transactions, inhibiting High Frequency Trading (HFT) abuses that damage small investors and contribute to rapid creation and bursting of bubbles. Documentation for business activity tax-base numbers supporting NST was sourced from “The Hill” under signature of Attorney Lanny Davis, consultant, author, and TV commentator who served as special counsel to President Bill Clinton and spokesperson for President Bush and the White House on campaign-finance investigations and other legal issues.

    Combined with NST, a 20% max graduated Income tax table for business and personal, elimination of all industry specific loopholes, with no exemptions or exceptions, with all income treated equally, including unearned income,
    investment income, so-called tax-free income, welfare and corporate benefits,
    with no tax exempt or special treatment for any individual or organization as
    regards NST.

    Everyone benefits from needed government services, particularly defense and infrastructure, so everyone must contribute. Candidate Barack Obama told Joe the Plumber that he wanted to “Share The Wealth” but this Tax Plan seeks to “Spread the burden.” With all pulling the load in the same direction, the load is lightened and easier to pull; real progress, fairness, satisfaction, and incentive for business and job growth.

    Tithing in the Bible makes no exceptions for those with low income; everyone pays the same Ten Percent. Everyone is treated equally. NST applies equally to all income classes, rich and the poor who have the built-in safety nets to buoy them up. It equates to “The more that is spent, the more that must be equally paid,” a good idea that is thousands of years old but as good as new.

    Note job-creating low Corporate & Personal Income tax rates in New Tax Plan
    Effective tax rate on Taxable Income of $100,000 2.74%
    Effective tax rate on Taxable Income of $1 Million 7.47%
    Effective tax rate on Taxable Income of $1 Billion 19.88%

    3 page tax plan or 6-page “Plan To Fix It All” available from albertmaslar2@gmail.com Albert Maslar CPA (Retired)

  • securityman

    make the taxes lower than 23% and pay on everything except food and medical. that way you are paying the fair amount. they can class a car as used the first time that it is taken for a test drive. you can build a brand new home and after the first people look at it they can class it as “used” so drop the % rate and pay on all things, except food and meds……….

  • Mikefromwoodbury

    The only person who can euphemistically call a consumer tax a ‘fair’ tax is someone like Leona Helmsley, whose idea of ‘fair,’ is a tax that someone else pays, the ‘Little People,’ and not her, the billionaire, and that is how the ‘fair’ tax works.At the lowest income levels, every penny a person earns is spent ‘putting food on their family’ (to quote one of our less illustrious presidents), whereas at $200,000 approx 50% is invested, and therefore would not be taxed, and every penny above $300,000 is invested, would therefore be inherantly exempt from taxation. What is YOUR income level that you can call this a ‘fair tax’ ?