The Return Of The “Fair Tax”
It started at Peach Pundit, with an open thread about the “fair tax”. PG felt obligated to make a couple of comments.
“One of the good things about writing a blog is you can express yourself. You can write something longer than a few words. No one will interrupt you…a major problem in vocal conversation. And, once you have expressed yourself, you can move on to something else.
Back when my blog was still on Blogspot, I wrote a piece about the “fair tax” . A certain loudmouth radio entertainer is still flogging this donkey, but some of us have moved on.”
“So much for being consistent. The miracle of advanced search has found another “fair tax”post . This one compares the FT to a Presidential candidate. The candidate is living in the White House.”
To the second comment, Lady Thinker added “Scary isn’t it?”.
OK, reader(s), we have a treat for you today. We are reposting three commentaries about the “fair tax”. To help with the eyestrain, we are publishing pictures from the ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. The pictures are better focused than most of the chatter about the “fair tax”.
There is an issue these days called the “fair tax”. There are lots of folks in favor of this, and at times I wish I could join the party. However, there are many things to think about.
The Camel Syndrome A camel is a horse made by a committee. This is how laws are made, by committees and general assemblies. The process is often compared to the procedure that converts hog parts into sausage.
The “fair tax” might sound like a good idea at this stage. Congress has not enacted it into law, however. If this were to happen, there would be amendments. There would be a house version and a senate version, which would be cobbled into a single entity. The Frankenstein stitches would be in full view, though probably ignored by the media. At all stages of the journey, the lawmakers will be hearing from those who finance them, with “suggestions” about this new tax scheme. If the “fair tax” ever goes to the President for his signature, you can rest assured that it will be very different from the proposal that Squeal uses to sell books. In fact, it will be as different from the original proposal as Joe Camel is from Secretariat.
The law of unexpected consequences The American economy is a marvel of history. Our economy has given the United States a lifestyle unique in the history of the world.
Now, free market “conservatives” don’t want to tell you this, but the role of the Government in this economy is huge. Many business decisions are guided by the tax implications. Government spending, often with borrowed money, is a driving force behind many industries.
The truth is, we don’t know how the “fair tax”would affect the economy. And we won’t know until it is put into place, at which point it will be too late.
Who do you believe? Neal Boortz, aka Squeal, enthusiastically supports the “fair tax”. An Atlanta based talk show host with a national audience, he co wrote a book about the “fair tax” with republican congressman John Linder.
Squeal has a disclaimer on his web page: ALWAYS REMEMBER Don’t believe anything you read on this web page, or, for that matter, anything you hear on The Neal Boortz Show, unless it is consistent with what you already know to be true, or unless you have taken the time to research the matter to prove its accuracy to your satisfaction. This is known as “doing your homework.”
Squeal is an entertainer, and a cynic. I cannot prove it, but I don’t think Neal Boortz really believes in the “fair tax”. This is the star he has hitched his wagon to, and it has taken him places. You can always get attention by trashing the taxman. But can you provide a good alternative?
There is a blog called Deer Hunting with Jesus , where Joe Bageant shares his view of the world. He compares the world view of the media to a hologram…you can see it, it appears real from a distance, but if you try to slap it your hand keeps on going.
Squeal, much as he may deny it, is a creation of main stream media.(Cox Enterprises is mainstream media.) He is a creation partner of the hologram, and I think he knows this. This smokescreen talk about a “fair tax” is just another game.
The following was originally posted January 7, 2008.
The original concept was for this post to be about either the “fair tax” or Barack Obama. The more I think, the more similarities I see between the two.
I can start with Mr. O. With his rock star looks and charisma, and the fact that he is not Hillary, his train seems unstoppable. It would be a symbolic moment if a dark skinned man were elected President, even if he is not the descendent of slaves. Yes, he has always been opposed to the War in Babylon.
Maybe he is just a photogenic front man, without any substance. The same could be said of Ronald Reagan, and America really didn’t do too badly under him. Just who is pulling the strings on this puppet with star quality?
My main question with the man is how is he going to deal with the military machine. We now have an agreement with the Iraqi Government. This treaty that isn’t a treaty has our troops supporting the Iraqi Government, in exchange for first access to the vast oil riches in Mesopotamia. What is the Junior Senator from Illinois going to do about that?
There is also the matter of this video. Do women really dance out of his mouth?
An Obama Presidency is a great idea, with some serious questions about the implementation. Which brings us to the “fair tax”. (We are awaiting a call from the Umpire whether it is fair or foul, or maybe a sacrifice bunt).
Nobody likes the I.R.S. Calls to do away with it will always find an audience. Maybe the “fair tax” will be enacted, and maybe it will do all that it’s supporters claim.
I suspect the “fair tax” is a good idea, with serious questions about the implementation. And no, I have not read the book.
1- I only have so much time to read, and I prefer to read fiction. OK, some of you say the “fair tax” book is fiction.
2- I don’t trust the men who wrote it. One of them is a radio whiner who says every day, in effect, Don’t believe anything I say unless your own experience goes along with it. The other is a Republican congressman. I suspect that neither of them really believes in the “fair tax”, but know a good gimmick when they see one.
3- I am aware of the power of rhetoric, sophistry, and the clever word processor. (See Mr. Obama above). You can make grand arguments in favor of a lot of things that are not completely true.
I hear a lot about the “fair tax” on the Whiners radio show. It seems like the more I hear, the more I don’t like. Here is an example from today. The concept of the “fair tax” is that a thirty percent sales tax would replace the income tax, and other Federal Taxes. (I know there is more than that, before you start to say, “Read the Book”. For today’s illustration, that nutshell is sufficient)
As our example, lets say that we have a book selling for Ten Dollars. The book was written by a bald headed radio whiner, and says rude things about Liberals. Now, on the surface, with the “fair tax”, the book would cost thirteen dollars, that is, the cost of the book plus the thirty percent tax.
Today’s whine was about embedded taxes. According to the whiner, there are embedded taxes in the ten dollars. These are the corporate taxes paid by the publisher, and other taxes that are passed along to the consumer as part of the ten dollar price. I understand this concept, and realize that this is a big reason why many American goods are not competitive in the marketplace.
But then the whiner said something that I simply don’t believe. He said that once the embedded taxes were removed, the cost of the book would go down. This cost would go down so far that the book would still sell for ten dollars, even with a thirty percent tax markup.
One, who is to say the publisher would not just keep a bit of those taxes in the form of added profits? Are the embedded taxes enough to lower the price so that a thirty percent markup wouldn’t matter? I am not an economist. Maybe the book has answers to this, and maybe they are not just clever words. Chanting “Read the Book” only goes so far.
Ok just one more repost . Promise, at least for today. The title is ” A fair tax for cigarettes”
Carl Hiassen takes timeout from writing novels about weirdos to produce a column for the Miami Herald. It comes out on Sunday, and lately has been every other week. He usually makes more sense than many can handle.
This week the subject is a proposed cigarette tax. Some grinches want a dollar a pack state tax added onto cigarettes. The tax would raise revenue, and hopefully some folks will quit the vile habit.
However, there is opposition. A legislator is looking out for the convenience store owners, who stand to lose a bundle if fewer people buy cancer sticks.
PG has smoked roughly two cigarettes in his life. That is, by his own choice. The second hand smoke adds up. There is also the “it’s legal” sense of entitlement that the tobacconists are well known for. PG has an answer to the matter of how much cigarette tax to assess.
Cigarettes should be taxed so that a pack of cigarettes costs as much as an ounce of marijuana.
Ciggies will still be legal. You will not have to be them from criminals, who will turn you on to “hard drugs”. You will not lose your job if you fail a urine test. Your house cannot be confiscated for possession.The cancer sticks would still be legal, but with a reasonable tax.