Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away someone proposed an alternative to the ungodly and immoral income tax. After giving it a careful reading and a lot of thought, I decided that, while it was far from perfect, it is the only sensible alternative that stands better than a snowball’s chance in hell of working – and more importantly actually getting passed in a legislature and signed by a president. That would be the Fair Tax proposal.
To date, it is the only proposal that demands the two things that must happen in order to set America back on the road to both cultural and economic advancement. The Fair Tax insists on the abolishment of the 16th amendment and the Internal Revenue Service before anything else contained in it can kick in. It also taxes the right end of the whole economic process. Those are the big pluses, and they more than carry the day in the positive and negative argument.
I just the read the article, Fair Tax Distraction in the American Thinker, by Rosslyn Smith, which presents the antithesis to my argument. The author presents the Fair Tax, (referred to as a national sales tax) as “one of those ideas that seems seductive at first glance but whose promise doesn't hold up well on close examination.”
Its proponents argue that since everyone would pay their share simply by conducting day-to-day commerce, people would thus come to know the real cost of government. They argue that it follows, then, that the total demand for government services would shrink.
As always, whenever I refer to someone else’s point of view, I advise a good reading of that view, so please follow the link to the article and consider what the author has to say. My intention with this article is certainly not to parse Rosslyn Smith’s opinion, but rather to present my own.
I was not “seduced” by the Fair Tax proposal because I thought it would shrink government in any way. It very probably would not because it is not designed to do so. It is simply designed to supply government’s needs (and supposed needs) with the sole alternative source at the end of the Capitalist system and not the beginning and throughout as it is now. We need only to look at the VAT (Value Added Tax) currently being batted around and probably headed for reality, to see that unrestrained government access to individual’s and business pocketbooks at every point of the Capitalist system of economics is a much more dire enemy to freedom than the Fair Tax proposal.
Lawrence M. Vance also attacks the taxing problem in an article called, The Flat Tax Is Not Flat and the Fair Tax Is Not Fair, which may be found here.
The only fair tax is a tax low enough to flatten skyrocketing congressional spending.
I totally agree with that assessment, but I also know that you can’t get there by wiggling your nose or rubbing a magic lamp. The very people that you are trying to harness are the ones that must approve that harness. Therefore, those hated words, “revenue neutral” are the only path toward drastically changing tax policy in this country.
While some tweaking in the Fair Tax proposal is definitely called for, all-in-all it is the best hope we have for getting that necessary harness on federal government spending. Most of the real work must be done at the state level to achieve any “fairness” in government spending or taxation to support it. Government should be funded from the bottom up not top down mandates. It is pretty simple to see that the federal government is controlling states and individual behavior via withholding and granting of funding because of the present tax code. Individuals must regain those purse strings to control government spending. Tax cuts, loopholes, credits, and anything else with the word, tax in front of it are gimmicks to hide government deceit. That includes the “prebate” in the Fair Tax, but that will be far easier to attack after a bright light is shined on the exact cost of government at every level. If we are paying that cost with every purchase we make, it will become glaringly clear, and then we can do the necessary “withholding” from government when we need to.
One of the most important reasons for fighting for this “Fair” Tax enactment is to insure that a modicum of balance is returned to the funding of the federal government. Right now there is no balance of any kind, which means that the greatest benefactors of government are being unfairly taken advantage of by the greatest beneficiaries of government largesse. Both groups are being constantly shackled with more and more government control, and that is just the way government bureaucrats want it. They stay in power and we stay dependent slaves to their evil whims.
Consider this. There are some even calling for voting rights to be tied to whether or not an individual is paying any taxes. I can’t say that I disagree with this at all, but I know that such a measure would lead to untold divisiveness and upheaval – the likes of which we have never seen. Though a great majority of those who could vote choose not to, if the right were suddenly taken away, we wouldn’t hear the end of it!
The bottom line of these taxing decisions is this: we are definitely headed for the VAT – on top of the existing taxes our economy is already burdened with. Anyone who thinks that anything reminiscent of what America is all about will withstand such a strain on the economy and personal freedoms simply hasn’t studied any human history.
It is time to stand for something while we can still lift our chains enough to do it. Check out the Fair Tax with an open mind.