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Election '08

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Why we need the FairTax

The need for good tax reform is one of the most important issues facing this country. But the thinking which created the problems of the current corrupt and dysfunctional “income” tax system cannot be the basis for solving them. And in going forward, we must continually heed the warnings of the fourth Chief Justice John Marshall who said: “The power to tax involves the power to destroy.” So it's not enough to just propose a tax system that is only marginally “not as as bad” as what we have, rather, we need one that is actually absolutely better.

I, along with a growing number of other citizens, realize we must completely replace the current so-called “income” tax system with a system that is simple (it's easy to understand), efficient (it doesn't take up a lot of resources), and is fair (it treats people equitably under the law). I contend a system which meets all these criteria, and more, already exists in legislative form, its called the FairTax. In fact, since its reintroduction in the 110th Congress on January 4, 2007, as of July 4, 2007 the FairTax Act (HR25) has already attracted 62 cosponsors, and the Senate version (S-1025) has 4 cosponsors. Here are the basic features of the FairTax:

  1. ) The FairTax will abolish the so-called “income” tax system and its mechanics.
  2. ) Wage withholding (Social Security, FICA, et al) will cease, allowing individuals to take home and control 100% of their wages again.
  3. ) All "income" tax form filing will be abolished for individuals and businesses. April 15 becomes just a beautiful spring day again!
  4. ) The IRS, as we know and hate it, will be abolished, and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) trashed.
  5. ) A federal National Retail Sales Tax (NRST) will replace the "income" tax, with an initial 23% (tax inclusive) excise tax on the retail sales of services and NEW (not previously sold) products.
  6. ) The NRST will NOT be imposed on the wholesale purchases by businesses of goods which are to go into products that will eventually be sold at retail to end-users of the products.
  7. ) The NRST will be administered by the States, and monies collected sent to the federal treasury.
  8. ) Each family will be eligible to receive a monthly prebate. The prebate amount is determined solely by family size (one or more persons) according to the official poverty level designated for each family size.
  9. ) The FairTax will NOT tax savings, or interest and investment earnings.
  10. ) The FairTax calls for the repeal of the 16th Amendment, the so-called “income” tax amendment.

The creation of the FairTax was the result of a lengthy period of extensive study and analysis of the economic, social, and constitutional issues and affects of taxation. Its goal was to produce a viable and functional tax system that would raise the necessary revenue to fund the federal government with the least amount of social and economic disruption. It is probably the most scientifically sound and understood piece of public policy ever proposed in this country, with very specific design criteria and goals it is devised to meet. Here are some of the goals and outcomes the FairTax is designed to achieve.

The FairTax is designed to be simple and efficient

Currently it is estimated people and businesses spend from $200B-$350B a year just to comply with the administrative cost of the “income” tax. This doesn't include the costs and inefficiencies that the government incurs in trying to enforce it, and Congress wastes in the yearly finagling of the IRC, with all the corruption surrounding lobbying to influence that. The FairTax in one fell swoop wipes all of that away. It creates a simple excise tax that is administered by the States (45 of which already have state sales tax systems they administer), which abolishes the IRS and IRC as we know it. Smaller government, cheaper government, and better government, all with one Act.

The FairTax is transparent

Everything about the FairTax is open to scrutiny, You will always know what the tax will be on anything you buy before you buy it. Revenue figures can be easily generated on a periodic, and by state, basis to show the amounts collected. And since there is only one number that determines the tax, the tax rate is the only thing that can be changed by Congress to affect the amount of revenue being raised. No hidden lines in an incomprehensible tax code, or special exemptions or exceptions. Tax lobbyist go out of business. And if any member of Congress tries to “mess” with the system, it will be open for everyone to see (if they dared).

The FairTax is “progressive” and treats everyone fairly

The FairTax is fair because by its design it's “progressive” and it treats people “equitably.” Its progressive because people determine how much they are taxed by the level and type of consumption they engage in. The more you spend on taxable items the more you pay in taxes, and those with the most money will spend the most, and thus pay more in taxes. Also, because only “new” items are taxed, people who buy used goods won't be subject to the NRST, thus people can spread their full paychecks even further. And with the monthly “prebate” families will not spend any of their own earned money to pay for the NRST until they spend past the poverty level for their family size. If their monthly spending is less than the poverty level they will be earning money from the government. This is obviously fairer than the current “income” tax system, which takes money directly out of people's paycheck without regard to their poverty level, and caps the amount of money withheld from people's wages once it's past about $90K. The withholding system is, thus, by design “regressive” in benefiting high wage earners, while instituting a system of (unconstitutional) “wage slavery” in the process.

The FairTax is economically sound

In our 231 years of existence since 1776, the taxation of “income” has only been the dominate source of revenue (individual and corporate) for the federal government for only the past 50-60 years. Before that the government subsisted on the revenues from duties, imposts, and excises (Indirect Taxes), though it's always had (and still does) the authority to impose a Constitutionally valid apportioned Direct Tax on the States. The FairTax switches the basis of federal taxation from “income” back to consumption, which is a much larger and stable basis for taxation. Everyone (people and businesses) is ultimately sometimes a retail consumer. And the taxation of consumption includes foreigners (visitors, student, immigrants, etc) and foreign businesses, thus, not just Americans will be contributing to the tax base.

That FairTax encourages savings

The US has one of the lowest rates of savings in the western world, largely due to the fact that interest and investment earnings are included as “income” to be taxed, while debt (like mortgages) can be deducted. Thus, the “income” tax promotes regressive economic behavior, which is what most people engage in. Under the FairTax, whatever you don't spend now can be saved with positive economic benefit. Thus, over time, there will be a substantial increase in savings, as people are encouraged to behave financially rationally.

The FairTax will cause interest rates to drop

Because people and businesses will be able to keep and save more of their money, this means, without the government having to print any additional money, the banking system will incur an increase in money (savings). This increase in the available supply of money will cause the price to acquire money (interest) to drop. Additionally, since people/businesses will have more of their own money to use, this will lower the demand for credit, which will also cause interest rates to drop, to spur the demand for bank capital.

The FairTax will spur economic growth and stability

With people/businesses having more money to use for their personal/business needs the higher capacity to spend will spur demand, which will spur business growth to meet it. Without the “compliance cost” of the “income” tax, which accounts for about 23% of the price of goods, prices will drop to meet demand, within a heightened competitive environment, as more businesses are able to focus all of their resources on productive business activities. Employees effective wages will immediately increase (without being subject to withholding) and will grow over time as businesses grow in the expanding economy.

The FairTax will make the US attractive to businesses

With the elimination of the corporate “income” tax, the US will become attractive again for domestic and foreign businesses. Moving businesses offshore becomes less attractive as the cost differential to do so won't be worth it. Foreign businesses will flock to the US from countries with corporate tax systems, and to be closer to their end markets, and to reduce their goods transportation costs. Plus, since capital will be cheaper in the US, businesses can expand faster and cheaper. And without the “creative accounting” tricks encouraged by the tax code (e.g. by Enron, et al) simpler, more accurate, and honest accounting will provide truer pictures of businesses for investors, stockholders, and regulators. And, in a few short years, the US will wipe out its trade deficit, and become a net exporter of goods again.

The FairTax is in total harmony with the US Constitution

The FairTax calls for the repeal of the 16th Amendment, which allegedly gave Congress the power to tax “income.” But in the "The Law That Never Was, Vol 1 & 2", Bill Benson ( www.thelawthatneverwas.com ) documents how the 16th Amendment was fraudulently declared to be ratified in 1913. And from its alleged inception, the so-called “income” tax has been challenged as being unconstitutional. The film "America: From Freedom to Fascism" (2006 by Aaron Russo, free to view at http://video.google.com/, search for "freedom to fascism") goes into the details of how and why no one is required to file “income” tax forms or “voluntarily comply” to pay such so-called taxes. The FairTax is a fully valid excise tax, as authorized by Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, to be uniformly applied to the States (e.g. the federal gasoline tax, et al).

The FairTax puts “we the people” back in control

With the government's greedy hands out of our wallets and bank accounts, citizens will be able to directly express their displeasure with the government by deciding to keep more of their money in their pockets by not spending, or by spending more on used goods, We will also be able to reign in the power of corporations by controlling and directing our spending with them too. Thus, because neither Congress or Corporations would have direct access to our money, “we the people” now have the power to control them.

With all of these irrefutable benefits of the FairTax, most citizens are unaware of it, because of the failure of mainstream (corporate owned) media to inform people of it, and accurately explain its features and benefits. Most congresspeople either don't know it exists, don't support it for a lack of understanding, or oppose it for ideological, partisan, or political reasons.

However, even with the deliberate indifference shown to it by the media, and the seemingly inability of Congress to ever pass tax legislation that will benefit the country, the FairTax is about to reach its tipping point. “The FairTax Book” by its legislative sponsor Rep John Linder and radio host Neal Boortz, spent weeks on the bestsellers lists in 2006/7, proving the American public is interested in the topic. And Americans For Fair Taxation (AFFT) (www.fairtax.org and www.myspace.com/fairtax) a grassroots organization created specifically to get the FairTax passed, is making it a central issue in the 2008 presidential election, by holding rallies at the debates around the country, and confronting the candidates on their support of it.

Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. The FairTax is a radical departure from the status quo, whose time has almost come. And the sooner more people know of its existence and benefits, the sooner that time will come.

Jabari Zakiya - Reader Submission | Give your feedback on this article.

Pardon Us Please...

With the recent commutation of Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison sentence by President Bush, it is baffling to informed Americans how jailed former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean are still in prison. While Libby clearly committed a crime for which many other people are currently serving time in prison without interference from the administration, the former Border Patrol agents are serving prison terms for defending our borders against a drug smuggler and illegal immigrant who they caught red-handed smuggling a large quantity of drugs across the border. Only after being fired upon while the criminal was trying to escape across the border did they return fire hitting the suspect in the buttocks. Because of a failure on the part of their supervisors which led to poor documentation of the incident, they were tried for assaulting the criminal. It is unconscionable that these tireless defenders of our borders should be in prison while the person that they were trying to apprehend has been given immunity from prosecution for the real crimes he committed in exchange for his testimony against them.

Despite the urging of congressional leaders and the overwhelming opinion of Americans that these two public servants should be freed, President Bush has done nothing to correct the situation. By allowing them to remain in prison while assuring that a friend of the White House gets special treatment he has demonstrated his obvious contempt for the people who serve this nation and absolute inability to be a real leader for the American people. With this latest failure of leadership on the part of the Bush administration, it is clear that the President should not be in office. Both he and his cabinet have skirted, dodged and defied the laws of our nation and have been completely unapologetic about it and they should be removed from office. Congress should convene impeachment hearings immediately. The failures have become too many to ignore. When coupled with the utter defiance of the Constitutional authority granted to Congress to investigate the Executive Branch shown by both President Bush and Vice President Cheney, it becomes clear that this administration is at the very least as corrupt as the Nixon administration. Therefore both the President and Vice President should be removed from office before they can harm our nation any further. They have lied to the American people about the reasons for going to war. They have caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and countless Iraqi and Afghan people. They have egregiously defied our nation’s laws. They have made a mockery of the United States on the world stage. Moreover, after asking for the commitment of our young men and women to fight their battles for them, they have abandoned those same brave men and women who defend our nation when they most needed the help of their leaders. It’s time to set things to right.

We need leaders that can differentiate between just and unjust and when clemency is merited vs. when it is not. We need leaders who obey the laws of the land and respect the Constitution instead of trying to use it as some kind of dodge to allow them to break laws and violate the principles our nation was founded on with impunity. This administration has clearly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to make sound and just decisions and it therefore follows that the chief executives must be relieved of their command of our government. Our nation was founded on the principle that nobody is above the law and we must hold our leaders as accountable as they hold us. It is time for accountability and justice. It is time for change. We must tell Congress that we no longer have confidence in this administration and call for their impeachment and removal from office immediately. Impeachment is never a first resort but this administration has left Congress and the American people little option by their refusal to follow any of the rules and processes set forth to ensure checks and balances in our system of government. Now we need to tell Congress that this administration has failed us for the last time and it is time for Bush and Cheney to be removed from office.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article.

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