1. Its simpler. You would be collecting the tax from a small number of distributors or wholesalers instead of a very large number of small and medium size businesses That would drop the cost of administering it way down.
2. It would be far less intrusive. With a NRST every small businessman may be subject to audits. Also as individuals, if you sell your car or have a garage sale you may get a visit or a call by the IRS. With an excise tax, the tax is paid once at the distributor. That would also allow the IRS to get smaller. And therefore the tax is less "on business" than a sales tax.
3. It is flexible. A NRST would have ONE rate for everything. With an excise tax, as we do today, you can have different rates based on the comodity, high on sin taxes like liquor and cigarettes and low on produce and food.
The IRS processes 140 million individual returns now. The states, who will have primary responsibility for collection and auditing business, are already doing so in most states, so it's nothing new for them. How hard is it to process (sales X xx%)?
Under the FairTax, the IRS is gone. Under the FairTax, you can sell your car to anyone and no one cares because used goods are not taxable. No tax, no audit.
What you tout as a benefit is a huge detriment. Varying rates open up the system to what we have now -- political bickering, lobbying for favored status, vote selling and buying. The FairTax has no exceptions, no exemptions, no deductions.
Having one rate provides uniformity, fairness, and simplicity.
It seems that you are passionate about an excise tax. It's also probably a fairly good plan. Considering that the FairTax has been around and talked about for almost ten years and is gaining ground -- in the public and Congress; considering that there has been millions spend to study the effects, costs, and benefits of the FairTax; considering that 'our' plan has the support of House leadership; who do you know that can finance your plan until it reaches the level of acceptance than 'our' plan has? Who will champion it?
Do we really want to wait another 4 or 6 or 10 more years when this plan (which I think you'd agree is pretty darn good) could be passed in 2006 in the House? Bush will sign this plan. Will the next president sign your plan?
Finally, what rate would you have to charge to provide the revenue needed to run the leviathon? Will it cover the expenses needed to sustain the viability of the SS and M/C systems? How will it handle the regressivity that the demogogues will target as the reason to shoot your plan down? Do you exempt certain products or categories of products?
"The truth is not hidden from anyone. For example, a few years back Ross Perot proposed a 50¢/gal federal gas tax [excise] and all hell broke loose. People know the tax is there and how much it would cost them. There is just a whole lot of advantages for an excise tax over a sales tax besides the "in your face" zing factor:"
Those same people have forgetten that the price of fuel contains these excise taxes today. If the appropriate levels of government were willing to fore-go the revenues they receive from the gas taxes, then the price would be reduced tremondously. Michael W. Smith proposed this to Jenny from the (Canadian) Bloc and she quickly changed the subject. The average citizen will gripe about a raise in taxes, but they will soon forget. The "evil corporation" crowd wins that battle. That is why we need all citizens to be reminded every day what their government costs them.
"3. It is flexible. A NRST would have ONE rate for everything. With an excise tax, as we do today, you can have different rates based on the comodity, high on sin taxes like liquor and cigarettes and low on produce and food."
Isn't that how we ended up in the mess we have today? Wouldn't that open the door to lobbying efforts and politicians capability to bribe certain interest groups with favorable tax rates? Why is it acceptable for the government to determine what is appropriate for the citizens to purchase? (at least more appropriate than other items)