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Taxing Sales under the FairTax What Rate Works?
Boston University ^ | September 2006 | Laurence J. Kotlikoff et al

Posted on 10/19/2006 5:11:50 PM PDT by pigdog

As specified in Congressional bill H.R. 25/S. 25, the FairTax is a proposal to replace the federal personal income tax, corporate income tax, payroll (FICA) tax, capital gains, alternative minimum, self-employment, and estate and gifts taxes with a single-rate federal retail sales tax. The FairTax also provides a prebate to each household based on its demographic composition. The prebate is set to ensure that households pay no taxes net on spending up to the poverty level.

Bill Gale (2005) and the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform (2005) suggest that the effective (tax inclusive) tax rate needed to implement H.R. 25 is far higher than the proposed 23% rate. This study, which builds on Gale’s (2005) analysis, shows that a 23% rate is eminently feasible and suggests why Gale and the Tax Panel reached the opposite conclusion.

This paper begins by projecting the FairTax’s 2007 tax base net of its rebate. Next it calculates the tax rate needed to maintain the real levels of federal and state spending under the FairTax. It then determines if an effective rate of 23% would be sufficient to fund 2007 estimated spending or if not, the amount by which non-Social Security federal expenditures would need to be reduced. Finally, it shows that the FairTax imposes no additional real fiscal burdens on state and local government, notwithstanding the requirement that such governments pay the FairTax when they purchase goods and services.

(Excerpt) Read more at people.bu.edu ...


TOPICS: Heated Discussion
KEYWORDS: fairtax; incometax; itchyandscratchy; taxes; taxreform
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This paper does an excellent job of dispelling much of the misinformation that has been put forth about the FairTax from The report by the President's Tax Panel, economist William Gale, and others including a number of posters on these threads.

The upshot of the paper is that a 23% tax inclusive rate is sufficient to maintain revenue neutrality even though the paper is a static analysis only, meaning that it does not take into account the many benefits of the FairTax for the U. S. economy and most of its taxpayers.

1 posted on 10/19/2006 5:11:51 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: Taxman; ancient_geezer; Principled; EternalVigilance; rwrcpa1; phil_will1; kevkrom; n-tres-ted; ...

An excellent article by several well-respected economists - and very much worth the study ...


2 posted on 10/19/2006 5:13:18 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: pigdog

Hong Kong did well under a 15% tax rate, but it is a city , not a large country.


3 posted on 10/19/2006 5:14:16 PM PDT by jmcenanly
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To: pigdog
Does this really mean I would get to take home my WHOLE paycheck and decide how much tax I paid by deciding how much to spend or save and invest?
Why hasn't anybody thought of this before?
4 posted on 10/19/2006 5:17:18 PM PDT by Uriah_lost (M.I.E. Mainer In Exile I'll come back when the Massholes go home.)
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To: pigdog

Except the paper still fraudulantly insists that governments can raise money by taxing themselves. The report also states that state governments will have to raise their tax rates to make up for the additional revenues because of the taxes imposed on the states. Not a honest third party analysis, but an analysis by a paid for fairtax shill.


5 posted on 10/19/2006 5:17:24 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: Always Right
Thanks; its about time someone exposed this thing. Not only that but wait till, if implemented, the government comes along and says: "Gee we still don't have enough money. So we'll keep the fair tax and reimpose the income tax as well."

The problem is spending. All Fairtax is about is substituting methadone for heroine for the tax and spend junkies.
6 posted on 10/19/2006 5:36:42 PM PDT by samm1148 (Pennsylvania-They haven't taxed air--yet)
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To: pigdog

It doesn't matter what the rate is. The point is that if it is a sales tax people will be constantly reminded of what their real tax rate is. From this they can make education decisions when they vote.

Whatever it might start out at, my guess is that it will steady out at around 15%.


7 posted on 10/19/2006 5:36:48 PM PDT by SampleMan (Do not dispute the peacefulness of Islam, so as not to send Muslims into violent outrage.)
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To: Uriah_lost
"Why hasn't anybody thought of this before?"
Excellent question ... and I really don't know but it's been "thought of" now - and in fact been extensively and intensively studied by a number of economists of which these are a few.

But to answer you oher questions ... YES, that's just what it means.

In fact, it is the most thoroughly studied and reviewed tax bill ever put before Congress.

8 posted on 10/19/2006 5:38:22 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: RobFromGa; Your Nightmare; Always Right; Dimples; sitetest; lewislynn; balrog666; xcamel; Mojave; ..

UFT ping


9 posted on 10/19/2006 5:39:14 PM PDT by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: Always Right

Your post is merely nonsense and utter gibberish and merely indicates you either haven't read or don't understand the paper (or both).


10 posted on 10/19/2006 5:39:49 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: pigdog

Best damn B$ they can buy... again.


11 posted on 10/19/2006 5:44:17 PM PDT by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: pigdog
Your post is merely nonsense and utter gibberish and merely indicates you either haven't read or don't understand the paper (or both).

You can't dispute anything, but you do win the award for posting the first personal attack on this thread. Shocking, I tell ya....

12 posted on 10/19/2006 5:45:58 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: samm1148
"The problem is spending."

Indeed, ONE problem is spending, but spending by itself accomplishes very little (and hasn't for almost 100 years now) and if spending were reduced it would vault right back up there since he pols can hide and play games with the reams and reams of arcane tax laws under the present system. It is the taxing system that must first be changed or reducing spending is hollow indeed.

I suggest you read the paper with understanding and realize that the income tax, its laws, its people (the IRS) and its records are ALL eliminated by the FairTax. With enough votes to pass the FairTax there will certainly be enough to retain it - especially as taxpayers realize how it reduces their effective tax rate.

In addition, the FairTax calls for the repeal of the 16th amendment. With the FairTax in place if we as voters let the government get by with the present out of control spending habits we deserve what will indeed happen.

13 posted on 10/19/2006 5:48:04 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: samm1148
All Fairtax is about is substituting methadone for heroine for the tax and spend junkies.

A very good analogy. Never heard it put that way, but dead on. The #1 problem by far is most definitely runaway spending.

14 posted on 10/19/2006 5:48:16 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: Always Right
"... you do win the award for posting the first personal attack on this thread. Shocking, I tell ya ..."

Sorry, but no - your #5 has that "distinction" and there'll no doubt soon be more from you considering your posting habits.

15 posted on 10/19/2006 5:52:36 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: Always Right
The #1 problem by far is most definitely runaway spending.

No kidding. The last time any politician talked about the Balanced Budget Amendment was 1994.

16 posted on 10/19/2006 5:53:01 PM PDT by Doe Eyes
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To: samm1148
You are exactly dead-on 100% right - and they will never ever admit it.

(Outside the incessant whining about personal attacks)

17 posted on 10/19/2006 5:53:10 PM PDT by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: xcamel
Would you like to debate some of the points in the paper or merely continue to carp about things?
18 posted on 10/19/2006 5:53:56 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: jmcenanly

There is absolutely no reason the HK system wouldn't work here - if not even better.


19 posted on 10/19/2006 5:54:46 PM PDT by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: pigdog
If the good Lord asks for just 10%, then thats good enough for the government ... anything more is unholy.
20 posted on 10/19/2006 5:57:27 PM PDT by MaDeuce (Do it to them, before they do it to you! (MaDuce = M2HB .50 BMG))
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To: xcamel

If you think HK is so red hot why don't you put a bill before Congress? Or are you all hat and no cattle???


21 posted on 10/19/2006 5:57:29 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: pigdog
Sorry, but no - your #5 has that "distinction" and there'll no doubt soon be more from you considering your posting habits.

I attacked the report. You persoanlly attacked the poster. You would think after you have been suspended so much recently, you might begin to get it.

22 posted on 10/19/2006 5:58:02 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: pigdog
Want some cheese whith your whining?

23 posted on 10/19/2006 5:58:22 PM PDT by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: pigdog
Would you like to debate some of the points in the paper or merely continue to carp about things?

Because when someone does make a point about the paper, you ignore the point and go straight for the personal attack.

24 posted on 10/19/2006 6:00:50 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: xcamel
You might just stop wasting everyone's time and actually debating some of the points in this excellent paper that blows the socks off of the FairTax opponents points.
25 posted on 10/19/2006 6:01:48 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: Always Right
"Because when someone does make a point about the paper, you ignore the point and go straight for the personal attack."

I'm afraid you've confused me with Always Right and some of the other FairTax opponents.

26 posted on 10/19/2006 6:03:39 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: samm1148
The problem is spending. All Fairtax is about is substituting methadone for heroine for the tax and spend junkies.

No Tax system is designed to reduce spending although The Fair Tax will abolish the IRS and eliminate the billions spent to run it.
27 posted on 10/19/2006 6:08:43 PM PDT by Man50D (Fair Tax , you earn it , you keep it!)
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To: pigdog
Kotlikoff after the Fairtax check:
"Some critics of the FairTax argue that the rate needed for this purpose would be far greater than 23 percent; Gale (2005) argues that it would be at least 31 percent."

Kotlikoff before the ways and means commitee April 2000:

"Tax rates:

Simulation analysis and a variety of empirical calculations suggest that the retail sales tax rate needed for revenue neutrality under the Fair Tax, assuming no decline in the real value of government purchases, would be roughly 30 percent when measured on a tax-inclusive basis. This tax rate could be expected to decline by 3 or so percentage points over time as the economy expands. Moreover, if the Fair Tax were structured to include the consumption of existing housing services in its tax base, the initial Fair Tax rate would probably be about 3 percentage points lower. This could be accomplished by assessing the tax on the imputed rent on housing, where the calculation of imputed rent is based on a fair market valuation of housing real estate. This valuation could be done by local municipalities in the course of appraising houses for local property taxes.

A tax-inclusive consumption tax rate of 30 percent translates into a tax-exclusive consumption tax rate of 43 percent. While the 43 percent rate sounds very high, proper comparison of the Fair Tax tax rate with the current payroll and income tax rates requires evaluating the consumption tax rate on a tax-inclusive basis. Even a 30 percent tax rate may sound like a high rate. But one needs to bear in mind that middle and upper income households in America are typically in combined income tax and payroll tax marginal tax brackets of 40 percent or more and that low income Americans are typically in even higher tax brackets once one considers the phase out of the earned income tax credit. Hence, given the state of U.S. marginal taxation, 30 percent is a low number.

OH boy! Where do I sign up for a temporaray rate reduction (40% instead of 43%) by paying a NEW tax on the (arbitrary) rental VALUE of my own home?
28 posted on 10/19/2006 6:10:20 PM PDT by lewislynn (Fairtax = lies, hope, wishful thinking, conjecture and lack of logic.)
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To: pigdog

There is some serious math in this piece. I cannot comment on its accuracy, but I like moving from a tax that taxes achievement to one that taxes consumption.


29 posted on 10/19/2006 6:11:55 PM PDT by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: Man50D
Okay. I just don't buy into it. The government is never going to relinquish its taxing authority. At 46 years old now I've never seen the gubmint refuse a buck. It is exactly what many of us young conservatives in the 70's said it would become.

They are seizing old peoples' homes here in PA for unpaid property taxes. (They've doubled in some instances in this last year). I believe the same mentality that is capable of atrocities like that wouldn't hesitate to lie and revive the income tax.
30 posted on 10/19/2006 6:16:03 PM PDT by samm1148 (Pennsylvania-They haven't taxed air--yet)
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To: SampleMan; samm1148
An interesting sidenote on this argument is that King George experimented with a crude form of a "withholding tax" at the time of the American Revolution. Even he recognized that if a tax could be partially hidden, the objection to the tax would be minimized.

Even if the tax take is EXACTLY the same, the American people will be more aware of the tax burden if their money comes into their personal hands first, and then is paid out later as a tax. Most American people, sadly, think in terms of their take-home pay, which takes the focus away from the tax burden they are paying.

Congressman Billybob

Latest article: "An Open Letter to President Bollinger"

Please see my most recent new statement on running for Congress, here.

31 posted on 10/19/2006 6:26:05 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Have a look-see. Please get involved.)
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To: pigdog
12 years after the "Republican Revolution" and we're still just talking about a flat tax.

I'll show up and vote my conservative principals this November, but if the Republicans get tossed out I won't shed a tear.

32 posted on 10/19/2006 6:47:44 PM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: Always Right
Except the paper still fraudulantly insists that governments can raise money by taxing themselves.

Please explain. The gov't taxes itself now in that it taxes the wages it pays its own employees. How does the gov't currently raise money from its own employees? Please explain.

33 posted on 10/19/2006 6:54:11 PM PDT by groanup (Limited government is the answer. What's the question?)
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To: Congressman Billybob
CB, I hope you realize that the FairTax has been polled at upwards of 80-85% wherever it has been offered. There was a straw poll on the ballot of Gwinnett, Cobb and Fayette counties in Greater Atlanta this past summer during the primaries and the results were the same. If you want to get elected, run on the FairTax my friend, among other things.

I don't know why politicians don't glom onto this.

34 posted on 10/19/2006 6:59:00 PM PDT by groanup (Limited government is the answer. What's the question?)
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To: pigdog
I suggest you read the paper with understanding and realize that the income tax, its laws, its people (the IRS) and its records are ALL eliminated by the FairTax

I'm having a hard time believing this. The burden of rebates (or what ever you call them) will require each State to increase or build another form of bureaucracy. Checks just don't write themselves. Second, as families change, so does the status of the rebate. Out of work, new job with much higher pay, etc. Who monitors this? And I would assume that fraud will still happen. Don't kid yourself, it will happen. Everyone is assuming that there will be no black market

Also out of State purchases could be interesting. The bottom line is, there is no safe sane method of taxation. (Period)

The FairTax is that you will get all the money you earn and the cost of goods should be less because of the less taxes employers pay. No Way. Think this out. It's a wash. What you gain in the paycheck if withholding is not taken out will only be taken out at the time of purchase. Oh, I forgot, buy used goods - no tax. Good news for the poor. Whoopee, yard sales!!!!!!! Hey, flea markets, best goods straight from Mexico, China, etc.

35 posted on 10/19/2006 7:00:00 PM PDT by Logical me (Oh, well!!!)
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To: Congressman Billybob
" Even he recognized that if a tax could be partially hidden, the objection to the tax would be minimized."

OK. Now I get it. You mean if the tax is partially hidden and misleading people may buy into it being a good deal.

Kinda like the Fairytax when they say its going to be a 23% sales tax, but when you buy a $1 item, after the tax is added it wont be $1.23. It will be more.

Great idea, hiding what the real tax will be. I'll bet that will help to get people on board with this.
36 posted on 10/19/2006 7:02:42 PM PDT by Beagle8U (Demonrats want the Gays out of Congress.....stand back and let them purge their base.)
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To: lewislynn
"OH boy! Where do I sign up for a temporaray [sic] rate reduction (40% instead of 43%) by paying a NEW tax on the (arbitrary) rental VALUE of my own home?"

Glad you asked. Just go back to the year 2000 and live.

Isn't it interesting what 6 years can accomplish in the way of learning new information, refining formulas, and understanding costs and revenues. I've no doubt that even Kotlikoff would tell you he's learned a lot in those 6 years. But it appears you haven't since you still seem to not understand the presentations in the 2006 paper. Might help to read it?

37 posted on 10/19/2006 7:09:02 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: lewislynn; everyone
OH boy! Where do I sign up for a temporaray rate reduction (40% instead of 43%) by paying a NEW tax on the (arbitrary) rental VALUE of my own home?

The poster negative.

Those who stand to lose under the FairTax:

Tax shelter hucksters.

130,000 IRS employees, more than the total employment of the FBI.

The life insurance and annuity industry. They mistakenly think that without the tax-deferral their products will be harder to sell. If their products were any good they would NOT be harder to sell.

K-Street lawyers. If you have ever been to D.C. you have seen the multiple square miles of towering office buildings full of attorneys and lobbyists. Here's how it works: Some F. CAT invents a new hot water heater. He goes to his congresscrook and explains that the device will save energy AND, he will give the congresscrook SOMETHING (cash, a deal, a favor, another congresscrook's okay on something else, a block of votes, a pile of gold). The congresscrook introduces a bill that will allow everyone who buys the new water heater a tax credit. WOW!! Do you think that will help sales?

Municipal Bond Industry. These guys have a dubious past anyway.

Tax lawyers, CPA's, small time street corner instant tax jobbers who make hundreds of thousand of dollars getting people their "check".

I could go on and you can probably create a few of your own.

TAX ME WHEN I SPEND IT, NOT WHILE I'M TRYING TO MAKE IT. LET ME ACCUMULATE WEALTH. PLEASE!!!

38 posted on 10/19/2006 7:11:52 PM PDT by groanup (Limited government is the answer. What's the question?)
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To: Beagle8U

The rate isn't the problem. The argument about the rate is bogus. You tell me, what should the rate be? The debate should be about the method.


39 posted on 10/19/2006 7:14:48 PM PDT by groanup (Limited government is the answer. What's the question?)
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To: samm1148
"The government is never going to relinquish its taxing authority."

Of course it isn't ... nor should it since that's written into the Constitution. What can and will happen though is that the Congress will listen to we the people and, once they realize we want it, change their taxing authority to comply with the FairTax which has the very fine benefits of helping most taxpayers and the country as a whole by boosting the economy.

Congress will only do what the voters allow them to do. If we allow them to commit the sort of "atrocities" you mention it's our own fault. With the FairTax there's a good start since the income tax, the tax code, the tax workers (the IRS) are eliminated and the tax records are required to be destroyed. In addition the bill calls for the 16th amendment to be repealed. If that's not a kick in the teeth of the atrocities you mention, I don't know what might be.

40 posted on 10/19/2006 7:18:07 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: groanup
Simply put, In addition to the money sucked out of government employee's hands from the Fairtax when they spend it (it's a replacement tax, remember?), "any government" employee's wages salaries and benefits would also cost 30% more under the "Taxable Employer" clause.

If taxing government is a good idea for raising revenue, why not just tax government?

41 posted on 10/19/2006 7:23:02 PM PDT by lewislynn (Fairtax = lies, hope, wishful thinking, conjecture and lack of logic.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Great letter to Columbia U., BTW. Hope you got a response (but doubt it). You deserved one.


42 posted on 10/19/2006 7:23:41 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: Last Dakotan
The FairTax is not at all a flat tax. A flat tax is merely another form i=of income tax.

The FairTax is a true tax on retail consumption. You might read the first couple of pages of the paper - or the bill itself.

43 posted on 10/19/2006 7:25:53 PM PDT by pigdog
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To: lewislynn
That's not an explanation. How would you create a consumption tax to replace the income tax? Or would you? The gov't taxes the wages it pays now. How would you segue that into a consumption tax?
44 posted on 10/19/2006 7:27:00 PM PDT by groanup (Limited government is the answer. What's the question?)
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To: groanup
What does any of that have to do with me, exactly?

Is any of that supposed to make sense to anyone but you?

LET ME ACCUMULATE WEALTH. PLEASE!!!
Let you? Who's stopping you? If you're a loser and don't know how to accumulate wealth without an act of Congress that's your fault. The opportunities for wealth are endless. If you're waiting for Congress to act, you lose.
45 posted on 10/19/2006 7:30:51 PM PDT by lewislynn (Fairtax = lies, hope, wishful thinking, conjecture and lack of logic.)
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To: Always Right

BTTT


46 posted on 10/19/2006 7:31:34 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Why can't Republicans stand up to Democrats like they do to terrorists?)
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To: groanup
It should be scrapped and start over.

Go with a flat tax. Figure the tax exactly as sales tax is figured now. Don't put the tax on anything that isn't normally covered by sales tax now in most states.

follow those guidelines to figure what the rate would need to be.
47 posted on 10/19/2006 7:33:01 PM PDT by Beagle8U (Demonrats want the Gays out of Congress.....stand back and let them purge their base.)
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To: pigdog

I think after cost savings from all of the "unfair taxes" an 8-12% rate would suffice.


48 posted on 10/19/2006 7:33:18 PM PDT by phoenix0468 (http://www.mylocalforum.com -- Go Speak Your Mind.)
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To: Man50D
The Fair Tax will abolish the IRS

Horse hockey - there's still going to have to be some sort of gov't bureaucracy to collect the funds.

49 posted on 10/19/2006 7:33:59 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Why can't Republicans stand up to Democrats like they do to terrorists?)
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To: pigdog

Oh, yeah, the reduction in force or total elimination of the IRS would furthur reduce revenue necessities. I am sure there are related agencies that could be cut as well. A thin government is a healthy government.


50 posted on 10/19/2006 7:34:13 PM PDT by phoenix0468 (http://www.mylocalforum.com -- Go Speak Your Mind.)
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