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Skip to comments.WHY THE FAIRTAX WON'T WORK
Posted on 02/16/2008 3:30:21 PM PST by xcamel
One solution to the nation's long-term fiscal problems that has gained support in recent years is the idea of replacing all federal taxes with a 23 percent national retail sales tax called the FairTax. Unfortunately, the administrative problems inherent in this proposal make it impossible to take seriously, says Bruce Bartlett, former deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury Department.
For example, under a FairTax scheme: A worker now netting $800 per week would immediately get a $200 raise and start taking home the full $1,000 gross wage that he is paid; instead of paying income and payroll taxes, workers would pay their taxes when they buy things.
The FairTax would impose a 23 percent tax on all goods and services (this is not really correct, but for now we'll accept it at face value for analytical purposes).
Whether he is better off or not depends on what his effective tax rate is: Assuming he spends all his income and no more than that, he will be no worse off if he now pays 23 percent of his income in taxes. That is, his effective tax rate is 23 percent; in this case, the FairTax is a wash, the worker is no better off or worse off in terms of taxes than he is now.
But what if the worker is now paying less than 23 percent of his income in federal taxes? In this case, he is clearly worse off, says Bartlett: The prices of the things he buys will rise by more than his income rises from the elimination of income and payroll taxes. Conversely, if one is wealthy and in a tax bracket above 23 percent, that person would be much better off. His income and payroll taxes would fall by much more than the prices of goods and services he consumes would rise.
Source: Bruce Bartlett, "Why the FairTax Won't Work," Tax Notes, December 24, 2007.
Full PDF report
For more on Taxes
A) The FT is a completely altruistic quest
B) The Govenrnment will magically loose it propensity to tinker
C) All the people you never trusted before will be completely trustworthy now
D) 30,000 Treasury Dept employees will magically disappear
E) You will “Git Yer Hole Paychex”
F) Tax rates never go up
G) Pay rates never go down
H) People just love double digit sales tax rates
I) Used food and personal items are good things
J) Social engineering will magically disappear
K) Believe the rich don’t enough pay taxes
L) Prebates and Prefunds aren’t really welfare
M) Retirees should take a hosing for no good reason
N) Getting $77 worth of goods for $100 is OK with you
O) Paying 30% tax on medical care is a great idea
P) You believe the Government should tell you what a “necessity” is
Q) Bureaucrats will always know what the "right" poverty rate is
R) The rest of the modern world is clueless about tax policy
S) Good tax policy can be pro-re-gressive depending on the argument at the time
T) Revenue neutrality is more important than spending control
U) Talk Show Hosts are the best brain trust for tax policy
V) There is no "wizard behind the curtain" but those three Texans..
W) $20 million plus only buys "the truth"
X) Asking tough questions makes you a "Marxist"
Y) Asking tough questions makes you guilty of "spreading lies and disinformation"
Z) Debate only requires insulting and attacking people who ask tough questions
Didn’t read the full report but this summary doesn’t include Social Security and Medicare withholding and that alone is over 15%.
It won’t happen for one simple reason. People will not accept a 30% sales tax (which is what it really is) instead of the mostly single digit sales tax we have today.
“Fair Tax” proponents use 23% arguing that’s how income tax is calculated today, but when people realize that 30 cents will be tacked on to every dollar they spend (i.e. it’s really 30%), the research shows that they will balk at the idea.
It’s a non-starter.
Extra points added for being a rational, thinking person. Bravo.
The IRS will disappear...sounds good to me.
Post 2, item “D”
AA) There’s no such thing as a black market.
My friends in Canukistan absolutely loate their single digit GST (National Sales Tax) because it applies to such things as funeral services, new home construction, legal services...you name it. Much farther reaching than just day to day consumer goods.
What happens to existing IRS liens?
Will you still be against the Fair Tax when Obama raises your taxes to 70%?
Read the books, do the math (not fuzzy) and then figure out an honest reason to whine. Until then your complaints go beyond nothing but deaf ears. I suppose if Boortz were to write a tutorial workbook you might be able to follow the numbers.
Post #2, item “U”
my understanding is the tax will be INCLUDED in every dollar, not tacked on..where did you learn this?? (I wanna know so I can do some research on it)..
The FT is supposed to be "revenue neutral". It would reflect those higher rates by law.
Another reason it won’t work is because it will never, ever be implemented.
Let me make a prediction: By start of business on Monday, you and your cronies will be patting yourselves on the back and posting congratulatory comments for another FairTax thread successfully hijacked.
AB) Living like a hermit is the best way to beat the taxman.
They tack on 30% in FT on to each dollar spent on the item itself. Then they claim that 30 cents is only 23% of $1.30.
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