Free Republic 1st Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $17,222
Woo hoo!! And the first 19% is in!! Thank you all very much!! God bless.

Posts by phil_will1

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • FairTax Scores Big on POPVOX

    04/10/2011 1:34:56 PM PDT · 23 of 86
    phil_will1 to Mygirlsmom

    “Online voting/polling is flawed IMHO unless there is a way to ensure one person/one vote. It’s also very hard to know if a person truly understands what they are voting for/against unless a series of questions is asked about the subject and replies are consistent”

    The alternative is to employ Zogby, Rasmussen or someone like that to do scientific polling. No one is saying, for example, that the 86% support shown in this poll is representative of the public as a whole. It does suggest, however, that of those who feel strongly enough to vote one way or the other, the FairTax enjoys very strong support.

    As far as the competence of the respondents, I agree that that is an issue. I particularly noted that the comments of those opposed show a lack of understanding of the proposal in many cases. I would say that at least half of the objections voiced in those opposing comments would go away if the respondents understood more about the proposal.

    There are, of course, some misperceptions revealed among the supporting comments, also, but nowhere near as many.

  • FairTax Scores Big on POPVOX

    04/10/2011 1:21:32 PM PDT · 22 of 86
    phil_will1 to MathMatters

    “As to the Fairtax, it sounds great but is goofy. They have a massive ‘second tier’ of taxation.....”

    Can you explain what you mean by a “second tier” of taxation?

  • FairTax Scores Big on POPVOX

    04/10/2011 1:18:37 PM PDT · 21 of 86
    phil_will1 to taildragger

    “My thought is noncompliance will go up dramatically...”

    I disagree and here’s why. It occurs to me that there are 3 “choke points” in the consumption economy that will be the revenue base of the FairTax.

    1. Big box retailers - Here in GA, the big grocery store chains are Kroger’s and Publix. There are several more that are just below them in sales volume. Then you have the electronics superstores, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.

    2. Auto dealers - while used cars are sometimes sold by individuals, news cars (the only ones taxed by the FairTax) are always sold through some type of dealer.

    3. Real estate closing attorneys - New houses will still have to go through a formal closing process to change ownership.

    I would hazard a guess that these three types of consumption account for 60 to 75% of the consumption economy. None of these three “choke points” will conspire to cheat on the sales tax. Why? Because the risk/reward ratio just does not make sense. It would be too easy to catch these guys. Can you imagine what would happen if one of the big-box retailers did not charge the sales tax to their customers? Or if the remittances to the state authority from one of those retailers stopped or went down significantly?

    We could get a very high level of compliance with relatively few resources allocated to enforcement from that sector of the marketplace. We already know that there are enormous economies in compliance enforcement due to the fact that there are so many fewer points of collection/enforcement under the FairTax than under the current system - more than an 80% reduction in the number of filings. Then you have well over 50% of that greatly reduced number that will require very little oversight resources allocated to it.

    On top of all that, you are talking about a greatly reduced and much, much simpler system to enforce. According to CCH, the current system (NOT just the IRC BTW) numbers in excess of 72,000 pages. The FairTax is less than 150 pages. Anyone who has been through a sales tax and an income tax audit will tell you that sales tax audits are trivial compared to income tax audits.

    All in all, I think we can get a higher level of compliance with less resources allocated to enforcement under the FairTax than under the current system, or any modified form of income tax.

    Of course, that is not good enough for some who raise this issue as a red herring. They insist on a perfect tax system where there will be zero problems with compliance. This is, of course, impractical and unreasonable and strongly suggests that they have some other agenda and that concerns over compliance are merely diversions to mask their vested interest in perpetuating a highly dysfunctional system that serves them personally even if it is hugely damaging to the economy of this nation.

  • FairTax Scores Big on POPVOX

    04/10/2011 10:22:31 AM PDT · 12 of 86
    phil_will1 to JaneNC

    “Yes, to Flat Tax.”

    Which flat tax proposal do you support?

    You can vote for HR 1040, which is the only flat tax bill in the house, here:

    It isn’t doing too well, as you can see.

    BTW, the Republican establishment LOVES the flat tax because it doesn’t really reform the corrupt system of trading earmarks and tax preferences for campaign cash, aided and abetted by an army of lavishly paid lobbyists.

  • FairTax Scores Big on POPVOX

    04/10/2011 8:04:26 AM PDT · 1 of 86
    POPVOX is still relatively new. It will be interesting to see if it takes off and the number of votes being cast grows rapidly.

    01/07/2011 4:08:50 PM PST · 115 of 134
    phil_will1 to Cracker Jack

    “What does a flat tax really gain us?”

    You are right about that. The flat tax is appealing to the inside the beltway crowd because it essentially wipes the slate clean and enables the lobbyists to go right back to work peddling influence and reinstating the tax preferences that “the flat tax” wiped out. This is what history has taught us.


    01/07/2011 3:36:12 PM PST · 113 of 134
    phil_will1 to DannyTN

    “TX sales tax law is 161 pages. And that’s just the code. Who knows how much the regulations and interpretations behind it are.”

    I have never seen the TX sales tax statute, but I am guessing you could reduce that by at least a third if you substituted a rebate system, such as the FairTax has, for the exemptions/exclusions that I assume Texas uses.

    The FairTax bill is, I think, around 140 or so pages. Even if Treasury supplements that with regs that are 3 times that long, you still would have less than 1,000 pages in the system. CCH counts the current system at over 70,000 pages. Are you really implying that you don’t consider that a significant simplification?


    01/07/2011 3:29:41 PM PST · 112 of 134
    phil_will1 to DannyTN

    All consumption purchases are taxed. The FairTax uses a rebate, rather than exempting specific items or classes. It is much simpler and fairer. No one pays taxes (on a net basis) up to poverty level purchases; everyone is a net taxpayer who consumes above the poverty level.

    Business inputs are not consumption and are therefore not taxed. The idea is to tax a product once and only once during its life cycle.

    Internet sales would be taxed the same way brick and mortar sales are. The idea is to stop playing favorites with the tax code and stop all the economic distortions and political games of the current system.

    The sales tax will be collected in the same state that the sale takes place by the business making the sale. It doesn’t matter if the buyer is from down the street or from France.


    01/07/2011 2:19:32 PM PST · 110 of 134
    phil_will1 to DannyTN

    “And when they get through grandfathering all the decisons that were made under the old system....”

    That makes no sense at all. You don’t have all the complications of defining what taxable income is under a sales tax system. For example, depreciation methods, useful lives, depreciation recapture, the earned income tax credit, various and sundry itemized deductions and a whole host of other complications are irrelevant under a sales tax.

    If you are going to defend the status quo, you need to come with a much stronger argument than that.


    01/07/2011 8:54:40 AM PST · 101 of 134
    phil_will1 to CSM

    “I have to admit that I have not been active in the discussions for awhile, so I may have lost touch. How would the federal law eliminate state income tax?”

    I mistyped it. I meant to say that it would eliminate individual and corporate (federal) income taxes.


    01/07/2011 7:35:29 AM PST · 94 of 134
    phil_will1 to taxcontrol

    “But if congress is still spending and part of that spending is hidden from the tax payer by borrowing (say spending at 23% of GDP but only taxing at 19% GDP), then the tax payer STILL will not see the cost of government.”

    That component of spending is already highly visible in the form of the federal deficit. There is more attention being paid to the deficit now than I have seen in my lifetime. Of course, for most of my lifetime deficits weren’t anywhere near the level they are now. However, it appears that the federal deficit has become one of the top political issues of 2011, due in no small part to what happened on Nov. 2.


    01/07/2011 6:55:43 AM PST · 90 of 134
    phil_will1 to Eagle of Liberty

    “Isn’t ‘revenue neutral’ kind of a moving target?”

    Somewhat moving. However, a couple of studies were done in the 2005 timeframe (app.) and they validated the original rate calculations done in the late 90s - within a percentage point or so. The reason is that it is spending that has gotten out of whack, and taxation has not risen proportionately. That is why we have a big deficit. Well, part of the reason. The other is that economic growth has slowed, which is what the FairTax addresses.

    However, bear in mind that the revenue neutral calculation is done on a static basis, which is what current congressional rules require. If the calculation were done on a dynamic basis, the FairTax would be highly revenue positive because of the substantial economic expansion it would create.

    The dispute over static vs dynamic scoring has, of course, been raging for some time in the halls of congress completely independent of the FairTax.


    01/07/2011 6:47:00 AM PST · 87 of 134
    phil_will1 to wastedyears

    “So then it sounds like the 16th still remains active even after the Fair Tax Bill goes into effect. If that’s not true please correct me.”

    The FairTax has a provision which would “sunset” the bill itself if the 16th amendment is not repealed within 7 years. That is, if the 16th isn’t repealed within 7 years, then the old system is reinstated and the sales tax goes away. Because ratification/repeal of a constitutional amendment is such a high hurdle, it will take longer than the passage of a simple bill. However, FairTaxers have enough confidence in the proposal that they know that once the FairTax is put in place, the American public will demand that it be made permanent and the political pressure on the federal and state legislatures to repeal the 16th will be enormous. Generating that much political pressure in advance of implementation is virtually impossible - which is what the opponents are banking on who insist on repeal of the 16th before the FairTax is passed.


    01/07/2011 6:04:09 AM PST · 81 of 134
    phil_will1 to Westbrook

    Almost forgot. It’s important to note that, with regard to consumption, any decline would be
    a) relatively small (compared to the entire economy)
    b) temporary - 3 or 4 years or less (because economic growth would overtake it), and
    c) comprised 100% of imports - there would actually be a small increase in the consumption of US produced goods (not only here but in foreign markets as well)

    So while it may seem contradictory to forecast total net consumption declining and the economy growing, that is precisely what eliminating the bias that the current system provides to foreign producers over and above our own domestic producers will do. On a longer term basis, we end up with a faster growing economy with a better balance between savings and consumption and with US producers being more competitive on a planet where globalization is the biggest transformational change taking place.


    01/07/2011 5:32:48 AM PST · 79 of 134
    phil_will1 to Westbrook

    “Who in the world would want to buy ANYthing at that rate, and how in the world is that supposed to stimulate the economy?

    It might stimulate savings, I’ll venture.”

    There would some shifting toward savings and away from consumption, which is one of the economic benefits. Every serious economist I have heard speak on the subject has said that our savings rate is too low and is going to cause long term problems if not addressed. We cannot remain dependent on foreign sources of capital indefinitely.

    There are, however, three primary reasons that the FairTax would stimulate the economy:
    1. It would facilitate the repatriation of much of the app. $13 trillion (and growing) that is stranded offshore by the current tax system. This is capital that could be used to fuel our economy, rather than foreign economies.
    2. Because it is “border adjustable”, it would create pricing shifts that would improve the competitive position of US producers (primarily mfg & ag) in foreign markets, as well as our own marketplace. The US is the only one of 30 OECD nations without a border adjustment element in its tax system.
    3. It would eliminate several hundred billion $$ in wasted compliance costs. This is capital which could be much more effectively employed in our economy.

    Every economic study that I am aware of has forecast a more rapidly growing economy under the FairTax than under a continuation of the current system, with GDP growth of typically 10 to 14 % higher in the initial years immediately after implementation. That is HUGE. None of us have ever lived through a year in which GDP grew by 10+%. That is Chinese growth rates in an economy three times China’s size. Obviously, those growth rates aren’t permanent, but by the time they leveled off, the US economy would be 1/4 to 1/3 bigger than it would have been under a continuation of the current system and THAT difference would be permanent.


    01/07/2011 5:14:16 AM PST · 76 of 134
    phil_will1 to Westbrook

    “If I’m not mistaken, a tax on consumption would pass Constitutional muster, whereas a tax on ‘income’ does not.”

    The founders rejected the notion of an income tax, which is why the 16th amendment had to be ratified. An income tax had been tried a couple of times in the 19th century (most notably to help finance the Civil War), but the Supreme Court struck down an income tax sometime after that. The 16th amendment was ratified in 1913, I think.

    We believe that the founders got it right and the legislatures (both state and federal) of the early 20th century were wrong. I won’t even get into the controversy over whether the 16th was duly ratified or not.


    01/07/2011 4:26:26 AM PST · 73 of 134
    phil_will1 to RKBA Democrat

    “The so-called Fair Tax is just another name for a national sales tax.”

    Close. The “so-called FairTax” is the name of a SPECIFIC sales tax proposal which is laid out in bill language and is available for anyone to see on the internet. It is the most thoroughly researched tax reform proposal ever presented to congress and addresses the broad range of adverse economic trends that the current system exacerbates more comprehensively and effectively than any other alternative.

    Compare that to “the so-called flat tax”, which is the preferred form of tax reform of the Republican establishment. If you ask 5 flat taxers what version of flat tax they support, you are quite likely to get 5 different answers, or some sort of evasive answer, such as “any”. None of those answers will correspond to HR 1040, which was the only flat tax bill in the house last session. In actuality, there is no such thing as “the flat tax” in the sense of a single proposal that enjoys the support of even a majority of those who call themselves flat taxers. A flat INCOME tax is a form of taxation, rather than a specific proposal, just as a sales tax, VAT, excise, etc. is.

    For this reason, comparing the FairTax to “the flat tax” is a bit of an apples to oranges proposition. The various flat tax proposals (other than hr 1040) typically do not have enough support to have been drafted into bills* and I have never seen an economic study done on one. Hr 1040 isn’t even revenue neutral, which is a minimum requirement for a tax reform proposal to be taken seriously in congress. Many flat taxers don’t even know that it is a flat tax OPTION, meaning that it does not get rid of a single word of the current mess that no one understands.

    Little wonder, then, that the Republican establishment keeps introducing “new and improved” versions of “the flat tax” every few months or so in an effort to find one that resonates with voters. I think that Laffer alone has touted two different flat tax versions within the past year. All of those misguided efforts to date have fallen flat (pardon the pun).

    “The fight for fundamental tax reform is such a difficult uphill battle that requires so much energy and political capital, why would you go through all that and come up with the wrong answer?”
    Dick Armey
    Former House Majority Leader
    Current Lobbyist

    Indeed, FairTaxers agree with Mr. Armey’s statement - we just don’t agree with what constitutes “the wrong answer”. Why go through the effort to pass tax reform and not address the trade deficit and the ongoing erosion of our manufacturing sector, the crisis in SS & Medicare, etc, etc, etc?

    * In addition to HR 1040, there were a couple of “flat tax” bills in the senate, none of which have more than a couple of co-sponsors and none of which have companion bills in the house where tax reform legislation is supposed to originate in our form of government.


    01/07/2011 3:47:03 AM PST · 72 of 134
    phil_will1 to AFreeBird

    Marlin Stutzman and Dan Burton are also on there. That makes three from Indiana. There are three other freshmen Republicans from Indiana that we are working on. We should get at least one of those by March 31.

    The goal is to have 100 co-sponsors (in the house) by the end of the first quarter.


    01/07/2011 3:41:47 AM PST · 71 of 134
    phil_will1 to AFreeBird

    “Where’s Mike Pence?”

    37) Jeff Duncan (SC)

    38) Rob Bishop (UT)

    39) Mike Pence (IN)

    40) Sandy Adams (FL)

    41) John Mica (FL)


    01/06/2011 11:39:18 AM PST · 51 of 134
    phil_will1 to CMAC51

    “In the end, taxes are paid by the consumers and they generally balance out based on your level of consumption, regardless of the gimmicks in the system.”

    I’m not sure I understand your point, but if you are suggesting that taxes “balance out” in proportion to consumption under the current system, then I would suggest otherwise. Because of all the “loopholes” under the current system, there are numerous examples of inequities. A friend of mine is a CPA who does some very high end tax returns. He told me that he sees cases all the time where a transaction can have entirely different tax consequences depending on the legal form of the entity involved.

    I have often thought that if someone attempted to write a book describing the inefficiencies, inequities and illogical aspects of the Internal Revenue Code, it would be longer than War and Peace.


    01/06/2011 10:40:58 AM PST · 50 of 134
    phil_will1 to CMAC51

    “Implementation of the Fair Tax will not be as easy as some would have it. All of the current inventory, both finished goods and inventory in the production flow have the 20% tax burden embedded in them already. A transitional process will be required to deplete current inventory and move to inventory which does not have an embedded tax content.”

    That is why there is a transitional credit included in the bill for holders of inventory as of the effective date of the FairTax’s implementation. If it were not for that credit, your point would be true.


    01/06/2011 9:32:47 AM PST · 38 of 134
    phil_will1 to csmusaret

    “The IRS is not going away.”

    Yes, it is. To borrow a phrase from the first President Bush: “watch and learn.”


    01/06/2011 6:59:40 AM PST · 33 of 134
    phil_will1 to csmusaret

    “So who would collect all the money from those 20 million filers; the ghost of IRS agents past?”

    In most cases, the states would collect the NRST on behalf of the federal government and remit the funds to them. In most states, retailers are already filing sales tax returns and adding an NRST would involve adding an additional line to that filing. Both the states and the retailers would be allowed to keep 1/4% to defray their administrative costs. The current system, which imposes a much heavier administrative burden on businesses, has no such provision.

    You do understand that under our so-called “voluntary” system of taxation, IRS agents do not collect the taxes, right? Most IRS agents do audits or otherwise pursue those who don’t “voluntarily” pay the proper amount. However, if you ask 3 different IRS agents the same question about tax law, you are quite likely to get 3 different answers. Is it any wonder that we need an army to enforce such an arbitrary and subjective system? Under the FairTax, those complexities simply disappear. I have been through sales tax audits with businesses that employed me, and I can tell you that they are trivial compared to income tax audits.

    Perhaps the larger issue, however, is one referenced by a previous poster, which is, what business is it of the federal government to delve into every detail of your personal finances? If you no longer have an intrusive tax system, you no longer need an intrusive agency to enforce it. That is what we mean by eliminating the IRS.


    01/06/2011 6:18:55 AM PST · 27 of 134
    phil_will1 to csmusaret

    “Fair tax, Flat tax, This tax, That tax. Any system of taxation will require an agency to print forms and instructions, collect the money, and enforce the law. Any talk of eliminating the IRS is juvenile and ill informed.”

    I respectfully but strongly disagree. The current system measures over 70,000 pages as measured by CCH. That was the total at the end of 2009; they don’t have the 2010 tally up yet.

    We want to replace it with a system which is currently less than 150 pages. If you accept the number of pages as a reasonable approximation of the complexity of the two systems, that is about a 99.8% simplification. Even if Treasury augments the bill itself with 1,000 pages of amplifying instructions, that is still an enormous decrease in waste and efficiency.

    Under a sales tax regimen, huge areas of complexity, such as different depreciation methods, useful lives of assets, depreciation recapture, investment tax credit, earned income credit, etc, etc, etc become obsolete.

    However, it gets even better. There are approximately 120 million filers under the current system. Under the FairTax, there would be about 20 million. Of those filers, a very small number of “big box” retailers, car dealers, etc. would comprise a very high percentage of total retail sales. That means that points of sale/enforcement would be dramatically reduced.

    There are absolutely enormous efficiencies to be had here. I would suggest that anyone who does not comprehend that has not studied the subject to any significant extent.


    01/06/2011 5:56:03 AM PST · 24 of 134
    phil_will1 to maddog55

    “So what is in this Fair Tax Bill designated HR 25?”

    It’s a tax reform proposal which eliminates income taxes (both individual and state), payroll taxes (both employer and employee), estate and gift taxes - pretty much all current federal taxes with the exception of excises. In their place would be an NRST (National Retail Sales Tax) levied at the point of sale to an end using consumer. It would be levied at a rate of 23 cents per dollar spent. There would also be a rebate to ensure that no one would pay taxes (on a net basis) up to poverty level consumption.

    It would provide dramatic economic stimulus and restore the Constitutional rights usurped over the years by the current tax system.

    Find out more at

    “You do a search and it comes up in 2007, 2009, 110th congress etc.”

    It has been introduced into every session of congress since 1999 (in the house). There has been a companion senate bill since about 05, I think. This is why getting more 1st day co-sponsors than ever before is a big deal.

    “Seems like folks approve of this bill without reading it.. sound familiar?”

    We do have a problem with members signing on as co-sponsors but not understanding the bill well enough to defend it or educate their constituents as to its importance. However, in areas where congress members do understand it and its enormous benefits, it has proven to be politically a winner. Rob Woodall won his seat primarily because he convinced the voters that he would be the most effective advocate for the bill in the US house. Every Republican running for that seat (vacated by the retirement of the bill’s previous primary sponsor) ran on the FairTax and tried to convince voters that he would do more to advance the FairTax than the others. Woodall won that debate and therefore he is the one who raised his right hand yesterday.

    I do think that the new group of freshmen house members “gets it” more than many of the incumbents. Of course, the current tax system favors incumbents because it facilitates the exchange of tax preferences and earmarks for campaign cash, aided and abetted by an army of well heeled lobbyists. The FairTax would be a critical component of any serious effort to reform that system and return accountability of our elected government back to the people. For that reason, lobbyists hate it and so do many career politicians - on BOTH sides of the aisle.


    01/06/2011 5:35:07 AM PST · 22 of 134
    phil_will1 to griswold3

    “Jim Jordan’s name is not on that list though he insists he is a surporter.”

    There are a number of house members who will be signing on in the next few weeks. The goal is to have 100 co-sponsors by the end of the first quarter (in the house). Forty seven is a good start. Most, but not all, of last session’s co-sponsors are on that list of 1st day co-sponsors in this session. There are also a lot of freshmen who will be receptive.

    “my only objection to the fair tax is if properly implemented, it gives the Fed too much money! (23%)”

    “It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption, that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit; which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end proposed, that is, an extension of the revenue. When applied to this object, the saying is as just as it is witty, that, ‘in political arithmetic, two and two do not always make four.’ If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. This forms a complete barrier against any material oppression of the citizens by taxes of this class, and is itself a natural limitation of the power of imposing them.”
    Alexander Hamilton in Federalist #21

    The current system enables and facilitates higher taxes on some because of its inherent ability to create a system in which politicians hide the true cost of taxation and mete out tax preferences to political allies.


    01/06/2011 4:38:45 AM PST · 11 of 134
    phil_will1 to CitizenUSA

    “Pass an amendment abolishing the income tax first. Then we can talk about Fair Tax.”

    The FairTax bill has a provision which repeals the proposal itself if the 16th amendment is not repealed within 7 years. That makes repeal eminently achievable because once Americans experience the freedom and economic expansion brought about by the FairTax, the political pressure to repeal the 16th will be enormous. Making the repeal of the 16th a condition precedent to implementing the FairTax is a recipe for maintaining the status quo.

    However, that was probably your intention.

    BTW, you can talk about it or not; it’s a free country. There are million of Americans who understand how destructive and horribly inefficient the current system is and are eager to debate the issue. Even the federal government’s tax payer advocate Nina Olson has just come out in favor of simplification, pointing out that the tax system has almost tripled in number of pages since 2001.

    Isn’t it funny how everyone agrees that simplification is badly needed in our tax system, but congress seems incapable of delivering it under the current system?


    01/06/2011 4:26:41 AM PST · 8 of 134
    phil_will1 to nuconvert

    Which flat tax proposal do you and Jane support? You do know that a flat income tax is a form of taxation and not a specific proposal, right?


    01/06/2011 3:52:28 AM PST · 1 of 134
    It looks like newly elected house member Woodall has hit the ground running with a record number of first day co-sponsors. There will be quite a few more over the next few weeks.

    In addition to being about freedom, as he stated, the FairTax is also about putting Americans back to work. This ground-breaking piece of legislation would create more good paying jobs here in the U. S. than any other bill before congress.

  • The Second American Tax Revolt (Time to take a second look)

    03/02/2010 11:51:07 AM PST · 32 of 32
    phil_will1 to Tigen

    “Read the artical as it doesnt say a word about a flat tax.”

    I know that. My post should have been addressed to jessduntno (or whatever his ID is).

  • The Second American Tax Revolt (Time to take a second look)

    03/01/2010 3:14:29 PM PST · 30 of 32
    phil_will1 to Tigen

    First of all, there is no such thing as “the flat tax”. That is, a flat income tax is a form of taxation. There is no flat tax proposal which has enough support among flat taxers to be called “the flat tax”. The leading flat tax bill in the house (HR 1040), is a flat tax OPTION, meaning that it does not get rid of a single word of the current mess that no one understands. It has a grand total of 4 co-sponsors and I have met very few flat taxers who support it. However, none of the other flat tax proposals are even far enough developed to have a bill in the house - where tax reform proposals are supposed to originate.

    The Republican establishment keeps trying to roll out new versions of the flat tax every year or so, and none of them ever resonate. The reason that the establishment prefers the flat tax is that it does not disrupt the current racket of earmarks and tax preferences for campaign cash to nearly the extent that the FairTax does. In fact, one could argue that a flat tax would, by wiping the slate at least somewhat clean, be a huge boon to lobbyists and the influence peddling business. That was certainly the experience of the 1986 Tax Reform Act.

  • The Second American Tax Revolt

    01/28/2010 9:43:19 AM PST · 1 of 20
    Glad to see Mr. Reagan weighing in on tax reform.
  • IRS Commissioner: ‘I Find the Tax Code Complex, So I Use a Preparer’(Simplify with The Fair Tax!)

    01/21/2010 12:17:03 PM PST · 22 of 25
    phil_will1 to taxcontrol

    “MORE IMPORTANTLY, changing the tax collection method does not solve the problem we face today with

    1) Congress spending more than it takes in”

    Agreed - the FairTax does not address that problem

    “and 2) Congress segmenting the People into different tax buckets and instituting class warfare via the tax code.”

    Yes, it does, as long as the Fairtax is implemented as designed. I will concede that this is a tough thing to do, but that is why we need massive public pressure.

    “To me, fixing those issues is far more important that changing how we collect taxes.”

    However, you have left out a raft of other problems which the current tax code exacerbates and the FairTax addresses:
    1. The federal budget deficit (to the extent that slower economic growth in addition to lack of spending restraint contributes to it)
    2. the trade deficit
    3. the ongoing increases in complexity of the current tax system and consequent increases in compliance costs
    4. the crisis in SS & Medicare
    5. Our extremely low savings rate

  • IRS Commissioner: ‘I Find the Tax Code Complex, So I Use a Preparer’(Simplify with The Fair Tax!)

    01/21/2010 12:04:48 PM PST · 21 of 25
    phil_will1 to taxcontrol

    “My point was, and remains, that politicians can and will implement changes to the Fair Tax that will alter it’s execution so that it does not reflect the original intent.”

    That objection is not specific to the FairTax, but could, in fact, be applied to any tax reform proposal.

    Is that your position - that you defend the current tax system because any attempt to reform it could be sabotaged by congressmen/women who don’t share the goals of the reform measure?

  • IRS Commissioner: ‘I Find the Tax Code Complex, So I Use a Preparer’(Simplify with The Fair Tax!)

    01/21/2010 11:59:30 AM PST · 20 of 25
    phil_will1 to Oceander

    “The 16th Amendment was expressly drafted and designed to overrule the Supreme Court’s decision in the Income Tax Cases. Thus, repealing it would simply put us back to the situation that existed immediately after those cases were decided, namely: repeal of only the capital gains tax portion of the income tax - an income tax on payments for services rendered - wages - would still be perfectly constitutional....”

    That is why an “aggressive repeal” is needed - not just one that turns the clock back to 1913, but one that renders ALL income taxes unconstitutional.

  • GOOOH Founder explains Strategy to Take Back Congress(Video)

    12/22/2009 9:57:01 AM PST · 11 of 11
    phil_will1 to Man50D

    In a related story, the National Tea Party Patriots have started a “Contract From America” project. The #1 public policy issue cited by their members is the FairTax. It is ahead of term limits, eliminating unrelated amendments, tort reform, drill here/drill now, and every other policy voted on by their members.

    I was very surprised and encouraged that the tea partiers “get it” to that extent.

    PS: I didn’t see the flat tax on the list at all; I must have missed it.

  • Chinese car market overtakes that of United States

    12/11/2009 12:09:18 PM PST · 21 of 24
    phil_will1 to Trailerpark Badass

    “You could say the same thing about 1960’s USA.”

    Good point. In spite of two world wars, the Great Depression, several other less severe economic downturns and smaller wars, the US economy grew by something like 18 fold during the 20th century. Some students of China believe that they are poised for similar growth during this century.

  • Chinese car market overtakes that of United States

    12/11/2009 12:05:13 PM PST · 19 of 24
    phil_will1 to phil_will1

    This is just one of many, many, many pieces of evidence that we are entering into a new era of greatly increased global competition. China, India and the other developing nations are at once a threat and a tremendous opportunity. Their rapidly expanding middle classes constitute a vast market for U.S produced goods - if we are aggressive enough and nimble enough to capitalize on the situation. That isn’t to say that there won’t be enormous challenges in doing so. Labor cost differentials are obviously an obstacle, as is our regulatory environment.

    However, we also have to address the fact that we have a tax system which places foreign producers in a preferential position vs our own domestic producers, not only in foreign markets, but even here in our own domestic market - still the largest consumer market in the world.

    This is just one of the reasons to pass the FairTax.

  • Chinese car market overtakes that of United States

    12/11/2009 9:01:22 AM PST · 2 of 24
    phil_will1 to Man50D

    Fairtax ping, please.

  • Chinese car market overtakes that of United States

    12/11/2009 8:59:33 AM PST · 1 of 24
    Two years ago J. D. Power predicted that the Chinese auto market would pass us in 2025 - 18 years. Now it has happened in 2009, which means that it only took two years.
  • Climate Challenges

    12/03/2009 11:05:28 AM PST · 1 of 11
    This is a very thoughtful article from one of our most thoughtful members of congress.
  • Wikipedians slam study calling them egocentric introverts

    07/11/2009 6:09:29 PM PDT · 25 of 25
    phil_will1 to lewislynn

    “.... a report that found them to be egocentric introverts, socially awkward, and closed to new ideas.”

    Sounds to me like the Wikipedians and the SQLs have a lot in common. I can’t help but wonder, then, why you are so critical of Wikipedians.

  • The Fair Price of Civilization?

    07/09/2009 5:49:35 PM PDT · 39 of 60
    phil_will1 to wintertime

    “Ok...He has a point about consumption driving the economy. Will the Fair Tax slow the economy by causing incentives not to spend?”

    Actually, the FairTax would increase GDP growth, especially in the first years after passage. There are 3 main reasons
    1. it would cause shifts in price which would improve the competitiveness of US produced goods, both here in the US and in foreign markets,
    2. it would save several hundred billion $$$ in wasted compliance costs; this is money that could be used for more productive purposes, and
    3. it would lead to the repatriation of much/most of the $13 trillion stranded offshore by the current tax system.

    Any decrease in consumption would be
    1. short term - only for the first couple of years; after that consumption would be higher than under a continuation of the current system, and
    2. comprised totally of imports; as the demand for US produced goods would actually increase. That is how you get the seemingly contradictory result of consumption declining but GDP growth accelerating.

    Serious economists are more concerned about the savings rate being negative or near negative than they are with how to maintain an excessively high rate of consumption. You cannot address the low savings rate if you aren’t willing to sacrifice some consumption.

  • 'Fair Tax Book' makes a surprisingly strong case

    07/05/2009 8:25:56 AM PDT · 233 of 239
    phil_will1 to lewislynn

    “You get all your knowledge from Linder, Boortz, AFFT and Wikipedia where anyone can post anything they want?”

    Tell you what , louie, if you don’t consider wikipedia authoritative enough, just consider it an opening that you can exploit. Why don’t you trump me by finding a more credible source that supports toddsterpatriot’s assertion that a bubble is just people “buying, selling and investing”?


    Congratulations, louie, that’s one of your more insightful and persuasive posts ever on FR.

    “You can’t hide behind your juvenile acronymns forever.”

    No one is hiding here, louie. I’m the one who has challenged you and your SQL buddies to a public debate and laughed out loud as the excuses started flying from the keyboards. Remember now?

  • 'Fair Tax Book' makes a surprisingly strong case

    07/05/2009 8:16:44 AM PDT · 232 of 239
    phil_will1 to lucysmom

    “If you can’t tell me how much tax is hidden in a gallon of gas at $2.00 and $3.00 a gallon, then you can’t tell me if I will better or worse off when the corporation is relieved of its tax burden.”

    If I did tell you, it wouldn’t matter anyway, since you are so wedded to the current system.

    What we were debating (before you so adeptly changed the subject) is whether or not tax costs are different from any other costs in the sense that they cannot be anticipated. I’m glad that we have settled that silly argument, because it pops up every now and then among the SQLs.

  • 'Fair Tax Book' makes a surprisingly strong case

    07/05/2009 8:10:36 AM PDT · 231 of 239
    phil_will1 to Toddsterpatriot

    “The trade deficit is not a bubble. The trade deficit is people freely buying, selling and investing.”

    So apparently was the housing bubble. That was American consumers “freely buying, selling and investing” in residential real estate.

    The trade deficit is a measure of the extent to which we, as a country, are consuming more than we are producing. That can happen in the short term, just as a (for profit) business can operate at a loss in the short term, but neither can last indefinitely. Inevitably, there will be a correction and corrections are typically more sudden and dramatic than the longer term trend which produced them.

    “Social Security is a long term problem, privatizing it is a long term, not short term, solution.”

    So you make the problem worse in the short to medium term in order to get to the long term solution. I get that.

    “I’m sure the 435 members of the house and 100 senators will jump right on it when they find out that this is what toddsterpatriot wants!!”

    “As opposed to the constitutional amendment phil wants. LOL”

    There’s one important distinction between the two which I’m sure you won’t appreciate. In one case, you have an anonymous blogger on FR who has an overblown ego who thinks that congress will just jump to his every wish. In the other case, you have a proposal which has been gathering support and increasing the pressure on congress members for several years now.

  • 'Fair Tax Book' makes a surprisingly strong case

    07/02/2009 8:36:40 PM PDT · 226 of 239
    phil_will1 to Toddsterpatriot

    “People freely buying, selling and investing is a bubble?”

    No, that’s called “a free market”. An economic bubble is “trade in high volumes at prices at variance with intrinsic values”.

    “Imagine harder.”


    You don’t really think your juvenile comments which are unresponsive to the point at issue camouflage your lack of insight, do you? Well, I suppose you do.

    “I want to privatize a larger portion than you.”

    Oh, so toddsterpatriot wants to privatize a major portion of SS!! Then it certainly will get done. Just because the sitting President of the US couldn’t even get a measley 2% privatization done doesn’t mean that toddsterpatriot won’t be able to get a much larger privatization done, does it? I’m sure the 435 members of the house and 100 senators will jump right on it when they find out that this is what toddsterpatriot wants!!

    “Require a supermajority vote to raise taxes.”

    What is your bill number?

    “I want to bust the budget. Huge cuts in spending. Remember?”

    Don’t we all? How are you going to do that when much of the cost of government is hidden from those who pay for it?

    “LOL! Keep smoking dude. You whined that people who oppose your bad math tax plan don’t have any alternatives, your plan is the only one that will fix those issues. And then when I tell you my alternatives, you whine that they’re not practical. LOL!”

    Not only are they not practical, but the proof is that you spend your time on FR attacking the FairTax and its supporters, rather than starting threads and promoting your own ideas. When is the last time you did something positive to affect the trajectory of government? If you’re like most SQLs, the answer is not recently.

    If you actually thought any of these ideas had a snowball’s chance, that is where you would invest your time and energy. Just tell me when was the last time you held a presentation in your neighborhood, wrote an article for publication, etc?

  • 'Fair Tax Book' makes a surprisingly strong case

    07/02/2009 8:14:34 PM PDT · 225 of 239
    phil_will1 to lewislynn

    “Apparently you aren’t aware that all businesses, in fact most businesses, aren’t publicly held corporations having to cater to investors.”

    And you apparently aren’t aware that all for profit entities have investors and they all want a return on their investment. The major difference between a publicly held and privately held business venture is:
    1. publicly held entities have more rigorous reporting requirements, and
    2. capital flows into and out of a publicly held entity more easily.

    Nevertheless, investors always expect a return and capital flows into more profitable ventures and out of less profitable ones.

    Geez, it’s fun debating economics and business with louie. He’s like the guy who brings a knife to a gunfight.

  • 'Fair Tax Book' makes a surprisingly strong case

    07/02/2009 8:07:51 PM PDT · 224 of 239
    phil_will1 to lucysmom

    “Companies often miss their quarterly projections by over or under estimating.”

    Oh, so since forecasts are imperfect, they shouldn’t be done? Last time I checked, even companies whose forecasting history is less than perfect continue to do forecasts. If they are reasonably competently managed, their performance in this area improves over time. No one bats 1000 in forecasting. However, successful companies are typically within a narrow range on their forecasts, unless something really wacky happens to the economy (such as right now).

    “Speaking of gasoline; how much hidden tax in the price of a gallon of gas at $2.00 a gallon, how much at $3.00 a gallon?”

    VERY clever, lucysmom!!! Like you and your SQL buddies have never tried to change the subject when you are getting your clocks cleaned in the current debate.

  • 'Fair Tax Book' makes a surprisingly strong case

    07/01/2009 7:47:56 AM PDT · 218 of 239
    phil_will1 to Toddsterpatriot

    “The trade deficit doesn’t worry me.”

    And it doesn’t worry most Americans, either, just as the tech stock bubble and the housing bubble didn’t - until the corrections set in and our economy was sent into turmoil.

    “I’m all in favor of cutting government.”

    Whoop de doo!! Aren’t we all? Cutting government without stimulating the economy would be some help, but I find it hard to imagine cutting government enough to address the magnitude of the problem by that approach alone.

    “We need to privatize Social Security.”

    Which would do nothing about the immediate problem in Social Security and no one has suggested privatizing Medicare, which is in even worse shape than SS.

    “Privatizing Social Security would raise the private savings rate.”

    The very small portion of SS that would be privatized would do little to change the overall savings rate.

    “Going back to the rates we had after the 1986 tax reform would be a good start.”

    It isn’t the rate schedule that is the source of most of the complexity in the system. I assume that you meant to say “going back to the rates and eliminating the deductions like we did in 1986 would be a good start”. The problem with that approach has been validated by time - the lobbyists thought they had died and gone to heaven. They immediately went back to work reinstating the special preferences which had been eliminated and today’s tax code is far worse than the one which was in place before that simplification.

    “Kill the AMT now.”

    As Boortz and Linder pointed out in their book, the AMT raises so much revenue (and that will be increasing over the next few years) that simply eliminating it is a budget-buster. That approach would hugely expand the deficit, already at very worrisome levels for many Americans.

    “Glad I could help.”

    So am I. You made my point that the SQLs have no practical solutions to the broad array of adverse economic trends which this nation faces.