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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: FairTax gets notice on Tax Day

Camie Young

Camie Young

Feeling a little bitter about the government after the pain and hassle of Tax Day?

Once again, a Gwinnett congressman used the usual angst in April to tout his proposal to do away with the federal income tax.

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, who has taken over the FairTax crusade from his predecessor John Linder, held a Tax Day press conference this week to bring attention to the idea, which would replace the federal income tax and corporate taxes with a national sales tax.

The revenue-neutral proposal, Woodall said, is a better option than the proposed "Buffett Rule," he said, because it allows people to take home 100 percent of their paychecks.

"Seventy percent of our income tax revenue comes from the top 10 percent of earners. Nearly half the nation paid nothing in income tax, and in fact millions received a check instead. The President's solution to this issue is to continue his politics of division by promoting this so-called 'Buffett Rule' -- a bill that will pay for less than 0.1 percent of the $4.7 trillion he proposes to spend in his 2013 budget proposal," Woodall said.

"The purpose of our tax code should be to collect revenue to run the government -- not use it as a tool to pick winners and losers, manipulate consumer behavior, and shape economic outcomes. Our solution takes this destructive tool out of the hands of the federal government and allows every American to become a voluntary taxpayer."

Georgia Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson joined Woodall at the press conference.

"Every American who filed their tax return (Tuesday) was likely reminded that tax simplification is long overdue. Not only is our current tax code burdensome to families, it is a large drain on America's small businesses," Isakson said in a separate press release. "At the same time, our current tax code punishes productivity instead of taxing discretionary spending. That's why we need the FairTax. It's time that we simplify our tax code, clean it up, and create a more simple way to pay your fair share, and the solution is the FairTax."

Chambliss said the time is ripe for reform.

"Today, as millions of Americans are completing the complicated, painstaking process of filing their taxes, too many of us will be reminded of just how little of our paychecks we actually see under the present tax system," Chambliss said Tuesday.

Gwinnett's other congressman, Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson, said he isn't sold on the idea, but he stands "with my friends in the Fair Tax movement in calling for fundamental reform of the tax code, which we all agree is unfair and needs to be changed."

Instead, Johnson said the Buffett Rule should be considered.

"It is simply unfair to ask middle class Americans to pay a higher tax rate than millionaires and billionaires," Johnson said. "On Tax Day, I join the many Americans who are calling upon Congress to hold hearings to assess the viability of the various proposals for reform, including the Buffett Rule and so-called Fair Tax. It's time to simplify the tax code."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/local/politics.

Comments

Jan 2 years ago

The FairTax is very unfair, would greatly reduce taxes paid by the wealthy, would be more expensive to collect since every retailer is a tax collector and the IRS would have the expense of mailing monthly rebates. It even falls short on the claim of revenue neutral, collecting much less than the current system. The annual median income is $50,000, a single person earning $11,500 taking standard deduction pays income taxes. There are some that pay no income taxes, including retirees living almost entirely on Social Security and even some with income in the millions because of all the loopholes and offshore accounts. The FairTax is nothing more than a political tool. Woodall hardly mentions it until time to campaign again. Ever notice how supporters response to arguments is "read the book"? This makes it obvious that supporters do not understand anything other than it replaces the current system which they don't like. During my life time (I am retired) I have noticed the top tax rate declining, deductions and loopholes increasing and growing complaints about the tax system. Never heard "class warfare" mentioned when the top bracket exceeded 70% with no mortgage interest deduction.

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Erk 2 years ago

Jan- Retailers are already tax collectors if they have employees. You are probably not aware of that. Because the employer builds into the cost of hiring an employee the taxes they must withhold every pay period, if the FairTax is enacted, that money allocated to pay the government on your behalf is now freed up to pay the employee. Congratulations, you get a raise. I bet you didn't know either that corporations factor income taxes into their cost of goods sold which means they added that taxable amount to the cost YOU pay! (America now has the HIGHEST corporate taxes in the world). If the FairTax was enacted, that portion of the tax would no longer be factured in, so the FairTax on the purchase would be a wash. Better yet, since that corporation (and you) does not have to have a CPA firm on retainer to make sure they are getting every single legal tax deduction they can, the money wasted on that would be saved, thus freeing up the cost of goods. You see, it is too simple to grasp. Maybe that is why you don't see the advantage of having a simple tax on the consumption end and not on the producing end. The US would be a TAX HAVEN which means all those manufacturing and service jobs that were outsourced would be returned to our shores. You would have to hide under a rock to keep from being employed. One more thing - the FairTax book is a much easier read than the 17000 page tax code book we have now. Do yourself a favor, take an hour and read the book. You may get it afterall.

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Jan 1 year, 12 months ago

Erk, you have a few facts and then make too many untrue assumptions. True, employers are tax collectors but the FairTax would drastically escalate the amount of paper work required for their new collection requirements, documenting every sale. Second, your assumption that any costs savings to the company for no longer withholding your income taxes would automatically result in a raise to you. Companies have been quick to rasise salaries for CEO's and but resistant to raising the salaries of low and mdedium level employees. Nothing in the FairTax proposal would change this trend. As for the extra take-home pay you get, that will not cover the extra 30% you must pay for products and services. Companies only pay income taxes on profits - after all business deductions and loopholes. The profit margin is a part of the Supply And Demand curve that determines selling price but taxes paid on that profit is not. Because of the increased cost with the included tax, the Supply And Demand curve would cause the profit margin for the company to drop slightly, but not but 1 or 2 percent on most products, still leaving the other 28% increase in cost passed to the consumer.Their are other tax proposals that would simplify tax so individuals would find it a simple process, without assistance. Corporations would hire CPAs for they would still have significant book keeping requirements (I don't use a tax service now, opting to do my own taxes, its really not that complicated for most individuals unless they are trying to hide money). The US has a lower effective tax rate than most countries because we have so many special interest deductions. The FairTax book is obviously a scam and I will not pad the income of Linder & Bortz when the massive information about its problems are on the internet. You have not even addressed the fact that it will fall short of the current amount brought in through taxes, even if the monthly rebates are not given or that this increases the percentage of income paid to taxes close to 30% for the middle class while those amassing multibillion dollar estates effective tax rate drops. Under the fair tax, someone with income of 1 billion dollars, spending 1 million dollars, would have an effective tax rate of only 0.03%. Note also that the wealthy, while traveling outside the US, will pay no US taxes. This would encourage foriegn travel.

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jack 1 year, 12 months ago

"The FairTax book is obviously a scam and I will not pad the income of Linder & Bortz when the massive information about its problems are on the internet."

Glad to see your looking openly at both sides of this argument. Oh, wait a minute, you're not. That's okay, we'll just keep the convoluted system we have in place now; makes it far easier for you to rail against the wealthy and their "multibillion dollar estates" .

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Jan 1 year, 12 months ago

Jack, I am disappointed. Your response usually display a reasonable amount of intelligence but this time all you can do is make false assumptions. Unlike most respondents, I do extensive research before making a response. This includes the right wing arguments for the FairTax. True, I did refer to the massive amounts of information about the problems with the fair tax because we are being pounded with the misinformation provided by the Woodall and his supporters. If you read everything I write, you would also understand that I am not in favor of the current system where special interest get special breaks. I want a simplified system that would be easier to understand and difficult to circumvent with such things as off shore accounts and trust funds.

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jack 1 year, 12 months ago

Jan- I can only respond to what you write; I do not read minds. You obviously have not read the book and your research seems limited to the problems with the Fair Tax. That you mention "right wing arguments" pretty much sums up your lack of any objectivity when looking at different ideas. One has to wonder if your mindset would be the same had the Fair Tax been proposed by Ted Kennedy.

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JCJB 1 year, 12 months ago

geez, you REALLY just don't get it!

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Erk 1 year, 12 months ago

Jan - "Note also that the wealthy, while traveling outside the US, will pay no US taxes. This would encourage foriegn (sic) travel."? Umm,Jan - flip that coin over. What about all the tourist from Canada, Europe and Asia who visit here on vacation for weeks at a time. When they make purchases, they are now contributors to our US taxes. The way I see this is you are eaten up with envy from those who have achieved more than you have. Your objective seems to tax them more - not on consumption nor income, but instead on success. Your assumption if they spend $1 Million they only are being taxed at 0.03% (which would really be 0.023% if you read the book). For some reason, I don't squeal that they are only paying a certain % of their income. Instead I look at them putting $1 Million dollars back into the private sector that will be paid as salaries and reinvested back in business. When the tax money goes to Uncle Sam, the private sector gets little return on that money. Of course, if the FairTax is passed, there would be the elimination of the job of dressing like the Statue of Liberty and swinging around a sign trying to lure you in to have your taxes prepared. LET'S MAKE APRIL 15TH A REGULAR, NORMAL DAY!

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mrpink 1 year, 12 months ago

Jan I assume you have data to back up your claims and you will be submitting them shortly for all to review?

you make the claim that the fairtax would be more expensive to collect because every retailer is a tax collector. well every retailer in 45 of the 50 states already collects sales taxes, collecting a little more adds very little expense.combine that with every retailer no longer having to file income tax, pay the employer part of every employee's SS, greatly reduced payroll expense's and the cost saving to employer's starts adding up, beacon hill estimated the total saving for the administration of fairtax to be $14.70 per $100 of revenue. http://www.beaconhill.org/FairTax2007/TaxAdminCollectionCosts071025%20.pdf

next you claim the fairtax falls short of being revenue neutral. this contradicts testomony given to the house ways and means comittee during a hearing on the fairtax. here is a link to it and a small quote. "More recent calculations show that the 23% rate called for in the statute would have raised more revenue than needed in 2009 and 2010." http://www.beaconhill.org/FairTax2011/Kotlikoff-Tuerck-Testimony-to-Ways-Means-7-26-11revised.htm

I'm not sure what you are trying to say in your next sentence, but under the fairtax no one would pay any federal tax on spending up to the federal poverty guidlines. in the case you mention above of the single individual making $11,500. under the fairtax that person could spend in 2012 $11,170 on taxable goods and services before they started to pay the fairtax, spending on used items are not taxable. the fairtax removes all loopholes, every one is treated the same tax wise. many supporters respond " read the book" so people have a basic understanding of the fairtax. it gives a starting point for discussion. I agree there are many places to get information on the fairtax online, some of it good some of it not so good, so no need to "read the book" if you don't wish. the best source of information on the fairtax is the actual bill itself. it is only 130 pages double spaced so it can be read in a few hours. it contains no spin just the facts. fairtax.org has a plain english version that can be found here:http://www.fairtax.org/PDF/PlainEnglishSummary_TheFairTaxAct2007.pdf if you are on facebook then there is a fairtax Q&A group where any questions you may have will be answered. https://www.facebook.com/groups/122352091216278/doc/138871102897710/

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Jan 1 year, 12 months ago

I took the time to look at your sources, had looked at the fairtax.org previously to get details. Just a little reading and it is easy to see that your beaconhill.org reference is a right wing organization interested in pushing right wing agenda and frequently inaccurate in their endeavor to promote their ideals. You should be aware that we have had testimony before congress to other incorrect information, some of the more publicized have been top tobacco executives claiming cigarettes are not addictive and some pseudo scientists claiming man has no influence on climate change, some even saying climate change is not occurring. For a more comprehensive explanation, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairtaxlink text. This mentions the study by beaconhill.org and notes that it did come to the conclusion that the 23% inclusive was slightly low. Other studies are cited that put the required an inclusive tax rate of 28% to 34%, and effective rate of 39% to 53%. Two things are certain: 1. Those earning more $1 million will see a significant drop in their income tax. 2. Many people will find ways of purchasing high end products (such as TVs, computer and yachts) in other countries to avoid the tax.

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mrpink 1 year, 12 months ago

if you chose to label the beacon hill institute "right wing " or not really doesn't matter. all there numbers and how they arrived at them are all online for review. I would like to see your data that proves them "frequently inaccurate in their endeavor to promote their ideals".

the 2007 beacon hill come up with a rate of 23.82% based on static numbers at the time, as we all know the economy is not static. you metion other studies yet you don 't provide links to so they can be read and studied and rebutted. therefore I will assume you are speaking about the studies mentioned here. http://www.beaconhill.org/FairTax2007/BHI-AEI-What-rate-works-2-28-07.pdf.

again you go back to income. the fairtax is not based on income, it does not tax income. income is not realitive to the fairtax other then it allows you to spend more and therefore pay a higher amount of tax. will some one making $1 million pay more or less under the fairtax? that all depends on there spending choices. the fairtax works the same regardless of your income level. if you spend more you pay more, spend less then you pay less.

yes people can buy products overseas and not pay tax as long as those products are used overseas, if they bring them into the U.S. to use then tax would be due on them. will people cheat the system under the fairtax? yes of course people will cheat any tax system you come up with.

if your only goal is to tax the rich then the fair tax is probably not for you. if your goal is to help the poor that wish to better themselves, to improve the U.S. economy, to bring jobs back to the U.S., to support freedom and liberty then the fairtax is a very good plan that achieves all of the above.

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Jan 1 year, 12 months ago

True, the fair tax is not based on income. That is the problem. Millionaires do not spend the majority of their money. Someone making $30,000 a year will spend almost every cent. They accumulate it and use it in political contributions to alter our policies to favor the rich. They become hoarders of wealth. The idea that they should be rewarded for being wealthy is as absurd as the idea that the government should guarantee everyone their own house. I gave you a link that explains the sources and gives you links to the data. Yes, the article is long, but it is clearly written. Early in the fair tax discussion, I took the time to find the GDP, GNP and spent hours on the IRS statistics web site. Put the data into spread sheets and ran the numbers. That was years ago and the numbers I was getting showed that the 23% inclusive would fall short of revenue neutral even if no prebates were mailed out by the IRS replacement. You cannot change facts, even when you don't believe them.

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NewsReader 1 year, 12 months ago

Jan, your never ending socialist agenda is getting really old. Why don't you just retire it along with yourself?

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Jan 1 year, 12 months ago

I do apologize for being the one to break the news. We are socialist and have been since the declaration of independence was signed. The government runs security - police, FBI, military etc. As long as the government is expected to protect our interests, it must be allowed to collect funds to operate. The question that is being discussed is not which services currently provided by the government could be cut but how to design a fair method of collecting these funds. Our income tax system was originally based on the fact that the wealthy had more to protect so should be expected to pay more for that service. Unfortunately, special interest have been able to skew the system to a regressive tax. The FairTax would only serve to shift the tax burden to those with lower income, would drastically penalize those that have saved for their future with money already taxed and then find they are taxed another 30% when they have the need to spend it. You probably earn less than $200,000 annually. At $200,000 income, if you spent half of it, you would be paying an effective 15% tax on your income. If someone making $2 million spent $200,000, they would only have an effective rate of 3%. No one yet has tried to explain why such a system would be fair. Even the flat tax would be significantly better that the flat tax. It is not socialism to desire a better tax system.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 12 months ago

"a regressive tax?" Jan, the United States has one of the most progressive tax codes on the planet, where income is concerned. The top 1%, that group that is so often vilified by liberals and media alike, earned roughly 19% of the income, but carry nearly 40% of the federal income tax burden. How is that regressive? Technically, socialism didn't come to this country until the mid-1800s, with the influx of German immigrants bearing Marxist philosophy. There is nothing socialist about a government providing protection to its citizenry so that said citizenry can carry forth free market enterprise and individual liberty.

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Jan 1 year, 12 months ago

While the current tax code is basically progressive, all the loopholes built for the rich alter this for those over about $100,000 where the more wealthy, the lower the effective rate. Changing to the FairTax would make the tax very regressive for everyone over about $50,000 Considering prebates, $30,000 single person would have an effective rate just under 20% (we know they would save almost $0). There are three major categories of economic philosophy. Communism - total government ownership of all businesses; Capitalism - All business privately owned with no government regulations; Socialism - everything between these two extremes. Neither pure communism not pure capitalism can be sustained. The government must exercise. There is a difference between communism and socialism.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 12 months ago

That's a pretty broad definition of socialism. Even economists don't agree on a true definition of capitalism, as there are several branches and forms of the practice. Capitalism doesn't require the level of government intervention you claim because it is, more often than not, self-regulating. You act as if people are too stupid to carry out economic transactions without the assistance of government. In capitalism, products and services are created to meet demands within the system. In your oh-so-precious socialism, you often see the system create a product, and then force consumption of the product, in essence creating false supply and demand.

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NewsReader 1 year, 12 months ago

"...Even the flat tax would be significantly better that the flat tax..." LOL, you just can't make this crap up. You're so confused, you don't even know you're confused! And BTW, "we" aren't socialist. "You" might be socialist along with some of your friends, but it certainly isn't "we".

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Jan 1 year, 12 months ago

Yeah, I did get in a hurry. the second flat tax should have been FairTax. Thank you for the correction. I assume, since you claim not to be socialists, that you believe we should shut down medicare, stop social security and remove all regulations from businesses. No longer offer public education, close the CDC, stop the FDA. The list goes on.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 12 months ago

Jan - Most every study I've seen concerning Social Security states the my generation will never see a return on our investment into the program. Just recently the program paid out more than it took in, which is not a healthy place to be in. And you did a great job of painting this as black and white, as either we are socialist, or anarchy reigns. Businesses are being choked by regulation under Obama. You can have government oversight and not be socialist. Public education in this country is a joke, but the liberal answer is always spend more money and we'll be okay.

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Jan 1 year, 12 months ago

I am not surprised that you limit your research to conservative sites. Social Security administration has estimated that SS, under current funding, will be able to meet all expectations through 2050. Numerous ways of tweaking the system have been proposed, too often blocked bey those with only one agenda, shifting the funds to their friends in Wall Street. Currently, FICA tax is only paid on the first $110,100. If your only income is interest, dividends and capital gains, you pay no FICA. Take the cap off and SS will be bringing in more than it pays out for centuries. Everyone on your side makes the claim that regulations under Obama are choking business and yet all seem to agree that the bank fiasco that led to the mortgage meltdown under Bush was due to under regulation. Please be specific. What regulations do you think should be removed? Which one of them do you believe was not in force prior to Obama? I have listed regulations in past posts that, I believe, are important. Regulations are usually placed on businesses to protect the consumer and are usually a reaction to some form of past irresponsible activity of some business.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 12 months ago

The point about the mortgage meltdown would be pretty solid, until you take into account that George W. Bush and his administration warned about a coming housing crisis, and all of their warnings and desires for reform were blocked by Barney Frank, who last I checked was a liberal. Republicans were warning of this crisis as far back as the waning years of the Clinton amdinistration. Both Clinton and Bush saw far too many mortgages handed out to those who couldn't afford them, but there was this strange desire to have people live the "American Dream" regardless of income. Now I agree, some level of government oversight is required, but I don't agree on the level of oversight. We Americans see gas prices rise every summer, because government has these gourmet blends of gasoline that have to be sold at certains times of year. The EPA recently fined several businesses for not using a certain product in their industry, even though said product does not even exist. Government regulation in some places would require me to pay a fine or face jail time if I paid my little brother to clean my room, because he's not a licensed business. Lemonade stands, an everday occurence of the American suburban past, are shut down, but they didn't go to government for a license. But thank god government is there to regulate my dirty room, or the kid's lemonade stand down the street.

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Jan 1 year, 12 months ago

If you are going to be so loose with the fact, it is hard to have a serious discussion. The mortgage meltdown began with mortgage brokers fudging the numbers, over evaluating houses and over stating incomes. This was strictly against any Barney Frank supported regulations. The problem was escalated by banks bundling mortgages in an attempt to cover the problem when they discovered one existed. As a direct cause of the bundling, much of the paper work of the original loans is missing, putting into question many bank foreclosures and true ownership of many houses. I believe your statement about your being fined to pay your brother to clean your room is false. I challenge you to find such a place. Most places allow anyone to hire a day laborer and never require the individual to check someones business license. If someone operates a regular business, they can be fined for failure to have a current business license. Please name the product that you claim was required by the EPA. And, lastly, gas prices are only slightly effected by the cost of the additives which reduce pollution and, since they make engines run cleaner, help your car last longer. The primary cause for higher gas prices is speculation. Look it up! Don;t just echo some right wing pundit.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 12 months ago

The product in question is a cellulosic ethanol, and, per the New York Times, "outside of a handful of laboratories and workshops [it] does not exist." It's all part of a mandate for increased ethanol, signed into law by George Bush (see, I blame Bush when he deserves it). Yes, speculation is a driving force in gas prices, but remember this: those evil oil companies who are so greedy average 8 cents profit per gallon sold. The federal government gets 59 cents per gallon sold, over seven times the oil company's profit, yet the left vilifies the oil company. I don't know why liberal pundits don't understand that raising taxes on industry will make the cost of goods and services go up. Then again, our own president stated before his election that under his policies energy costs would necessarily skyrocket. In Nevada it is illegal to do interior design without a license. So perhaps my example of paying my little brother to clean my room was not elocuted properly. But say I pay my neighbor, who might be an IT employee but does handyman work around the house, to redesign my kitchen. If I lived in Reno, then we would've jsut committed a crime.

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Jan 1 year, 12 months ago

I could find no records of any company being fined for failure to use cellulostic ethanol. The EPA did have a deadline to start adding it but have extended that deadline. The federal tax on gas is only 18 cents and oil companies make considerably more than 8 cents per gallon. The exact profit is complex since the cost of acquiring crude oil varies so greatly and the amount of gas from a barrel of oil is dependent on refining methods and type of crude. Factcheck.org can give you more info. Fox news seems to be the source of the erroneous numbers that that you parrot. For construction work, most locations require a permit and require it to be done by a licensed professional. This usually does not extend to things like cleaning and painting though you might be right on limited locations.

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agneskravitz 1 year, 12 months ago

There is nothing fair about the Fair Tax. A tax is always unfair to somebody

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JCJB 1 year, 12 months ago

Jan, agree strongly with newsreader and erk! Please feel free to give all of your money to the government, but don't make me a part of your agenda. If you don't like the Very Fair Tax, and feel you aren't paying enough, just write a check to the IRS, they do accept "donations"

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RiggaTony 1 year, 12 months ago

I love the Fairtax because it was authored and sponsored by a REAL conservative (Boortz). In fact , I think all of our national polices should be authored by conservative media personalities. We would be ALOT better off.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 12 months ago

RiggaTony - I figured you would hate Boortz, or at least strongly dislike him. He's a Libertarian (fiscally conservative, socially somewhat liberal), he has no problem with gay rights (no government involvement in the bedroom), he supports alcohol sales on Sunday (private business), he absolutely supports the fact that the rule of law cannot be used to enforce one religion above another, and I've heard him in the past argue for the legalization of marijuana.

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Mack711 1 year, 12 months ago

John Linder from the 7th district here in Georgia was the Reprsentative who authored the fair tax. Boortz did write a book on it along with John Linder. Yes Boortz, Heman Cain and Hannity and many others support the fair tax, But John Linder was the one to put it into the form of a bill in Congress.

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Say_that_again 1 year, 12 months ago

Thanks for the satire, I got a kick out of FordGalaxy and Mack711 aparently not even realizing that you meant that as satire!

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mrpink 1 year, 12 months ago

neither Boortz nor Linder authored the fairtax bill. Linder simply introduced the bill in the house every year until his retirement. Boortz is just a supporter/ promoter of the fairtax plan

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 12 months ago

Say_that_again - I can only hope that RiggaTony was being satirical. But he/she has a history on these comment sections of supporting a government-enforcement of religion and forced morality.

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NewsReader 1 year, 12 months ago

Let's just be clear on something here. While RiggaTony may support the conservative agenda, Conservatives don't necessarily condone or support RiggaTony's agenda as he has demonstrated in the past. Of all the people in the world that have little cause to dictate morality, it's the Congress of the United States; an agenda he supports with his self-righteous view of the world around him and his desire to utilize the police power of the government to enforce it. I don't necessarily think RiggaTony would have a problem abolishing separation of church and state. If you don't believe it, just take a good hard look at his historical postings, and a pretty clear picture tends to unfold rather quickly.

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jack 1 year, 12 months ago

I have concluded RiggaTony's tongue is planted firmly in cheek when he posts. He reminds me of Betty Bowers ("America's Best Christian") of the satirical Landover Baptist Church website.

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kevin 1 year, 12 months ago

Cain has the best deal yet. 9-9-9. OR better yet, 6-6-6, which represents the person in charge of this country.

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Jan 1 year, 12 months ago

Kevin, such childish insults should be left to those that have no facts to back up their argument. Must admit that 9-9-9, with some tweaking, would be much better than the improperly named "FairTax". In full disclosure, I have not crunched the numbers for 9-9-9 so cannot attest to amount of revenue compared to current system.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 12 months ago

I agree with Jan that the insults aren't necessary. I'm no fan of Obama, but I would not compare him to the Biblical beast, or Hitler, or Stalin. Attack the policies, not the man.

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pac 1 year, 11 months ago

I would be willing to bet Jan does not pay taxes. The fact is 50% of the people pay no taxes, yet many of them somehow get tax refunds. Another large portion of the working public only pay taxes on a small portion of their income. e.g. waiters, car hops and others who are mostly payed by tips. Then there are the people who work "off the books." e.g. day workers, illegals and people collecting government handouts and need to keep their income down to stay on the program. Let's not forget the criminals; drug dealers and thieves. They don't pay taxes on their incomes either.

The Fair Tax would ensure that EVERYONE pays their fair share. We all buy stuff whether we get our money legally or not.

As for Jan's claim we are a socialist country. I think she needs to read up a little on the definition of socialism. Providing police and military as well as roads and school does not make us a socialistic nation.

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Jan 1 year, 11 months ago

Sorry, pac. You lost that bet! I am retired, Started paying taxes while in high school with a part time job and haven't missed a year paying income taxes since. It is possible that I might pay less under the "Fair Tax" but that does not make it fair. The "Fair Tax" would insure that the top 5% would never pay their fair share of the taxes. Guarantee their ability to pass on wealthy estates to their heirs. It would also insure a drastic jump in national debt since it falls short of being revenue neutral, even if prices do not decline as proponents claim would happen. It greatly penalizes those that have saved for retirement with after tax dollars and now must use that money for living expenses, paying taxes again on the same money. Surely you are opposed to double taxation. In fact, everyone running a responsible budget has money saved on which they have paid taxes and then would be required to pay again if the needed to dip into it in an emergency. I do believe that our justice system needs reform. When it can be shown that criminal behavior resulted in profit, fines should be at least 30% greater than the profits so derived. Crime should not pay. If you wish to more narrowly define socialism, then national health care would not make us socialists either.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 11 months ago

Jan - Just a quick question, because this is something i often hear from the liberal side of the aisle on tax discussions. As you said "The 'Fair Tax' would insure that the top 5% would never pay their fair share of the taxes." What is their "fair share?" Who determines what their "fair share" should be? We've been over this before, the Top 5% pay nearly 60% of all federal income taxes. How much more would you have the government confiscate before you considered it "fair?"

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 11 months ago

pac - Everyone pays taxes. Did you buy breakfast this morning? Then you paid taxes. Keep the argument grounded in fact. Not everyone pays FEDERAL INCOME tax. The tax argument often revolves around federal income tax, so say that, don't say "50% of the people pay no taxes." That's a complete misrepresentation of the truth.

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Jan 1 year, 11 months ago

FordGalaxy, I wish more people were concerned with what is fair. Of course, what is seen as fair will be different for different people. A couple of points should be considered. The top 5% bring in about 95% of the income so 60% of the income taxes is definitely less than they should be paying. The second point is that FICA tax, Medicare tax and sales tax are extremely regressive taxes and must be considered when discussing a fair system of taxation. Consider how differently we currently treat investment income. No one pays FICA or Medicare taxes on income from investments. The first step to fairness would be to treat all income the same. The next step would be to stop all itemized deductions for they are nothing more than a taxpayer supplement for the individuals choices.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't know where you got your stats, Jan. The information I've found shows that the Top 5% earned a 34% share of the adjusted gross income, yet carried nearly 60% of the income tax burden. If you tax all wealth the same (income, capital gains, etc.) you are really going to discourage investment.

And for the record, why are liberals all concerned with making the world fair? No where, on any birth certificate, holy scripture, or founding document, does it say life is fair. Life might be unfair. But you have the power to change it. My former boss told me that his parents grew up in Georgia way back in the day. When jobs went away here they moved to Ohio. When jobs went away there, they moved to California. They barely had enough money to put food on the table, but they moved to chase opportunity. I really think our current generation has lot that, because they are more concerned with fairness and equality of outcome. Make your own outcome, don't wait on some government official to lead you to it.

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Jan 1 year, 11 months ago

Your choice to ignore the totals and narrow the amount to adjusted gross income only proves my point that deductions overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy. Go back and check the stats for total income. I do give you credit for two truthful statements: 1. Life is unfair. 2. We have the ability to change it. My question to you is why you do not want to change the tax structure to make it more fair? We certainly shouldn't change it to a system that is obviously considerably less fair, especially since it would collect less revenue and lead to an accelerated growth of the debt. You seem to believe he big lie the Republicans are pushing. Increasing the taxes on an individual does not discourage investing. While it obviously reduces the amount available for investment, that amount is offset by the Governments ability to invest the revenue into infrastructure and feed it back into the economy. You should also consider different forms of investment. If I buy existing stocks, my money will not create any jobs. The stock market has been performing well because too much of the wealth is being invested this way and not into developments that will create jobs. I agree that some areas have too much government involvement. Too many industries are heavily subsidized by the government, some through special deductions, others by direct payments. Too often, companies are bribed to move operations by making them tax exempt for a term. Frequently these companies simply move again for a better offer when the original terms have been met. But you probably like this since it is the wealthy that get the most benefit. Your example of chasing jobs lacks some facts. The workforce is more mobile now than it has ever been.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 11 months ago

"...why do you not want to change the tax structure to make it more fair?" Because I'd like a better definition of fairness than the nebulous definition liberals use. If I see a group of people making the most money, but already paying proportionately more of the burden than the wealth they make, I would say that that is unfair. I agree that if you make more you should pay more.

" Increasing the taxes on an individual does not discourage investing." Oh really. If I am forced to pay more in taxes, then I have less to spend on groceries, or luxury items, which means I am investing less in the economy. You really think I wouldn't be discouraged from investing?

"The workforce is more mobile now than it ever has been." I've heard this before, but then I also hear liberals saying that people can't move for work because they lack the funds for it. So which is it?

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Jan 1 year, 11 months ago

Why do you insist on ignoring facts? I just explained how your facts do not represent the true income of the wealthy and the fact that they are paying proportionately far less.

My apologies for thinking you would interpret my statements as intended. I should have clarified that, since our discussion was around the top 5%, you would interpret my statements concerning investment on the top 5%. Even if you went to the extreme and doubled the tax on this group, they would not spend less on groceries or luxury items. The only effect would be a little less they would invest in the stock market, which has no job creating effect except IPO's which almost never have problems selling out. The group that would spend more on groceries and luxury items are those below the median income. These are ones that I believe should get the bulk of tax cuts. The tax policies have favored the rich since Reagan's tax policies began. Isn't it fair for the rich to help fix the problems now? It is true that moving has become more expensive and difficult and those in near minimum wage jobs have difficulty saving sufficient to pay the expenses of moving a family. Those that can afford it or find a company that will assist in the cost of the move are still moving to improve their situation. Companies are not going to pay moving expenses to fill a minimum wage job.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 11 months ago

You obviously work for the Congressional Budget Office, since you think that people will maintain their economic behavior no matter how much they are taxed. You seem to think that if you take more money away from someone, they still have the same amount of money to spend? That is basically what you said by writing "Even if you went to the extreme and doubled the tax on this group, they would not spend less on groceries or luxury items." Please correct me if I am misunderstanding your comment.

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Jan 1 year, 11 months ago

Get real, we are talking about the top 5% and not raising taxes close to as high as Ike raised them. Even after taxes, they will have considerably more than $1 million to spend/invest even if you doubled their current tax burden. Do you know how hard it is to spend $1 million in a year? You would need to spend $2739.73 per day to accomplish this. You could buy a brand new luxury car every month and still have money left over. Such statements as yours argue more against the "FairTax" than for it since it will increase taxes on many middle class families and they will need to decrease spending. Since you obviously have a strong desire to ignore facts, I will quit wasting my time and allow you to remain ignorant.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 11 months ago

Jan- I apologize for pointing out that you believe people will have the same amount of money to spend regardless of taxes. When I question the numbers you present, you claim that I am ignorant of facts and that I only visit conservative sites, although I have never stated where I got my numbers. You decry the top 5% and you state the inanity of a person spending $1 million in a year, yet our federal government spends $1 million in about 20 seconds, but yeah, the wealthy are the bad guys. You have yet to define your idea of fairness, You just say that people should be more concerned with fairness, but it is obvious that your concern is fairness of outcome, not fairness of opportunity. I'm sorry that you have bought in so heartily to the liberal ideal of economics. But as you say, I'm the ignorant one in this discussion.

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NewsReader 1 year, 11 months ago

Please allow me to define "fairness" for the resident imbecile! “Fairness” is “justice”, “equality”, “impartiality”, “fair-mindedness”, “objectivity”, “evenhandedness”, “sprite”. If I spend a lifetime working my butt off to achieve something, then is it fair for someone such as yourself to sit back on your behind and watch me do so only to benefit yourself at my expense from my hard work? Is it fair for you to pay for your food with food stamps, but pay cash for alcohol and tobacco only to carry these items out to the parking lot and load them up in your Cadillac SUV that I cannot afford because I choose to spend my money elsewhere such as my child’s education? Let’s not pretend it doesn’t happen all the time.
This is the same reason I have a complete disdain for Obamacare. Is it fair to me to have to subsidize the lifestyle choices that liberals engage in such as racing and other dangerous activities living on the edge (“ya’ll watch this!), drug use, alcohol use, tobacco use, just to name a few? I don’t do these things, yet I have to help pay for your treatment when you binge on them.
We all know you loathe conservatives who do this. But you also fail to understand that we are very generous by nature and donate time and money to very worthy causes we deem appropriate. Your entitlement driven irresponsible hypocritical lifestyle choices aren’t. We all know we all have a responsibility for the upkeep of our nation. We are just at odds at what that upkeep represents. I don’t have a problem with roads and infrastructure. I do have a problem with some of your very self-serving arguments to do so when you choose to live in one place and commute half the distance of the globe to another. You’re an idiot. MOVE! You want to be fair? Protect me and my family from the world around us. Make and enforce laws that prevent any people or entity from benefitting themselves at the expense of another. Police the rest of the world so that everybody else plays by the same set of rules that we subject ourselves to. "Fairness" is what my interpretation of “fair” is. The fact of the matter is, life isn’t fair. Other than that, if you want “fair”, I’ll buy you a $5 ticket, and you can go to the FAIR! And Jan, it’s obvious you have enormous amounts of time on your hands to continue to perpetuate your ignorance. You’re so full of yourself and you’re so full of crap, and I’m certainly glad there are sufficient numbers of people here such as myself who don’t mind helping you out. “Wise people speak because they have something to say! Fools speak because they have to say something!” You leave little doubt where you reside.

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Jan 1 year, 11 months ago

Thank you. You once again prove that those without facts resort to lame insults. If you want anyone to take you seriously, get some facts. I will give you credit for one thing. I do waste a lot of my time responding to ignorant ramblings. I do this in a desire to help teach people to think and not just fall in line with the latest propaganda spread by special interest and politicians whose objective is only to appease those that can contribute big bucks to their reelections. Your attitude toward the health care bill, which is almost identical to that passed by Romney, shows your lack of information. This discussion has been concentrated on the "fairtax" which anyone with basic 8th grade math skills would realize is much less fair than any other recent tax proposal. Even the absurdly ridiculous Rand Paul plan is more fair than the "fairtax" and Forbes "flattax" is better than Rand Paul's plan.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 11 months ago

Fair, fair fair. Jan, please define "fair." The word "fair" has become the key talking point for the liberal side during this campaign season, yet none of you can truly define fair. I could tell you about my life from birth to where I am now, and you'd probably think that life wasn't fair to me growing up. But I've asked you several times now to define fair, and you've yet to do so. You say things like "I wish more people were concerned with what is fair" or "My question to you is why you do not want to change the tax structure to make it more fair?" or "Isn't it fair for the rich to help fix the problems now?" I've already pointed out that the wealthy carry a massive portion of the tax burden, but you keep saying that they aren't paying their "fair share."

So please, define "fair." I want to know the terms we're playing at.

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Jan 1 year, 11 months ago

It was not my intention to further this discussion since you have been more interested in arguing than learning. Since you made a direct request, I will respond for one last time. Let me begin by pointing out it is impossible to get a system of taxation that everyone would consider fair. Even I question the fairness of the top tax bracket being 91% of income over $400,000 as it was under the Republican President, Eisenhower. When taxes are discussed, one should also consider total tax burden, not just income tax. However, since Stats of taxes versus income are difficult to determine, I will limit this to income tax. To determine fairness, consider the percent of taxes actually paid based on total income. Any figures based on adjusted gross income includes deductions that, obviously, benefit those in higher tax brackets the most. Since you want to ignore the obvious, I will clarify. Lets take one simple deduction. That of donations to a church If Taxpayer A gives $100 to a church and his top bracket is 10%, the donation cost him $90 and taxpayers supplemented that with the extra $10. Now taxpayer B gives $100 but is in a 25% tax bracket, it would only cost him $75 and taxpayers supplemented this contribution by $25. The same can be applied to mortgage deductions and every deduction. Currently, assuming your stat is accurate, the top 5% pay about 65% of the tax but they earn about 95% of the income. I have never seen an argument to support the idea that such a discrepancy is fair. The argument for reduced taxes on dividends and interest also does not have any merit. There is slight argument for long term capital gains to get a slight tax break, but the 15% is absurdly low. Very little of investments actually credit jobs compared to total invested capital so this is not the reason I could support lower long term capital gains tax. It does, however, discourage quick sales of stock, helping keep the stock market more stable. Quick fluctuations in the market can have adverse effect on our economy. This is the short answer. Hopefully it helps you understand what is not fair and help move you to support more fair tax proposals.

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