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 email@example.com.
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