Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FairTax Action Post

As I've been running seriously behind on everything (cold plus the holiday malaise), I'm going to have to do a little cut and paste from my latest FairTax.org email. First of all, three things that we can do to push for the FairTax:

1. Tell Democrat President-Elect Obama why he should support the FairTax
President-elect Obama is asking citizens to, "Share your vision for what America can be." That vision should include the FairTax. Go to www.fairtax.org/obama and tell the President-elect why his administration should back the FairTax. And remember, regardless of whomever you voted for in the general election, we all need to make Mr. Obama into a FairTax supporter, so please be courteous in your message about the FairTax.

I haven't sent this email yet, but I'll be crafting one soon enough. Probably futile, but it's about creating movement. Besides, if it will set his legacy among the greatest of presidents, it's possible he might consider it. Hopefully a change I could believe in.

2. Tell Republicans to rebuild their party around the FairTax
Members of the GOP leadership are collecting ideas to revamp the Republican platform. Let's make sure the FairTax is part of that mix. You can endorse the FairTax plan (currently ranked 4th) directly on their site.

This one is doubly important, because the Paulistas are trying to drive the discussion here. So those of you who want your party back, hop to it. I noticed there were two listings for the FairTax, so be sure to hit both of them if feasible.

3. Tell everyone that the FairTax is the bold new idea this country needs
The non-partisan site "White House 2" is collecting new ideas for the Obama administration. The FairTax is currently ranked number 2, but should be leading the pack on bold new plans for the future of this country.

Same as the first point, except the FairTax is dominant here. Again, it's the hope that the Obama presidency can be poll driven like the Clinton years. Might as well try. We've got four years.

For Discussion:

One thing I noticed as I was looking through some of the FairTax comments was one person who was questioning the prebate. His concern was that it was simply a redistribution of wealth.

So let me clarify something about the prebate part of the FairTax.

Redistribution of wealth occurs when one group is taxed and the tax revenue is then given to another group to create "equality". The most egregious example of this in recent memory was the Bush "stimulus" checks. It was a scheme to take money primarily from the "rich" and give it to the people who were leaste well off (me). In essence, it didn't stimulate shit and marked part of the Bush shift from "compassionater conservatism" to quasi-socialism.

The prebate, however, does not discriminate by class. The prebate is paid to every household in America based on the number of people there. It excludes illegal aliens, though. The amount is based on the amout of tax paid on purchases up to the poverty level. This, in essence, allows people of minimal means (me), with judicious spending habits (not always me), to pay no tax whatsoever . However, those with exorbidant amounts of money will be paying the majority of the tax as they are now, except their share will only be up to 23% of their consumer spending (as opposed to 35% of their income now.

And for those of you who have your nipples twisted about the asshats who inherit all their wealth, this is the way to tax them. And you can use your head and not cross over the poverty line in spending and avoid paying taxes altogether. I don't see any reason to object.

18 comments:

TAO said...

Actually, the stimulus check of GWB was not an example of spreading the wealth. Everyone got a check, IF THEY PAID TAXES, it was not income based and no one was taxed more...it was just a free lunch on the part of the government.

The government was attempting to stimulate demand....which in turn would benefit the wealthy as the "owners" of the means of production.

Thus the stimulus check actually benefitted the wealthy more than the poor.

It did work, but only for about three months.

With all the current corruption and greed in our political and economic system it is really imporssible for me to believe that we could ever achieve anything that is "fair"

Patrick M said...

Everyone got a check, IF THEY PAID TAXES, it was not income based...

Wrong-o. People with no tax liability (me) got refund checks while the "GREEEEDY EEEVIL RICH" got the short end. That's distribution. Here's what I found in Wikipedia, which I verified in other locations as well [with emphasis added]:

Those with no net tax liability will still be eligible to receive a rebate, provided they meet minimum qualifying income of $3,000 per year. Rebates will be phased out for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes greater than $75,000 ($150,000 for couples filing jointly) in 2007. For taxpayers with incomes greater than $75,000, rebates will be reduced at a rate of 5% of the income above this limit. Individuals who are claimed as dependents by another taxpayer are not eligible for the rebates.

Looks like redistribution to me. Compare that with the 2001 stimulus check, which was a straight, across-the-board check, and you'll see the difference.

...it is really imporssible for me to believe that we could ever achieve anything that is "fair"

I thought that's why you voted for Obama.

Conservative said...

"And for those of you who have your nipples twisted about the asshats who inherit all their wealth, this is the way to tax them."

I can't argue with that.

TAO said...

Patrick,

Let me educate you about "Fairness" and government...

You see it works this way...

One election the Republicans get in office and they rape and pillage on behalf of their cronies and special interest...

Then, after they have gotten their fill then the Democrats win and they rape and pillage on behalf of their buddies and special interests....

At the end of the day I feel like one little really exhausted whore...

Because my candidate, which is normailly, "None of the above" never seems to win....thus I never get to be on the receiving end but I am always on the giving end...

I feel like United Way....

But at least you understand the concept of Fairness in regards to politics....its called taking turns at raping and pillaging....

Toad734 said...

Poor people don't pay taxes? That's socialism! So if you tax everyone and give it to the poor, who you say will pay no taxes, then how is that not wealth distribution? And even so, why is wealth distribution only ok for you guys if its going from the bottom up? Why is it that only when it trickles down is it a bad thing...unless of course you are trying to sell the fair or flat tax or whatever they call it now.

Oh, and people, its a 30% tax on everything you buy...Insurance, dental visits, medicine, cars (Your $25,000 car now becomes a $32,500 car), Airline tickets, hotel stays, raw material costs for businesses (no more tax write offs or tax incentives).

Oh and by creating this wealth distribution cost of living department, it will dwarf the size of the IRS today. So yes, Bill Gates and Donald trump will be getting $120 per week checks from the government so they can buy diapers, bread and milk. And there is no adjustment for someone living in NYC or San Fran Vs. someone living in MIssissippi.

Bottom line, is that it's a bad idea. By their own admission the government would still collect the same amount of money, only rich people would now pay less in taxes and poor people will pay no taxes.But in reality, they wouldn't collect as much and the black market and mafia would once again thrive in the US.

Patrick M said...

Conservative: It's the twisted nipples that does it, isn't it?

Tao: I think you've just listed one of the primary reasons to work to enact the FairTax: It takes power from Washington.

But as for futility in fighting the system: Tell that to the original union organizers, the women's suffrage movement, and the civil rights movement. It CAN be done. But it takes a whole lot of people pushing a long time to win.

Toad: First, I have no problem with the poorest among us having little or no tax burden. This means they can support themselves WITHOUT government assistance. That alone is worth the tradeoff. And I'm not sure where distribution and redistribution comes into the picture here, as I'm not in favor of ANY transfer of wealth. Exchange, yes, transfer, no.

Now I think I've gone over the FairTax enough, but let's clarify, since you like to run with the lies. (for those of you that want the exact source of this, here's the FAQ.

The FairTax is 23% inclusive when compared to the income tax, which is the tax it will replace.

The percentage, when translated to a sales tax, is 30%. But that DOES NOT mean that 30% will be added to every item you buy. Primarily because all the embedded taxes that are currently in the price of an item will disappear. And existing prices of items will be adjusted to fit the FairTax. so that $25,000 car will cost.... $25,000. And the amount of FairTax in that price will be $5,750.

And the prebate is based on the poverty line, the amount of tax, and the size of household. That's three numbers. Stack that up to the existing tax code and compare. That number can get adjusted. As for the larger cities, they already pay higher wages, but have most of the same consumer costs. But a fair tax system will treat all people equally, regardless of race, class, or state. Plus, it may solve the problem that is urban sprawl. The people in high tax cities will certainly not be worse off with the FairTax.

As for collecting the same revenue (revenue neutrality), the FairTax is not meant to address every problem in Washington, only the tax clusterfuck.

As for the black market and the related tax evasion, there's one now, and there will be one under the FairTax. But as there will be fewer people to look at, those invested with the power to enforce tax law will find it much easier, because instead of books upon books, all you need are a few ledger sheets and a pocket calculator.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"But that DOES NOT mean that 30% will be added to every item you buy. Primarily because all the embedded taxes that are currently in the price of an item will disappear. And existing prices of items will be adjusted to fit the FairTax. so that $25,000 car will cost.... $25,000. And the amount of FairTax in that price will be $5,750."

That's absolutely correct and yet these absolte idiots who've no concept of economics can't seem to grasp that.

Another cost which is inclusive in the cost of goods is legal costs (i.e., litigation expenses). If we had tort reform in this country, you'd see the cost of goods lowered significantly as well.

Patrick M said...

Soapaphone: Toad has read one too many of the FairTax lie sites.

That and he turned on it the moment he found out that taxes on businesses would be eliminated. So his motivation is more in the vein of attacking capitalism.

Toad734 said...

Oh, so its an exchange now, not a transfer?? Is that kind of like the difference between the Estate Tax and the Death Tax. Good marketing, bad plan.

No, I didn't read any anti-sites, I read the link you sent me and this is what I came up with. IF anyone doesn't believe me, go see for yourself.

So you really think that Nike, and every other manufacturer or retailer will drop their prices the day we convert to the flat tax? Like I told you before, when companies save money, like buy outsourcing jobs or moving them to the south, the prices for those goods don't go down, in fact, in many cases they go up. Why do you think this would be any different?


Even if they did lower their prices, by 30%, what's the difference? If we pay it in the price or as an add on, “WE”, according to you, still pay it and the government still collects that money (of course in reality, they would collect less due to the black market and sticker price shock)

Corporate Tax receipts, as a share of federal revenue fell 7.4% by 2003, the second lowest rate since 1934. And an 8 year GAO report from the years 1998-2005 shows that 72% of all foreign companies went at least one year without owing taxes and 55% of domestic corporations paid no taxes. With your logic, you should be able to find out which companies didn't pay taxes and in which years because you could simply watch the price index of their goods as they would have certainly passed those savings on to the consumer...right?? Ok, so which ones and which years did they not pay taxes and thus pass those savings on to you and I?

I will be eagerly awaiting your report but something tells me you won’t find any price reductions from anyone in the years they paid no taxes.

Patrick M said...

No, I didn't read any anti-sites, I read the link you sent me and this is what I came up with. IF anyone doesn't believe me, go see for yourself.

Since I always link to fairtax.org, that means you are intentionally distorting what you find for your own benefit.

So I think I'm done arguing with you on this.

Toad734 said...

Its all there, nothing is distorted, do the math.

Patrick M said...

I did. Thus I call BS.

Toad734 said...

So have you been able to identify the companies who paid no taxes last year? It should be easy as, according to you and the Fair Tax, we would have seen a decrease in the price of their products.

Patrick M said...

None of them pay tax, it's figured into the price of their stuff. And you kind of forget that there are a whole lot of other things that were affecting the price of stuff as well.

Besides, I thought it was your thing to scream foul at every company that succeeds.

Toad734 said...

No, just ones who ship jobs overseas and use what is almost slave labor and who influence and pay off politicians to do their bidding and pay their CEOs obscene wages while slashing jobs and cutting benefits of their workers here and killing the US manufacturing base. That's the only ones I don't like to see succeed.

You are the one who said that taxes are the main thing which effect consumer prices. You said if their taxes go up, their prices go down and when their taxes go down their prices go down. I am the one who factored market conditions, demand, competition, operating costs, etc.

Patrick M said...

[mockingly] Nooooo, just the blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

This is the fundamental issue with your worldview that I have. You seek to use government to manage and control businesses based on political objectives. Then, when businesses respond normally (out of self-interest), you get pissed.

To clarify, that's not so say that all regulations are bad, but other than protecting the interests of all individuals (including those "filthy EEEVIL businessesses"), the continued intrusion of government into our economic system has so many ramifications on how businesses behave that I can't begin to list them all.

And the reason I keep harping about the FairTax (to get somewhere back toward the original point) is because it takes a big chunk of government's ability to manipulate business away as permanently as possible, whether it's Obama OR Bush in the White House. Because entrusting any one person or party with control over everything is DUM!

Toad734 said...

Again, the problems we are facing now in our economy isn't because of too much government intervention but because there was too little government intervention. I am not for the governments "intrusion" into our economic system but when people seeking money are allowed to run free, you see what kinds of problems they cause. If they regulated business as much as they what people are allowed to do in their bedrooms I would be happy.

I can start with a short list of problems that have been spawned by too little or decreased regulation:
S&L, Enron, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Countrywide, AIG, Fannie Mae, Wachovia, etc.

When you plead for the governments money, you should expect the government to have a say in what you do with it. Or if you cost the tax payers billions of dollars while you were running around without your leash on, don't be suprised when someone puts a choker around your neck the next time around. You can't have it both ways.

The only thing the government has done to manipulate business away from the US is signing free trade agreements and allowing China to manipulate their currency giving them an unfair advantage vs the US. Agian, business is only responsible for a small percentage of tax revenues vs. what individuals pay so the advantage to a company who paid no taxes, well, it would be a disadvantage to them.

Patrick M said...

If they regulated business as much as they what people are allowed to do in their bedrooms I would be happy.

Who's regulating the fucking now? I thought all those laws got tossed out. Or are we about to go the man-ass sex route again?

When you plead for the governments money...,

That's the point. Nobody should be. And if they are, the government should be addressing them, Cheney-style with a good ol' GFY.

The problem I see is that you assume everything is caused by deregulation (BTW, it was Democrats blocking more regulation of Fannie and Freddie). The only problem is that you're only looking at the last thing that has happened to create the problem.

Like the housing bubble, which can be traced back to the late 70's and the CRA, the auto industry debacle can be traced back to an assload of government intervention.

The auto industry back in the 1950's was booming and tossing out the deadweight. In those days, the unions were strong, but not a problem. But as long as the American companies were the only game in town, the unions were only part of the cost of business. The unions served their self-interest by getting more and more and more. The car companies kept making cars. Everybody wins.

Enter the 1970's. Gas shortages created the demand for tiny cars (not Detroit's bag), emissions and safety standards (more government regulations, not necessarily bad, but politically driven, not market driven) added cost, and the Japanese came to the market with small, inexpensive cars. The first item gave the Japanese an edge, the second was just another ost to be passed on, and the third was taken care of by protectionist tariffs.

In the 80's, the model for bailouts came for Chrysler. They were able to make it for 20 years (although they did get bought out). The Japanese solved the import problem by moving manufacturing to America.

Then comes the global warming bullshit, Algore style. The call for more standards and for hybrids and hydrogen and electric and ethanol came heartily from the political realm, but not the market. So more regs and more standards kept jacking shit up higher and higher, which begat government subsidies to develop tech no paying customer was demanding.

And then there was the mess of the oil spike, the housing bubble, and the credit freeze (three other government massaged messes), which decreased sales, shrank incomes, changed demand from those SUV's that Detroit loved to lawn mower engines. Add to that the costs of unions finally catching up after decades of supporting retirees (kind of like Social Security in another decade or two) and you have three automakers gagging on the mess of crap of decades of government fucking with the free market while their competitors are just cutting back production to weather the storm.

Now I know that's not the whole story, but as a free market economy gets altered by government, it changes. Companies all seek their own self-interest. And when the government makes decisions for them based on politics and not the best interest of the market, they will find a way to grow. But if they grow around a structure that changes, then has parts removed, it leads to collapse.

So when you just blame deregulation rather than look at the whole situation, you ignore everything that really caused the problem.