The Fairtax: Opinions of Those in Support of This Tax Code Reform

The FairTax is an intiative hotly debated by politicians all across the political spectrum. The following cuts through the rhetoric straight to the facts of the bill's claims.

The FairTax is a popular tax initiative espoused heavily by Neal Boortz. The initiative is considered by many liberal and Democratic politicians and party members to be squarely within the Republican and conservative side of politics, but the idea is gaining wide appeal from all sides of the political spectrum. It does, however, receive the most support from the Libertarian and conservative bases where the idea originated. A counter-proposal known as the Flat Tax has been circulated in response to the FairTax.

The Fairtax has a home web page where you can find out more information regarding the concept, find out what initiatives are currently being bandied about Congress, read others' opinions of the bill, sign the petition in support of the bill, or even make one-time or continuing financial donations in hopes of speeding the bill's passage. The following is the rhetoric of those who support the FairTax only; a subsequent article featuring opposition opinion will be published as well.

The FairTax Initiative claims that it will do exactly what the title picture suggests: it will take the massive tax code with all of its rules and regulations (pictured with U.S. Representative John Linder from Georgia's 7th district) and destroy it. No more IRS, no more income tax, and the money that you see on your paycheck is the money that you take home from your job. FairTax proponents, including the chief espousing persona of Neal Boortz, believe that the FairTax Bill has the potential to enhance our economic prosperity by increasing the flow of money to our own nation.

Where is the Proof?

This is an excellent question, because there is no proof. Without scientific testing, such as actually implementing the FairTax, there is no way to prove that it works. I read the FairTax book cover to cover, and though it often suggests that much scientific research was done to ensure that this bill is legitmate (including describing the millions of dollars given to a number of Ivy League researchers to come up with this idea), it never pinpoints where the results of this research is located. I took the time to look this up for you; you can find the original paper now used by proponents of the FairTax here, but if you do not like reading through dense language, you can tune into my article regarding the claims of the paper. The paper's title is "The Economic Impact of the National Sales Tax"; it was published May 18, 1997 by Dale W. Jorgenson, Harvard professor.

In short, the FairTax claims to do the following as a collective bill:

1. Destroy income taxes.

2. Destroy capital gains taxes.

3. Replace all income-related taxes with a "value-added" tax.

4. Create a revenue-neutral (government loses no money) tax reform by making the national sales tax about 20%-30%.

5. Put money back into the hands of the United States by forcing all who visit to pay our taxes (including illegal aliens) and making tax evasion impossible.

6. Eliminate the need for the waste of the IRS, its burdensome and complicated tax code, and all of the red tape and confusing regulations that make April a hated month in the United States.

The jury is out about whether or not this tax will do as it claims. So far, the debate surrounding this bill has been furiously and disappointingly partisan, which always means that no intellectual, academic, or tangible progress is being made. Though it is the opinion of many that the FairTax is a brilliant and worthy idea, it is not yet the opinion of all. The best resource I have found that may enable you to unravel the mystery for yourself is at John Linder's research page: The page claims it pulls up academic papers by opposition as well as proponents.


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Salvatore W. Delle Palme
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Posted on Aug 14, 2010