Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Support the Fair Tax

Pity Neal Boortz. He's been the champion of the Fair Tax for many years, and his book is now on the shelves, and is a top seller.

So, why pity Neal Boortz? Because now he has to deal with every tiny exception anyone has ever had with the plan, H.R. 25.

"But Neal! The Fair Tax doesn't challenge the levels of Federal spending!"
"But Neal! The Fair Tax doesn't reduce our tax burnen necessarily!"
"But Neal! I have a minor, arcane exception that I can think of that would affect 0.0000037 percent of the population!"

Etc. The Fair Tax isn't perfect. It's a step in the right direction. Libertarians and other fiscal conservatives need to embrace this plan for the good things it does. Mainly, it brings the hidden, embedded taxes we pay in the products and services we buy out into the open so that people can actually see them, and know how significant they are. Also, it eliminates the IRS, and makes paying taxes a breeze. Even if I continue to pay the same amount in taxes in 2006 as I did for 2004, I will at the very least be spared the $275 I spent on a tax preparer, and will stop saving so many receipts in my file cabinet. That's a real gain.

Remember: if public policy is an all or nothing proposition, Libertarians and fiscal conservatives are bound to get nothing.

A small rollback is better than no rollback, and certainly better than tax increases. Back the Fair Tax!


Debbie said...

Ha, ha, don't you just love the name? Fair Tax. Who the heck thought of that? On the website they even brag about it being a progressive tax because the rich, or big spenders will pay more. How fair is that? How libertarian is that?

Would administration really be all that much better? A black market will be created and that's going to have to be countered somehow. After all, this does nothing to the spending side of the problem so they will have to make sure they don't let too much untaxed purchasing go on.

And since there are always unintended consequences, we have no real idea of how this may end up affecting people. And it certainly is no where near libertarian in nature.

I understand your thoughts on starting somewhere, but I don't see how that means that a libertarian candidate should support such a thing as another tax scheme.

Mike Kole said...

Again- if policy making is an all or nothing proposition, we'll get nothing.

Since we don't have any Libertarians in the House of Representatives to introduce pure libertarian policy, we're going to end up with House Resolutions that range from 0% libertarian in nature to, say, 75%. You won't see me backing any of the zeros, be assured. It's the sad reality of Congress. You can take a perfect libertarian legislative draft, and by time the House & Senate get through with it, you'll think that it was drafted by Robert Byrd. Should we just give up, then? I think, 'no'.

As long as we're on the outside looking in, we have to decide if we're going to be *any* part of the actual lawmaking process. I know that some libertarians are well satisfied with having no say in anything meaningful, just so long as they get to be on the ballot and collect that fraction of 1%. I'm not that kind of candidate. I really want to move policy in our direction, and I truly believe that the most meaningful way to do it is by getting behind proposals that a) move things in our direction, and b) have a snowball's chance of passing. The "Fair Tax" meets both of these criteria. Those who can't see the value in eliminating hidden and embedded taxes are missing the forest for the trees, and/or are being intentionally obtuse.

debbie said...

I have no problem with any individual speaking positively about some non-libertarian change in current government policies. But it's different if someone is speaking as a libertarian candidate. Libertarianism has to mean something and as far as I can tell, when it comes to the political process it means, at the very least, minarchism, the smallest government possible.

Therefore, to be consistent and to help people understand why the LP is different, candidates have to pick items that lessen government control over our lives. I'm not convinced the Fair Tax scheme with do such a thing. And I repeat, Fair Tax's own website promotes the idea that it is a progressive tax and implies that this is good. It's good to tax those who are "rich," more than those who aren't. Is this what you want people to think libertarians stand for?

Also, for any libertarian to promote an idea that is just another way for government to take citizen's money with no talk about decreasing spending, once again that confuses the libertarian message for the voters. And do you have any comments to what you think would happen with the black market that will be created?

Another thing for libertarian candidates to think about is that having libertarians speak about the true libertarian position can actually help get the other parties to "move policy in our direction" because when they then propose their idea to counter the more "radical" one, then people will be more likely to accept it. But if even the "radical" party promotes the watered-down position, then it's very likely that an even MORE watered down version will get passsed. If compromise is what's going to happen, then you better start from a very libertarian position so you can work your way down to something that actually does get you further than you started.