Huckabee and the Fair Tax
I received a questioning email and a link to a Washington Post article about Mike Huckabee and his backing of the Fair Tax. The inquiry was, "why aren't you backing Huckabee? Ron Paul isn't endorsing the Fair Tax?" Good question, and long overdue in addressing.
Mainly, I've given up on the Fair Tax, not because I don't think it will pass (I don't), but mainly because I am not convinced that it is fair after all.
The Fair Tax would eliminate all the various taxes we have at the federal level: income taxes, social security taxes, payroll taxes, and myriad other hidden taxes that are embedded into the cost of goods and services. It would eliminate the IRS.
THAT is the basis of my earlier support for the Fair Tax. I am in favor of all of the above.
Problem is, the Fair Tax would replace those things with a 23% sales tax on services and new goods.
So, what's unfair? It charges the same rate to all people, regardless of income, regardless of age, regardless of wealth. It eliminates all the loopholes currently in the convoluted tax code. If you don't want to pay the Fair Tax, don't spend. (That's kind of like saying, "if you don't like air pollution, don't breathe. You can't avoid it.)
Fine, but I don't think that the amount you spend is any kind of a measure of one's fair share in the cost of government.
I thank the critics on the left for spurring this thought. It's been churning inside my mind for months. So many on the left argue that the basis for payment is one's fair share. I agree! But they have it wrong. I do not believe that because you worked longer, or harder, or smarter, such that your wealth increases, that your share in government correspondingly increases.
True, if you use government services more than others, you should pay more than others. That is fair! But what correlation does that have upon spending (Fair Tax)? Or income (The Left)? Well, none whatsoever.
So, the Fair Tax has become in my mind, something that is typical of anything good that ever comes of government anymore. Mainly, it has some rotten component that I have to hold my nose over in order to enjoy the other parts.
Not exactly the basis for getting all excited, and certainly not enough to make me a single-issue Huckabee supporter. On the balance, I still prefer Ron Paul on all things economic.
I will say that I am glad at least one presidential candidate is talking about the Fair Tax. I still think something useful can come out of it, like really getting towards all of us paying a genuine fair share. That would be very useful, because I have to think that if we were sharing in the tax burden equally, fairly, a whole lot of people would discover that they've been getting a free ride, and that maybe, just maybe, some of this government really isn't so 'essential' or 'necessary'.