September 22, 2010 9:48:00 AM
Over the past week, many readers and writers have weighed in about the now infamous anonymous contribution in an ad ran by the campaign of Travis Childers. Was this a mistake? Yes. Was this the first or last time this will happen in politics? No. What has happened is a great opportunity to discuss the merits of a "fair tax" has started to slip away.
Many Americans are frustrated with our current tax system. They feel overtaxed, and they see the system as one that is unfair and too complicated. Take a look at your next pay stub. I want you to notice who gets paid first. It''s not you, it''s the government. With a national sales tax, you get paid first. You get to decide how much you want to pay in taxes when you decide what you will buy.
Many will say this is impossible. They will say the United States will not be able to function. This is not true. For a long time, the United States survived without an income tax, and there is no reason it cannot do so again. In fact, the country was able to pay off its debt without an income tax.
They will say that it hurts the poor and helps the rich. Again, this is not true. Is the "fair tax" perfect as it is written? I would be willing to bet there is some fine tuning that needs to be done to it. However, this will not happen without debate by the public and our leaders. Let''s put partisan politics and bickering aside for a minute. Let''s try to find a better answer to our current tax system. This election has provided us with a great opportunity. We need to seize the moment.
I would like to bring home the all the pay that I earn. I would like to see my leaders make frugal decisions. I bet you agree with me. I suggest you give the "fair tax" a fair look.
hope commented at 9/22/2010 12:02:00 PM:
How would a corporation pay their tax? Does that mean they could bring their off/shore eanings back to the states and get rid of countless number of lawyers that they use now to get out of paying the taxes that they legally owe now?
frank commented at 9/22/2010 1:12:00 PM:
Corporations don't really pay taxes Hopeless, they maintain margins. All tax on business is ultimately passed through to the consumer. All these people who want to "stick it to businesses" are actually just taxing themselves. They are going to make their x% margin, so raise their overhead and they simply raise their price to compensate. By the time YOU consume the good or service, YOU paid the tax.
I have never seen an explanation of why the "fair tax" as proposed would not create a giant "barter" economy. If small business could avoid a 21% sales tax on transactions by creating a barter system, and the government had no way to audit, what's to stop them?
kj commented at 9/22/2010 3:10:00 PM:
I think the check would most likely be that you'd have to maintain roughly the same ratio of bartering in your supply chain as you did in your consumer-facing sales. Speaking generally, it's the same check that most people face when audited: does the income you claim support your savings, retirement, and lifestyle, or are any or all of those indicative of a source of unclaimed income.
I'm wondering if a fair tax might even increase reporting work for consumers. If you're worried about people cheating the system than you need a fairly accurate picture of what they've earned and what they've spent and what they've saved, no?
hope commented at 9/22/2010 4:02:00 PM:
@frank---Some companies that have headquarters in the U.S. do not report their earnings made overseas. Guess why?
They will have to pay taxes on them!
harrietv commented at 9/22/2010 4:51:00 PM:
I agree that the Fair Tax is the best option for America. There is a website, fairtax.org which can answer most questions about this proposed tax. There have been 2 books written about it that are easy to read and explain the benefits of the tax. They are "The Fair Tax Book" by Neal Boortz and John Linder and "Fair Tax: The Truth" by Neal Boortz and John Linder. We need to support this idea before it is too late for this country.
hope commented at 9/22/2010 6:20:00 PM:
@frank----More than half of foreign companies and 42% of U.S. companies paid no income tax in the last two years. They didn't have to pay federal income tax either because of operating losses, tax credits and to use transactions within the company to shift income to low tax countries.
frank commented at 9/22/2010 6:31:00 PM:
No Hopeless, YOU will ultimately pay that tax if you consume goods and services. The companies must maintain their margins. Close the loophole and it will just become another expense item to the company which they will pass through.
It is college econ-101. Businesses don't pay taxes, people do.
The fair tax is interesting KJ. I suspect it would get some creative juices flowing developing ways to skirt it. I have read the Fair Tax book and still have my doubts about a real world implementation of it.
hope commented at 9/22/2010 7:01:00 PM:
@frank-With the U.S. budget deficit making new records every year, lawmakers are looking to plug holes in the U.S. tax code and to generate more revenues. Too many corporations are using tax trickery to send their profits overseas and avoid paying their fair share in the United States.
frank commented at 9/22/2010 11:00:00 PM:
I don't call you Hopeless for nuthin...
hope commented at 9/23/2010 6:20:00 AM:
@frank:MOST U.S. and foreign corporations doing business in the United States avoid paying any federal income taxes, despite trillions of dollars worth of sales, a shocking indictment of the current tax system.
frank commented at 9/23/2010 9:47:00 AM:
No Hopeless, and for the last time; ALL of them avoid it in one way or another. Got it? If you close the loopholes and make these guys pay they will pass the expense through to YOU. YOU will pay more for their goods and services. YOU will ultimately pay the tax. They will maintain their margin. Corporate income taxes are just another way the government taxes the PEOPLE. To some people, this fact is apparently not obvious. THINK...
"shocking indictment of the current tax system."
Hooookay, are you now a fair tax supporter?
hope commented at 9/23/2010 11:08:00 AM:
@frank, the federal income tax rate for corporations in the United States:(15 -35%)
frank commented at 9/23/2010 1:07:00 PM:
Very good Hopeless. That tax alone adds 20-40% to the price of American products. Makes us real competitive doesn't it?
tpforlife commented at 9/24/2010 11:19:00 AM:
I want Alan Nunnelee to have an actual response - IS HE FOR or AGAINST the Fair Tax? He has not given an answer yet and I want to know where he stands on the issue! It is too late in the game for him to be playing both sides....
melody commented at 9/24/2010 10:52:00 PM:
Is tpforlife and Childers for or against the Fair Tax? The dems don't like it because it would abolish the irs and all fed income tax. They would not have anything to talk about without it. The Fair Tax will help us poor and middle class folk more than anybody else.
hope commented at 9/25/2010 8:11:00 AM:
It will help the mostly rich people only. That's why the Republicans want it.
@melody-----The poor don't pay any federal tax now and if they pay 23% when they buy something, they have lost 16% of their income. They will spend all of their income.
Why do I have to sign my name and you don't?
melody commented at 9/26/2010 7:11:00 PM:
hope-you don't know what you're talking about. go read the fair tax book and then come back
hope commented at 9/27/2010 9:33:00 AM:
@melody-----If I don't know what I'm talking about, explain to me why I don't know what I'm talking about!
gogetum commented at 9/27/2010 11:00:00 AM:
melody is right on , hope. you are dead wrong on the fair tax. like she said---READ THE BOOK AND THEN YOUR COMMENTS WON'T MAKE YOU SOUND LIKE A NIT WIT.
hope commented at 9/27/2010 3:14:00 PM:
I will let Nunnelee explain it to me when he starts his campaigning. I'm sure he will pay us a visit in Columbus.
observer2 commented at 9/27/2010 4:18:00 PM:
I wonder if this hope person has ever held a job. Probably not for long. Probably has to be spoon fed by someone too. Too lazy even to read a book. Typical liberal mind set. More than likely on welfare and food stamps with no real goals in life other than playing with a pc all day long. Well , in between the soaps. gogetum gave some excellent advice but all hope can do is make wise cracks. Pitiful, just pitiful.
hope commented at 9/27/2010 6:55:00 PM:
At the earliest,the fair tax is still light years away!
frank commented at 9/28/2010 9:33:00 AM:
wpmedic1 commented at 10/5/2010 11:41:00 PM:
Hope--- Thank you! I now know how Obama got elected. You obviously don't understand simple economics but instead of educating yourself you just keep an argument going that we all know you don't understand. You are truly Hopeless. Unfortunately I have a mental picture of Nunnelee trying to explain "fair tax" to you then beating his head against a tree.
1. Our View: Downtown shooting demands calm, cooperative solutions DISPATCH EDITORIALS
2. Patrick Buchanan: Will Russiagate backfire on the left? NATIONAL COLUMNS
3. Our View: Fighting the good fight DISPATCH EDITORIALS
4. Editorial cartoons for 3-21-17 NATIONAL COLUMNS
5. Voice of the people: Cameron Triplett LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)