December 28, 2007


Criticism Aside, 'FairTax' Boosts Huckabee Campaign (Jonathan Weisman, 12/28/07, Washington Post)

To former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, supporting a national retail sales tax is more than a policy proposal. It has provided much-needed muscle for his campaign, filling rallies and events with fervent supporters hoping to replace the entire income and payroll tax system.

There's one problem: A national sales tax won't work, at least not according to tax experts and economists of all political stripes. [...]

"Am I running for president to shut down the federal government? Not exactly," Huckabee says on his Web site. "But I am running to completely eliminate all federal income and payroll taxes. And I do mean all -- personal federal, corporate federal, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, self-employment. . . . Instead we will have the FairTax, a simple tax based on wealth."

Critics won't beat him with nothing. They need a better simple tax plan.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 28, 2007 9:25 AM

Exactly! His opponents all hate the Fair Tax (and they may be right for all I know) but all they can say in response is essentially "keep the status quo" which everyone hates.

Excellent point.

Posted by: Benny at December 28, 2007 1:40 PM

A flat income tax makes a whole lot more sense than a "Fair" tax.

How fair will it be when Congress starts deciding what will be exempt from the tax, what items will get taxed extra, where said taxes can be higher, where they must be lower, and most of all, who will never get exempted from any portion of the tax (and whether anyone will be exempted from all of it). If you think the IRS is a nasty pretzel, just wait until a national sales tax gets 'created' by the earmark express on Capitol Hill.

Posted by: ratbert at December 28, 2007 2:38 PM

And don't forget all the tax "prebates" and rebates that the so-called "Fair Tax" includes, as well as the bureaucracy that will be needed to support and maintain all those convolutions. The IRS won't be going away, and if anything, will be hiring if this passes.

The biggest problem is that it replaces your employer with your merchants and storekeepers as your tax collectors. What's the point? If these people really are serious, then get rid of withholding and make people file quarterly (or monthly) directly to the IRS.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 29, 2007 4:59 PM