Favors ‘Fair Tax’

I remember when a young co-worker received his first paycheck and was upset. He went to our manager and asked why his paycheck was not the value he knew it should be. It became clear that he did not understand taxes, and our manager proceeded to explain it to him. He was livid. Not only because he felt his money had been taken without his consent, but also because there was nothing he could do about it. At the time I thought it was crazy that he didn’t understand what was happening. Today I think it’s crazy that we are not upset about what is happening with respect to income taxes.

The history of the income tax wouldn’t surprise you. Sold to the public as one thing, and then changed over time into something much more powerful — the codification into law that the income you earn belongs to the government. Don’t believe me? Consider the fact that Congress could increase the income tax to 100 percent and it would be completely legal, given that no limits were placed in the language of the 16th amendment. However unlikely that is — given that Congress has many mechanisms to confiscate wealth for itself — the principle is established. But this wasn’t enough.

People might push for a change if they saw exactly what they were paying every year in income taxes. The idea of withholding took care of that. Your money is taken out of your check before you even get your check. Additionally, every year we file under penalty of perjury, as if we are doing something wrong. And at any time the IRS could come after us with their enormous power and unlimited resources. Does a system like this make you feel that you are the owner of your property (income), or a temporary steward holding on to property of the government?

Who among us would say that this is a good system, or the best we could come up with? The only way this system continues to exist is because we don’t think about it. And I don’t blame anyone for that. After all, what could we do about it anyway? I’m here to introduce you to a viable alternative method for funding the federal government — The Fair Tax. The basic idea is to replace the current system with a consumption tax on the retail sale of new goods and services. While I am constricted by time and space to go into details, the purpose of this piece is to open people up and to questioning the current system. And luckily for us, most of the work has already been done. We have an opportunity to push existing legislation in Congress right now across the finish line in the form of HR 25.

Human nature suggests to us that most people do not like, and even resist change. Even our own declaration of independence reflects this philosophy when it states “all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” But change can be a good thing — especially when based on the right principles. With all this in mind, I would like to to make the case to you, my fellow countrymen, for the adoption of “The Fair Tax.”

At this point there are no doubt many questions and concerns, just as there are many more benefits to be discussed. If you have been at all inspired by this series, I will be hosting a discussion on the subject matter at a time and place to be announced. Until then, further information and resources can be found at Fairtax.org, read the full text of HR 25 at congress.gov and I highly recommend both books by Neal Boortz and John Linder “The Fairtaxbook” and “Fairtax: The Truth.”

Steve Leahy