August 17, 2004

Two Libertarians and a Democrat Walked into a Bar...

from - smijer

Not a joke... I had dinner and a Killians at Durty Nellies tonight with two libertarians whose agenda was a national sales tax (AKA "Fair Tax"). I have to admit that many of their arguments were compelling.

I remain yours truly, the supreme skeptic - particularly of all things endorsed by Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. But I will once again review the arguments. I've stated before that if the national sales tax can be implemented in a way that meets budgetary requirements at least as well current schemes, and also does not have a net regressive effect over current schemes, I would not oppose it. I have yet to settle for myself whether these things would be the case under the "Fair Tax" proposal.

Anyone have any particularly juicy bits pro or con you wish to contribute to my deliberations?

And yes, Morat... a return to the "gold standard" was mentioned in passing. Don't worry - I'm not going to put any serious time into deliberating that idea.

::

Posted by smijer at August 17, 2004 10:31 PM
Comments

This article puts things in a whole new light.

As I have happily admitted before I have not the slightest understanding of economics. It takes much more faith to believe in our current monetary system than I have been able to conjure up.

Since the value of our money is based entirely on faith I propose that we fire all of the economists and hire evangelists.

And if my attempt to supply a link above does not work you can find the article at the address here

http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20040808-110052-3221r.htm

(I hope)

univar.jpg Posted by Buck on August 18, 2004 08:51 AM
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Glad to hear you are open minded about the flat tax. If ever there was one way to totally get rid of the class warfare arguments, this is one way to do it. No more tax returns, no more "cheating" on them, a greatly reduced IRS personnel wise hence a smaller government (no returns to audit or review). Everyone is in the same boat, no matter what their income.

I've also read that there would be a portion sent back to every individual or family for anticipated taxes on necessities on a monthly basis from the government (food, clothes, medicine, etc.). Don't know how this would work, but I'm for looking at it.

univar.jpg Posted by tickletickle on August 18, 2004 10:21 AM
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If ever there was one way to totally get rid of the class warfare arguments, this is one way to do it. No more tax returns, no more "cheating" on them, a greatly reduced IRS personnel wise hence a smaller government (no returns to audit or review). Everyone is in the same boat, no matter what their income.

I've also read that there would be a portion sent back to every individual or family for anticipated taxes on necessities on a monthly basis from the government (food, clothes, medicine, etc.).


Makes me think of the old adage "if something sounds too good to be true it probably is" Don't worry guys. All of this talk about eliminating the IRS, Fair Tax, Bringing Home the Troops, etc is just pure election year bloviating. We'll be back down to standard business after the first week of November.
univar.jpg Posted by Buck on August 18, 2004 11:26 AM
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You can say that again.

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on August 18, 2004 11:55 AM
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Ack!!!!!! While you were having dinner with the (so-called) Fair Taxers at Durty Nellie's, I was over at the Mudpie with some folks from Tennesseans for Fair Taxation. Needless, to say, I believe the (so-called) Fair Tax folks have a long way to go before they've got a workable idea (or something even approaching "fair")...

univar.jpg Posted by Alice on August 18, 2004 12:06 PM
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Whoops -- I got that URL wrong: http://www.yourtax.org

univar.jpg Posted by Alice on August 18, 2004 12:09 PM
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Sounds like I was 200 yards in the wrong direction. I'll have a look at Tennesseans for Fair Taxation. Thanks for the tip.

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on August 18, 2004 01:28 PM
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There is a little bit of paradox in the idea of a non-regressive tax, though. In a meritocratic society, the people at the bottom tend to gravitate there because they make poor fiscal choices. By the same token, the best tax is one that has the side effect of promoting good fiscal choices.

However, if you accept that people at the bottom tend to stay there because of bad fiscal choices (and most poor people in America right now don't stay poor) then they are likely to continue making poor choices, including choices that don't lower thier tax burden. In that sense, I think that any tax that is based on choice is going to skew towards the regressive, and ward it off only by not allowing much opportunity for mitigation (like the current slave tax.)

univar.jpg Posted by Phelps on August 18, 2004 02:17 PM
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Phelps,

That's all well and good, but I don't think a meritocracy is the ideal state for the human condition.

Do you?

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on August 18, 2004 03:25 PM
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I know you like bashing Boortz, but he wrote an article on the Fair Tax link below:

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/nealboortz/nb20040827.shtml

Since this thread was about that topic and I'm still educating myself, I'm curious to hear what you think about his outline of the implementation of the Fair Tax.

univar.jpg Posted by tickletickle on August 27, 2004 10:57 AM
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