When one declares oneself to be a conservative, one is not, unfortunately, thereupon visited by tongues of fire that leave one omniscient. The acceptance of a series of premises is just the beginning. After that, we need constantly to inform ourselves, to analyze and to think through our premises and their ramifications. We need to ponder, in the light of the evidence, the strengths and the weaknesses, the consistencies and the inconsistencies, the glory and the frailty of our position, week in and week out. Otherwise, we will not hold our own in a world where informed dedication, not just dedication, is necessary for survival and growth.

William F. Buckley Jr., Feb 8, 1956, NR

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Guest Post by Patrick.......Death, Taxes and A Holiday

Death, Taxes, and a Holiday

Patrick Murray

Sane Political
Discourse



It's said that there are two things in life that are certain: Death and
taxes. Somehow I'm going to tie them altogether and make it make
sense. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure and insanity (despite
the name) of my blog, that's a bigger challenge than you'd imagine. But
with the $700 billion socialist sickness that I have kindly termed the Dastardly
Bastardly Bailout continuing to fester (and having trillions added), we're in
the process of making mistakes that will eventually cripple our company.

First, Principles First

The idea of the federal government taking taxpayer money to fix problems they
have caused with a myriad of idiotic programs and laws by bailing out companies
who messed up and didn't have sense to see the hole their benevolent Big Brother was digging for them should be anathema to anyone who possesses conservative convictions. We are
(supposed to be) a country that functions on free market principles and
individual responsibility. This means that when you succeed, you rake in
the dough. If you fail, you crash and burn. But since the days of
the Great Depression, the government has increasingly swept in as the
"protector" of people and companies. And the ways they have done this have
gone so far from the Founding Fathers' intent that we could power a city if we
hooked them up to generators. That's how fast they have to be spinning in
their graves.

Of that $700 billion flung out there by Congress, plenty has been happily
abused. But at this point, there's $350 billion still floating out there
uncommitted to specific companies. And to add insult (and the usual
Washington shuffle) to injury, the Bad Three automakers (AKA Oliver G, Oliver F, and Oliver C Twist) were back on the Hill, having spent a day driving their
hybrids up to make up for their private jet ride the first time (commercial
flights do go from Detroit to DC) just so they could stick their hands
out and ask for more (from $25 to $35 billion now). And there are some
lawbreakers... uh, lawmakers that want to tap some of the $350 billion left of
the DBB to do it.

"I Beg to Dream and Differ..."*

Enter Congressman
Louie Gohmert
. He came up with a great idea to use up the rest of that
otherwise wasted money:


A TAX HOLIDAY!


Here's the deal. We pay about $160 billion a month in deductions from our
paychecks (Income and FICA). His idea is to take the money already
committed to waste on suckling a failing business and just eliminating
everyone's taxes for January and February.

Imagine the advantages:

1. $160 billion pumped into the economy for those two months-- Instant growth
and debt reduction across the board.

2. There's no administrative costs, because the money never gets to
Washington!


3. In March, taxes come back and people realize how much money Washington is
sucking from them. There's a good chance it will make the Boston Tea Party
look like an ice cream social in comparison.

Now, like government, taxes are a necessary evil, as the legitimate functions of
government do have to be financed. But the temporary elimination the theft
of cash from the weekly wage earner will prime people for a change....

Save the Economy, Abolish the IRS

The change I'm talking about is the FairTax. I'm going to cover it in
brief here, but when you are wondering whether it can work, check out the
site: http://http//www.fairtax.org/ (apologies for having to look at Huck-a-Duck, who's hawking his
book there right now).

I discovered the FairTax through my incessant need to devour hours of talk radio
(Neal Boortz in this case). I heard about it for several months before I
finally got around to the site. I spent a couple of hours reading, and was
converted enough to send them money from my tax refund (and money was tight at
that time). The FairTax (a consumption tax) is absolutely in line with
conservative principles of limiting government and empowering the
individual.

Some highlights:

No paycheck deductions - I start with this one because this feature is
what will sell it come March and people have to pay these. Essentially, if
you get paid $8/hour, you get that much on your check (except state, local, and
personal deductions, of course). And the employers don't have to pay the
matching crap. Which means they can pay more.

23% - This is the absolute maximum amount of your income that will go to the
tax. If you made $2000, spent $2000, and were an illegal alien
(undocumented worker for you PC whiners), you'd pay $460 in taxes. For
those of us with Social security numbers....

The Prebate - This is a check from the government that offsets any
FairTax paid up to the poverty line. So by personal choices, you can pay
no taxes, or a whole lot of taxes. The prebate is paid based on members of
your household. If you have 3, you get the prebate for each
individual.


One-time taxing
- The tax only applies to consumer items once. This
means used items are not taxed. Related to this is....



No embedded taxes
- Businesses do not pay taxes. They take the tax,
turn it into a cost, and make us pay that. The FairTax eliminates that,
putting all the taxes in one place. This means that prices adjust to
remove the embedded taxes and are only added back in on your receipt.

Transparency - You can look on your receipt and see the FairTax.
$23 of every $100 goes to the FairTax (which is the average amount we pay
now).

Emasculating Washington
- While Congress will have the power to adjust the
FairTax, what they won't be able to do is adjust the system to reward some
people while punishing others, control behavior, and deceive the people who
can't afford the accountants to hide their money. The obscene tax code is
one of the greatest powers that they have over all of us. Not so under the
FairTax.

For further info (and clarification of my highlights), here's the FairTax FAQ.

Big Honkin' Finish

One of the first steps to making the government responsible and limited again is
to create transparency, both in spending and taxing. Until we can unify, we'll be caught between our personal benefit and
our principle, and the cluster that lives inside the Beltway will continue to
tentacle out like a demonic octo-pig, with a hand on every shoulder and a teat
in every pot. I believe something as simple and radical as the FairTax is
a first step. The tax holiday would help to accomplish that goal.
And it would be a better use of that thrice-damned** bailout than what our
"leaders" have come up with.

And remember, if we're loud enough, they might figure out that another stimulus
check is really not the answer.


(* bonus points for anyone that can name the song title, artist, and album I
snatched the above quote from)

(**double bonus points if you can get the TV show and character I get that
phrase from)

27 comments:

TREXPRESS said...

I don’t know too much about the Fair tax - but like most, I think we need an overhaul done with our tax system, it would put a damper on the economy for a while, but do you think it would be worth it - if it yielded a long-term benefit…I do..
Most people don’t even bother to look at how much money is being taken out of their check in taxes - they base their financial situation on take home pay. But if they suddenly got that extra money on their paychecks, would they know how to be responsible about it?A lot of people are going to be in for a big shock when the 30% tax rate kicks in. Worse, people overburdened with debt will really get stressed when they discover that the interest on their debt payments is taxed! Renters will freak out when they discover even their rent is now taxed.I see a large initial drop in spending - if nothing else, a lot of people will need to spend their “extra” money just to pay down the debt and shake off the “tax-on-interest” demon.Spending will recover but it will take a hit at the start.

And to get off topic just for on minute, let me tell you something...... as soon as I've said I wouldn't vote for Obama no way no how I'm told I'm racist and so was everyone else who didn't like him. We don't like him because of Rezko, Wright, Pfleger, Ayers, just to name a few. His associations with Acorn. But of course you appear, based on your comment, that free money and programs that hurt the tax payer are just fine. Whats wrong with working. How about finishing school for ALL people. How about NOT having a bunch of children, ALL people. For some reason when people don't lead their lives the way that society deems they should we, the taxpayer, are suppose to pay their way, help them with mortgages, foodstamps. I understand when people are ill and can't work but laziness should never be rewarded. It amazes me that so many want things for free. Affirmative action has MADE the businessman hire minorities and if their capable and finish high school it shouldn't be an issue. There will always be some sort of descrimination. I couldn't find a job because of my age. But I never thought for any reason that I somehow was owed federal or state funding. I was taught to work and work hard. Not be a freeloader. I see why obama's so popular. All the free stuff - keeps people on the public roles and us hard working NON rich people paying and paying!

To get back to "the Fair Tax"
One thing people don’t talk about is that corporate taxes would also be cut. That corporate tax is always passed onto the consumer, usually around 25%. If you take that tax off the price then add the 30% fair tax, you’re pretty much paying the same thing. The best part is that if you don’t buy lots of things, you won’t pay lots of tax. That sounds fair to me. You also have people that are currently not paying taxes but using government services (medicare, medicaid, welfare, public schools, etc.) are now contributing to those things they are using. I’m also a strong supporter because I work in multiple cities and states and have to pay taxes everywhere which SUCKS at tax time…this would get rid of that. No more April 15:)

Gayle said...

I don't get any bonus points because I haven't a clue, but I'm all for the Fair Tax! What bothers me is that it makes sense, therefor it's probably not going to happen. If Washington had any common sense we wouldn't be in the fix we're in.

I hate to sound so negative. I used to be naive enough to have a lot of faith in our government. It is, after all, the best system that has ever been used on this planet. An experiment that worked better than any other, but is falling apart faster than I can keep up with it, thanks to liberal nincompoops who seem bound and determined to ruin our economy.

David#999 said...

That was a excellent comment TREXPRESS
May I add; With the “Fair Tax” we literally could be looking at eliminating the Social Security and Medicare crisis, and I have no doubts that it will be come a crisis in a few decades. No question about it. And we would be paying off the national debt as well. . Remember, right now Social Security and Medicare are supported ONLY by those who are working, who will be increasingly outnumbered by those collecting the benefits shortly. But under the Fair Tax, those programs are supported by nearly EVERYONE who is a consumer….
Huckabee is the ONLY one who was willing to scrap the IRS red tape and switch to the Fair tax. The Fair tax allows you to keep 100% of your paycheck, not 70% you keep of it now. If you make say $75,000 year then your paycheck rises by $325 per week and in ONLY 3 weeks you can buy that awesome 60" LCD / Plasma TV to watch your favorite TV shows (Super Bowl, World Series, World the Indianpolis 500, and the Olympics, etc...)
If you do not mind flushing an extra $325 every week down the toilet, then next time around go ahead and vote for Romney, Thompson, Guiliani or the fool Ron Paul want to keep the current tax system.
The Fair Tax can ONLY happen if you and your friends and family vote for Huckabee. He is the ONLY presidential candidate committing to this for the American people. Would you rather flush $325 every week down the toilet or would you rather save that up in ONLY 3 weeks and get that brand new 60" LCD / Plasma high definition TV with recliner and cup holder! :)
So don’t laugh at Huckabee as this blogster says. Vote for him the next time around. If we still are able to have a choice and if our country don’t go socialist. I say kudos to Gov. Huckabee

Patrick M said...

Trexpress: But if they suddenly got that extra money on their paychecks, would they know how to be responsible about it?

Not our concern. The principle dictates that people are the best judge on how to spend their own money. I don't expect all (myself definitely included) will always do the right thing. But the freedom to choose is more important than Mothering the individual.

And to pull you back on topic, that's the reason we're here looking at rebuilding conservatism and considering radical ideas (like the FairTax) to get the country back on track. Too many people have given up personal freedom and liberty for a comfy blanket and a spot at the government trough. And the Obama presidency is a symbol of that.

BTW, cut is really not the right word for corporate taxes. Eliminated is. That means they don't have any taxes to pass on to us. Oh and it would eliminate all the crap companies have to do come tax time (w-2, w-4, deductions, matching, etc.)

Gayle: The first one is easy because the title of the song is in the title of the post. The second I'm going to give triple points for, because I tried googling it and came up empty. It's that hard. But if you know my Sci-Fi obsession, you have a chance.

Keep hope. It worked for Obama. It can work for us.

David: I'd be with you, except I can't stand Huck-a-duck. We need to start working on the viable 2012 candidates to get them behind the FairTax, not support a half-and-half pseudo conservative. The Fair Tax is the only issue he has that doesn't make me launch into an obscene tirade about him right now.

If he gets off my radar for a couple years, maybe I'll forgive him for helping McCain default into the nomination....

Joe said...

Jennifer: I have studied the Fair Tax rather extensively. At this point I would prefer that to what we have, but am convinced that it is not a "fair" system at all, for it intially penalized the "poor," by requiring them to pay the point of sale tax BEFORE they get their first refund of what they paid.

It eventually catches up, but in the mean time, they are out the money they had to pay when they made their purchase.

Until it effectively deals with this issue it will do as much harm as good, especially to the poor.

I know, the Fair Tax proponents try to make this issue go away, but it does not.

Bob said...

Patrick you may not like Huck, as you call him but right now he’s the guy to run. I like Huckabee, but he also has a lot of work to do.
Sarah palin can't do it, she was distroyed by the lefties and will have a very hard time to recover. Maybe if she runs for the Senate and spends some time there to show her stuff she can recover. But until then, she won't be ready..
By the way, I thought that Trexpress’s comment was really a good one.
Bravo Trexpress. Very well put.

Christopher Hamilton said...

Patrick, the fair tax is something I'm going to be something I'm really looking into. I'm going to eventually be picking up a few books on it.

Christopher Hamilton
The Right Opinion, for the Right Wing

Patrick M said...

Joe: Correction on that. The prebate (which negates taxes for the poor) is designed to come BEFORE the taxes are paid. And even then, their paychecks will have gone up. I know because I've studied it from that particular POV (as I found out I break even doing the math) because I'm currently in that low of a tax bracket.

I'm not saying there won't be challenges (and initial issues), but the alternative is variations on our current clusterHuck (had to do it) of a tax system.

Bob: I agree Sara's not ready to run...Yet. But we've got a few years until we'll begin this process again. And this time, we need a real conservative. Not another McCain. Maybe Huckabee if he can get right and makes something like the FairTax his central point.

It's going to take me time though.

Christopher: It took me some reading, but I went from ambivalent to almost a true believer on the FairTax issue. And I hate having to try and figure out numbers.

CB said...

The reason that politicians haven't gone along with the fair tax is because it provides transparency. In addition to that, although 23% is a reasonable tradeoff for what we're paying now, people will begin to question that number. They will demand that it be lowered, they will question what the federal government is doing that demands so much of our hard earned money.

We have to decide if this country was established and continues to exist to support the growth of government or was our government established to our freedom and prosperity.

Jennifer said...

TEXPRESS....."But of course you appear, based on your comment, that free money and programs that hurt the tax payer are just fine."

I'm a bit confused on that statement. I don't think Patrick even hinted at that, unless I am missing something?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Joe.....I would be proud to call it my own, but alas it is not....Patrick wrote it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Patrick, great post! I know a little about the fair tax, but not as much as I should or would like to, so thanks for the links. From what I read it sounds like an excellent idea. If only more politicians were on board with this. But that is where we come in....we have to contact them and tell them that is what we want and start demanding change....not in the Obama way though.

Holiday........Green Day......and Greenday American Idiot!

Have no clue about the other one though????

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Patrick,

I've been pimpin' tax overhaul for awhile, albeit from the "draconian" perspective of a Libertarian. Your efforts to keep pounding on this is appreciated, noteworthy and something all of us have to keep reminding ourselves day-to-day.

I love Boortz. The guy makes too much sense for most people to really get him, but to those I say get his book "Somebody's gotta say it". It will change your life, or make you shift butt-cheeks as you read it,... one or the other.

Finally, a note on taxation. The fact that the Federal Government can rescind all taxation on the people does NOT guarantee that state and local entities wont Jack up theirs to make or (or exceed) what was sent to the Feds in the first place. The only way to have this signed, sealed and delivered as a Constitutional amendment. And the odds of Obama-nation doing that in this era of "help us big brother" is about as realistic of my folicules sprouting life...

Great guest post. I look forward to your future spewing ....

Patrick M said...

CB: You are correct, with one additional point. The fact that they leech us and don't tell us how much they're leeching gives them power over us.

Power to control behavior. Power to reward specific buddies. And power to buy select votes. The FairTax takes that away from them.

Jenn: Thanks. And thanks for pointing out some inaccuracies that Trexpress made. I must have missed them while wrangling the younglings.

Also, you win, on bonus points, the prize ham. A picture of one (more or less), that is.

Hint on the other, it's sci-fi, had 5 seasons, and that number is in the name of the show.

Trexpress (continued): A lot of people are going to be in for a big shock when the 30% tax rate kicks in.

The 30% is the effective equivalent in sales tax. for comparison to the income tax, it's a 23% inclusive. However, part of the FairTax is that the 20-23% in the price of goods due to embedded taxes will disappear, thus dropping the prices to compensate. And once it's going into effect, we'll have time to "explain" that to retailers.

Worse, people overburdened with debt will really get stressed when they discover that the interest on their debt payments is taxed!

NOT TRUE!!! That is money on which the tax has been paid. That means it's exempt. And with credit card debt especially, the tax figures into the retail price. Purchases are taxed ONE TIME!

But of course you appear, based on your comment, that free money and programs that hurt the tax payer are just fine.

Actually, my issue are with almost every free money and free anything program from the federal government. That's not the FairTax.

And let me be clear. The preponderance of free money and programs already hurts the individual taxpayer. And those numbers are going way down. And I'm sure this will continue under Obama (stunted by the whole recession thing.

Patrick M said...

TP: That reminds me of one point I did hear on Boortz concerning the FairTax.

Part of the legislation would be a provision that would not go into effect until the repeal of the 16th amendment (which allows the income tax). But the reason the FairTax has not gone in amendment form is the simple size of challenge getting it passed.

We have 4 years (2 elections) to load the Congress and the White House with people that will pass the FairTax. I don't see the Dems doing it, and the GOP leadership is ambivalent at best.

It's time to clean house.

Jennifer said...

Patick....was doing my happy dance until I saw what my reward was.....thanks for the spam..... I think. :-)

Jennifer said...

I think I've got it, well sort of. I actually had to as John the answer, so you can't technically call me a geek!

Babylon 5 ??

Patrick M said...

Holy crap. you got it.

Patrick M said...

correction, you have part of it. But you now have enough to do an easy search. And from the page I pulled up, you have a 50/50 chance to get it right.

Susannah said...

You people are way smarter than me...I LIKE it! Thanks for engaging this discussion. It gives me hope! Keep up the good work. Nice job, Patrick.

Robert said...

Susannah, some of these people are show-offs....Don't let them run you off!

Arthurstone said...

This crowd isn't 'way smarter' than you Susannah.

Way more pissed-off, put upon, victimized and monomoniacal for certain

But not way smarter.

Robert said...

Arthur, you won't find anyone here that is pissed off...nor do we feel victimized, except by a party and a government that doesn't get it.

TAO said...

One of the issues of Fair Tax is what do you do about all the other taxes that our government imposes such as cigarette tax, gas tax, and so on and so forth.

Then you have to turn to states and look at their tax policies. Sales tax, income tax, property taxes. On and on it goes.

The reality is a tax policy change without a change in OUR priorities will not make a difference in anything.

Patrick M said...

Susannah: What Robert said. Especially since I'm one of those show-offs. I'd add a picture of my brain, but it wouldn't fit on the page.

Robert: I don't think she'll run off. Unless Arthur gets his way.

Arthur: Way more pissed-off, put upon, victimized and monomoniacal for certain

You wouldn't happen to have anyone in mind? Because egomania is my strong suit. Victimization (and the need for a bailout) seems to be something the Dems (and some non-conservatives) are pushing.

Tao: ...what do you do about all the other taxes that our government imposes such as cigarette tax, gas tax, and so on and so forth.

They go bye bye.

The reality is a tax policy change without a change in OUR priorities will not make a difference in anything.

That's part of the point of the FairTax. It changes a whole lot of priorities by taking away the federal power to tax behavior. It's not the whole answer (as it doesn't address spending) but it will make part of the federal mess transparent.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

.... thats what I love about this crew.... so much love..., patience, attention to the needs of the masses..... and all done without a shred of ego or satirical angles..... not to mention total lack of sarcasm.......

You are all my heroes.... :)

repsac3 said...

I confess to not doing the research on it I said I would after an earlier post about the Fair Tax on your (Patrick's) blog, but I still can't see where I'd have any real ideological or practical objection to it...

Perhaps this time I'll get around to actually buying/reading the books on it, and then seeking out folks critical of the plan, for balance... ...but keep posting on it, just in case... I may need another push or two... (It is a crazy time of year in the first place, & I find myself out lookin' for a shiny new job to replace the one I'm losing by year's end, besides... Yay, economy...)

bulner

Patrick M said...

TP: It's been one of those days, hasn't it? You know, the ones that end in "y".

Repsac: You haven't done the research yet?!?!?!?!

Well what are you waiting for?

BTW, good luck on the job search. I'm hunkering down in mine right now because it looks to stay steady.

Susannah said...

Not to worry, anybody, I'm not going anywhere. Lurking here maybe (b/c this is a topic about which I know little to nothing); learning a thing or two.

Oh & Arthur, thanks for stickin' up for me, though I was just kiddin' about these folks being smarter'n me. (Me bein' from the South & all!) Nice folks, all.

;)