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Monday, April 17, 2006


H.R.25 "Fair Tax"

Embedded H.R.25  link in Neal's article seems to work, not sure if my copied links under the bill name will work for you or not.


H.R.25            Fair Tax Act of 2005 (Introduced in House)

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"Well, here we are, folks.  Did you enjoy your Easter weekend?  Did you take the kids out for an Easter Egg hunt somewhere?  Or, is it possible that you were trapped in your home, ignoring your family, trying to get your tax return finished.  It needs to be filed today, you know.  Oh, you could file an extension, but if the Imperial Federal Government of the United States still has any claim to some of the money you worked for and earned in 2005, you have to send that in with your extension.

A few questions, if you have the time.

First:  How much time did you spend fixing up your tax return and getting it ready to file?  The average individual taxpayer spent an average of 57 hours for their 2004 return.  Was 2005 better or worse?  Fifty-seven hours.  That's over 7 working days.  What else could you have done with those days?  Could you have added an additional week of vacation for your family?  Could you have spent that time with your children, visiting a sick relative, or just sitting on a fishing boat somewhere?  Sorry 'bout that, but there's tax returns to be filled out ... and you either do it yourself or you pay someone else to do it.

Oh ... and that "paying someone else to do it" thing.  Just how much money do you think is spent every year by individuals and businesses just complying with our tax code?  Well, if history is our guide, the tax return for General Motors will be over 50 feet high.  Just what do you think GM is paying for tax compliance and return preparation?  There are many estimates here, but they seem to start at about $300 billion a year and go up to $500 billion.  That's money that isn't being spent to expand businesses, create jobs, or investigate new technologies.  Eliminate our tax code and you'll see an immediate infusion of $300 billion, or more, into our economy.

Another question:  Just how much did you pay in taxes for 2005?  Come on now, don't look at your tax return.  Just say it out loud.  "I paid $______________ in federal income taxes last year."  You don't know?  Well, don't feel pregnant.  Most people don't  They know how much they "got back," or how much extra they had to pay with their return, but few can tell you how much they actually paid without having to look it up.  Politicians love it this way.  With their withholding program your money just vanishes.  It disappears before you ever even get your hands on it.  You can't miss what you never had .. so we now have this lovely situation where people not only don't know how much they paid in taxes, but they don't even know how much they made!  Go ahead!  Ask someone what they make!  If you get an answer at all it will be something like "I take home ......"  You didn't ask what they took home, you asked what they made!  They don't know, and the free-spending politicians smile.

While we're talking about your taxes, rest assured that American businesses have it just as bad as you do.  You would never believe how many hours businessmen have to spend every year worrying about the tax consequences of virtually every decision they make.  This is time they don't spend growing their businesses.  But .... and this is a huge "but" ... these businesses, especially the larger ones, have one advantage you don't have.  They can run.  They can flee the United States for a more favorable tax climate overseas.  This doesn't mean that they have to shut down their operations here in the U.S.  They just move their headquarters.  Some businesses can save tens of millions of dollars by just moving their headquarters overseas.  Politicians hate this.  They start spewing forth phrases like "Corporate Benedict Arnolds," as if there were something treasonous about fleeing a high-tax location for one with lower taxes.  These corporations have a responsibility to their shareholders.  Perhaps you're one of them; one of the shareholders.  Do you want the company in which you hold shares to maintain it's corporate home in America when money could be saved by simply moving a corporate office and some employees overseas?

OH!  And let's not forget the dreaded AMT!  The Alternative Minimum Tax!  Many taxpayers --- and many more each year --- have to calculate their federal income taxes not once, but twice every single year.  They figure their taxes once with all of their legal credits and deductions, and then again with several limits on credits and deductions.  Whichever method creates the higher tax liability is the method you use to pay your taxes. The AMT was created 35 years ago to make sure high income-earners didn't take advantage of perfectly legal deductions and credits to avoid the payment of taxes.  The rich had to be nailed.  Trouble is, due to inflation the AMT is now sneaking into middle income tax returns.  Today the AMT will hit about 3.5 million Americans.  In a few years that figure will increase to about 30 million.  Although it's a bit late, here's an AMT calculator you can use to see just how close you are to being nailed --- or, just how nailed you already are! 

OK ... you already know where I'm heading with all of this.  The FairTax.  If H.R. 25, The FairTax Act, became law all of the scenarios mentioned above, and many more, would disappear.  There would be no "tax day" because there would be no federal income tax.  You would not spend one single penny on tax planning and preparation, and neither would any American business.  Tax compliance costs, be they $300 or $500 billion, would be a thing of the past.  If the FairTax were law right now this past weekend would have been nothing more than a beautiful Easter Weekend for all Americans.  No distractions.  Just enjoy your family on another beautiful Spring weekend.

With the FairTax American businesses wouldn't be spending tens of thousands of hours a year, and billions of dollars, contemplating and working out the tax consequences of business decisions.  Instead, they would be spending that time and money on decisions and projects to grow their businesses.  That, of course, means hiring more people; opening new locations; and generating more revenue.

No --- the FairTax isn't perfect.  For the life of me I can't figure out a perfect, unblemished way to collect the billions of dollars that our voracious federal government needs to operate both it's legitimate and illegitimate functions.  The vast bulk of that money has to come, one way or another, from the people in this country who earn and hold all of the wealth.  I've been studying tax reform for over 25 years.  Flat tax, sales tax, excise taxes, AMT .. you name it. 

The FairTax is clearly the best plan out there.  Let's check off some points:

  • The FairTax is the ONLY tax reform proposal that would completely lift the federal tax burden, including Social Security and Medicare, from the poor. 
  • It is the ONLY tax reform proposal that will protect every single American  household from the responsibility of paying federal taxes on their income up to the federal poverty level. 
  • The FairTax is the ONLY tax reform proposal that would bring much of the $11 trillion in dollar denominated deposits outside of the jurisdiction of this country and our tax code back to the United States to go to work in our economy.
  • The FairTax is the ONLY tax reform proposal that would make America the number-one tax haven in the world for businesses!  The United States would be the only country in the world in which businesses, domestic and foreign, could operate without any tax component on tax or labor.
  • It is the ONLY tax reform proposal that would sharply curtail, if not eliminate, the influence of the K Street lobbyists on our politicians.  The FairTax leaves no room for manipulation for the benefit of favored constituencies. 
  • The FairTax is the ONLY tax reform plan that would make the payment of federal taxes essentially a voluntary act.

Now ... let me tell you the biggest drawback to the FairTax.  This may not be a drawback for you --- but it certainly is for the people we must rely on to get rid of the current tax code and enact the FairTax.  It's just this simple:

Implementation of the FairTax would constitute the biggest transfer of power from Washington DC to the people of the United States since our country was founded.  "

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