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Differing points of view on the Fair Tax - The Galveston County Daily News: Guest Columns

July 30, 2016

Guest column Differing points of view on the Fair Tax

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Posted: Monday, March 17, 2014 12:15 am

On most issues the “Three Musketeers” agree. With the Fair Tax, however, there are some differences.

The three of us agree that the current tax system needs fixing, that we should move away from an income-based tax, that those being taxed should be aware of how much they are paying in taxes, and that there should not be double taxation.

We also agree that it would be good to repeal the 16th Amendment and eliminate the agency (the Internal Revenue Service) that has so much power it can target, harass, and, yes, even abuse taxpayers just because they disagree with the political point of view of the administration in the White House.

And we also agree that everybody should pay something. Like Margaret Thatcher is quoted in the movie “The Iron Lady,” “If you live in this county you must pay for the privilege — something, anything. If you pay nothing you care nothing.”

The differences come when you actually start reading the legislation (House Resolution 25). Nancy Pelosi said you need to pass the bill (ObamaCare) in order to know what is in it. We all know what a disastrous mistake that was.

One needs to be careful when enacting legislation to make sure there are no unintended consequences.

For example, the tax rate being considered is over 25 percent. What would keep the Congress from increasing this tax rate if it is unable to curb its voracious appetite for spending? 

If one is to have a Fair Tax, one needs amend the Constitution to limit the tax rate and require voter approval if that amount is to be increased. That is what we do at a local level; why not require it at the federal level as well?

Additionally, I don’t like the idea of the federal government handing out checks — equal to the amount of the tax a person at the poverty level would pay — to every person in the country (“pre-bates”).

Doing this just reinforces the mindset that the federal government is the source of money — when it isn’t! Instead, I’d much prefer to exempt from tax items that are deemed essential to life such as basic foods, prescriptions and the like — things that are needed for basic survival but not things like alcohol, tobacco and snack foods.

But let’s be honest, in order for Fair Tax become a reality we need people in Congress who are not so influenced by special interests that they can make it happen.

Because this would require the repeal of the 16th Amendment, we also need state legislators who will support this repeal. This will not happen until there is widespread support among the people of our nation.

The “Three Musketeers” believe the Fair Tax approach makes a lot of sense, even though we have our differences on how to implement it.