Double talk

English: George Orwell in Hampstead On the cor...

English: George Orwell in Hampstead On the corner of Pond Street and South End Road, opposite the Royal Free Hospital. The bookshop has long gone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The GOP have adopted Orwell’s 1984 as the authority for their thought and speech: doublethink and double talk from the Ministry of Truth where words have the opposite meaning of that commonly accepted and found in dictionaries.

The FAIR tax is not fair. It is a flat consumption tax with a gimmick, rebates to low-income consumers that I predict will disappear over time once the GOP have attained their objective. Their objective? Abolish the progressive income tax and the IRS.

Safety nets made of tissue paper that won’t hold water or rescue the needy either from accident or weather related distress.

The death tax which is not a tax the dead pay, but one assessed on the living. We claim to believe in a level playing field, so why should some be given an enormous head start in life? It is harmful to democracy and frequently harmful to the development of character in heirs and heiresses.

Compromise to the GOP means give me all I demand and 50% of what you demand.

Free markets are free from regulation so that competition can be stifled and monopoly profits earned.


Abolish the IRS?

Logo of the Internal Revenue Service

Logo of the Internal Revenue Service (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some are calling for the abolishment of the IRS and replacing the graduated income tax with a flat tax or some variant of it such as the so-called Fair tax. In my opinion, the graduated, progressive income tax is the fairest tax we have or can have. It taxes income fairly; the more income you have, the more tax you can and should pay. A flat tax or Fair tax is a regressive tax, hitting  poor and middle incomes more heavily than the wealthy who are allowed to keep most of their income. I hate paying taxes as much as anyone, but the government requires income and it is best to collect it from those who afford to pay. Even if we abolished the income tax, the IRS would be necessary to administer whatever tax we replace it with.

Some conservatives want to go even further and abolish the so-called death tax, the inheritance tax. That would be a grave mistake. Our democracy depends on preventing the formation of dynasties, such as in Pakistan, where great wealth is permitted to perpetuate itself and the wealthy dominate politics. Louis Brandeis was an associate justice of the US Supreme Court from 1916 to 1939. He wrote that we could have democracy or great concentrations of wealth, but not both at the same time. I agree with that assessment.  The US is well on its way to becoming a third world nation of a few rich, many poor and decaying infrastructure. Abolishing the IRS and the graduated income tax would speed that process.

Tax reform

Fair & Balanced graphic used in 2005

Fair & Balanced graphic used in 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Later this year Congress may take up the issue of tax reform. I specifically oppose the so-called FAIR tax, which is a consumption tax with exemptions for the poor. Not only is it regressive, but proponents want to set the rate at such a level that they claim it could replace income taxes, estate taxes, capital gains taxes and the IRS. Don’t be fooled by the misnamed FAIR tax. It is a regressive tax that is as fair and balanced as FOX News.

999 tax plan

Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, speak...

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday evening I was clicking around the dial looking for baseball when I happened upon the Mike Huckabee show where he was talking to Herman Cain about his 999 tax proposal. I stopped to watch and learn. I like Mike, but I disagree with much of what he says.

Herman Cain explained that the 999 tax plan is composed of a 9% tax on corporate profits, a 9% tax on individual incomes, and a 9% VAT, Value Added Tax, a national sales tax, which is severely regressive. Payroll taxes would be eliminated, no Social Security or Medicare taxes. No taxes equals no programs, I guess. Herman may intend that Social Security and Medicare be privatized, but that is the same thing as no programs. Herman also told Mike that the 999 tax plan is a pathway to the FAIR tax which I also oppose.

In addition, the 999 tax proposal would eliminate the progressive income tax, the fairest tax I believe, and the capital gains tax, and the inheritance tax, the so-called death tax. I oppose the elimination of the capital gains tax and the inheritance tax and here is why.

The wealthy receive most of their income from capital gains and making capital gains tax free would mean that the wealthy would pay little or no taxes. Secondly, eliminating the inheritance tax would allow the wealthy to pass their wealth from one generation to the next untaxed and undiminished. That would create wealthy dynasties in the US that would allow the wealthy to purchase influence in Washington from whomever we elect forever. As it stands now, only the wealthy pay inheritance taxes; it is not a tax that faces the 99%, just the top 1%.

Louis Brandeis was an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court from 1916 to 1939. He argued that you could have great concentrations of wealth or democracy, but not both at the same time. I agree, and I favor democracy, not great concentrations of wealth, either in private hands or corporate coffers.

Please see Herman Cain | FAIR tax not fair |  I am weary

FAIR tax not fair

Abolish the IRS

Abolish the IRS (Photo credit: chasingfun)

The FAIR tax is not fair. If you haven’t heard of the FAIR tax yet, you will when the Federal tax code is discussed and attempts are made later this year or next to simplify it and make it fairer.

In essence, the FAIR tax is a consumption tax with a gimmick to make people think that it would be a good deal; it would not be. A consumption tax hits lower income taxpayers harder proportionately than the rich because we must spend all we earn and see it taxed while the wealthy save a substantial portion of their earnings. The gimmick included in the FAIR tax is a rebate from the government of the FAIR taxes paid by lower income Americans up to a certain amount. Proponents of the FAIR tax claim that it could replace the income tax, the inheritance tax, the capital gains tax and payroll taxes and eliminate the need for the IRS.

It is my firm belief that if the FAIR tax were enacted and the IRS and other taxes eliminated, then the rebate for lower income taxpayers would gradually or quickly be phased out. The entire purpose of the FAIR tax, in my humble opinion, is the elimination of the graduated income tax. Once that is gone, there will be no way to finance Social Security and other government safety net programs. I don’t like taxes and the IRS either, but the graduated income tax is the fairest tax there is.