I do not think Hugh Hewitt made a mistake.
I have followed Hewitt for a few years, I followed his book on blogging and he gave me guidance and encouragement. I have listened to his radio programs, check in on his blogs now and then, I learned about his being a professor and a leading member of the conservative movement.
He now has a book about the Fair Tax Fantasy as he and his coauthor call it and he posted a transcript of a radio program where they presented the most important reasons they object to the Fair Tax. I have not read the book yet but I have studied the transcript of their presentation. You can read it here:
Hugh does not accept the fact that American Citizens are double taxed. It is a very accepted and sound premise. Hugh has a partner that is a teacher of tax accounting and who has been an accountant in a corporation. Hugh is a lawyer and teacher of law and I do not know of any company accounting experience. Against these two we have the endorsement of 80 Economists who have sent an open letter endorsing the Fair Tax and it’s components including the taxes passed on to consumers by corporations. Take a look at the letter and the signers:
Hugh and his partner argue that the fair tax is not 23% but is 30% and then illustrate that the tax is 23% when calculated from the total. This is a smoke screen to divert your attention from the fact that the two authors have carefully analyzed details of the tax program but totally overlooked the double taxation that we as consumers now pay. We pay our own income tax and then pay the cost of all corporate and business taxes which are included in the retail price of all products we buy. The Hewlett book fails to disclose that the example they use, the pen that they explain sells for $1.00 and will sell for $1.30 will sell now for $1.00 but with the Fair Tax the price will drop to 78 cents, then have the Fair Tax added and sell for about $1.00 and on average to be about $1.01. That 23 cents is 29.49% of the 78 cents and 22.8 % of the selling price of $1.01. This is fully explained in the book and there has never been any effort to mislead the public, just to be consistent.
It is interesting that they do not discuss this reduction of costs to the manufacturer or service company or professional that will cause a reduction in price that will be replaced by the Fair Tax. I have stated that I do not believe Hewitt made a mistake. He does not make mistakes and his writings are usually full of details and explanations of opposing theories with references. I cannot believe it is a mistake so I have to believe he has an agenda. It is possible he wants controversy with a large group and that will lead to publicity for his book, his radio show, his blogs and his college course. By writing this article I am playing his game and giving him publicity. I do not want to do that in relation to the Fair Tax but I feel we must discuss this and be prepared to answer his objections if we are presenting the Fair Tax and a member of the audience asks about one of his objections. So please read this and look at the book and prepare yourself for the coming discussion.
It is not unusual for people to create an issue and benefit from the publicity about the controversy so I repeat that it is not a mistake of Hewitt, I believe it is done after careful consideration and planning.
Someone on this web site raised the issue of a corporation that Hugh had stock in and it was later purchased by a company connected to a candidate that Hugh was promoting. Hugh is a member of the hierarchy of the conservative movement and his contributions in guidance have been beneficial and frequently sought out. When I started Blogging I read Hugh’s text about blogging and had some contact and guidance from him. He was very gracious and helpful and encouraged me. I dislike taking this stand and opposing his writing, he deserves better from me.
But I cannot stand by and not speak up. I am almost 80 and do not have time to fool around. If I am going to contribute to your movement I must do it now.
I also want to take a jab at the national organization. When I started contributing my energy to the Fair Tax it was early in its development. One of my first projects was to work on organization charts and I worked on the chart for my district. I was then invited to take a larger role but my health opposed my getting more involved. Eventually I had major parts removed with oxidation (Cancer) and I am somewhat handicapped now so my activities are limited. Back in the earlier days the web site had many research projects listed that we could study and gain information from them. Later they were listed as rebuttals but now they are gone and we cannot refer to them. One of these showed the percentage of tax needed to meet the requirements of the government was about 16% and the figure of 23% was selected so it had a buffer for unexpected changes. This information, if available to us and concerned folks like Mr. Hewitt would explain the back ground and statistics used to reach the conclusions published. I find it a great loss to not have these facts available and it encourages incorrect conclusions of people like Mr. Hewitt.
You must also be aware that the professionals who work in the management of organizations are faced with a complex problem. They want to show a line of success but if successful they have destroyed their livelihood. I like this site of Fair Tax Nation because the founder is working hard to find success and I have faith in his objectives.
By the way, I am sorry I used a misleading headline to get you to read this but it was for a good cause.