That's the title of a new book by national radio talk-show host and Law Professor Hugh Hewitt, and Assistant Professor of accounting, and tax accountant Hank Adler. They sub-head is "An Honest Look at a Very, Very Bad Idea".
I just received my copy, am currently reading it, and will try to give as fair a summary as possible of what the authors focus on, as well as comparing it to the FairTax as presented by national talk show host and author Neal Boortz, and Representative John Linder.
Full disclosure: I have been a proponent of the FairTax for years, and although there are certainly serious questions raised by Hewitt and Adler, I find their arguments on the whole less than compelling so far.
First of all, the fact that a book like this has been researched and written is actually a good thing. It not only brings FairTax questions and shortcomings to light--which is the only way they can be adequately and effectively addressed--but it gives significant additional credibility to how much headway the FairTax has gained over the years as more people learn about it.
Hewitt and Adler both agree that the tax system as we know it is a mess, and that major reforms are needed. Their premise is that the FairTax is so flawed that a huge amount of energy is being wasted by the hundreds of thousands of us on a tax system that hasn't a prayer of passing. They feel the energies should be focused elsewhere.
I have no problem with Mr. Hewitt and Mr. Adler writing a book, selling a book, making money off of a book (in fact, I think we should all read it--more on that in a moment). I DO care if it smears the FairTax with lies.
I respect Mr. Hewitt a great deal, haven't found any lies, and don't expect to.
I've only found *a different set of conclusions* than the authors of the FairTax, which may or may not turn out to be true. For the record, I don't know what will happen, nor do I know the answers. I AM confident that the authors of the FairTax and The FairTax Book have researched it fully, are confident of their position, and are better able to defend against Hewitt and Adler than I.
For the record (as I've said in a prvious post) I think Boortz and Linder put forth stronger arguments than Hewitt and Adler--at least through the first half of The FairTax Fantasy.
Far from ignoring The FairTax Fantasy, I want every FairTax supporter to be aware of every argument Hewitt and Adler bring up, so that they can a) refute them with facts, b) come up with logical arguments that back up the FairTax, and/or c) make sure problems and objections are solved as we move forward. FairTax supporters on Hugh Hewitt's radio show often ask Hugh, "Have you read the book?" Hugh has already warned his audience that his answer from now on will be, "Yes, have you? (Meaning, of course, his.)
It doesn't help our cause to dismiss any critics. Meeting them head-on and defeating them with facts and reason is the only way forward.
My only purpose in summarizing the Hewitt/Adler book is to present a brief synopsis of their arguments for those who have no interest in buying the book, and to bring some of their positions to light.
I can appreciate your being respectful :} However, I have not read the book, and I will not be reading the book if I have to buy it. I will wait until it comes out on video and then borrow the video from somewhere, since I can only believe that this is an attempt to make money off some one else's work. (Similar to "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat liar" Which I also did not read but got the author ,presumably elected to congress. ) First off, what you have told me is that you see a difference in opinion. I see facts in black and white and your summary as I stated in some of my earlier posts indicates a distortion of Facts. An example of another; Find a tax table for the latest year of taxable income. (That would be 2008 since 2009 is not yet due) Find the line for income bracket $99950 to $100000. using that information, choose a couple making exactly $100,000 for the year 2008. their tax bracket according to published records is 25% ( the same from $65,100 to $131,450.) The tax according to the table is $17,681 which supposedly results from no tax to the poverty level?? . So If that couple makes $100.00 more, then they will owe $25.00 more, which means they will have a net of only $75. of that $100.00 However, $75 x 33.35%=$24.995 (round off to $25.00 or carry out a few more places) The current system calls that 25% and actually every dollar they made above $6,510. was taxed at this so called 25%. (Hummm 25% is the same as 33.333% Since when? The beginning of the IRS, that's when ) These are facts and Your guys want to bend them, at least according to what I read in your Summary. Fairtax is 23%, the same way the IRS figures their 25% (That is an apples to apples comparison) In my opinion, these guys are big fat liars looking to bend the facts (so they are not the facts) Why do I want to support a book of half truths. DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. It is a fraud. There position is to make a name for themselves. All the facts are on Fairtax.org if people would just read. The entire HR296 is here if you want to read the actual legislature. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.296: There are no smoke and mirrors, in either place, only the facts. People have worked hard to list only the facts so any one with a legitimate question can find the answer. There is a truth were ever there is a lie. It is easy to just accept what someone says. I am not presenting logical arguments, I am presenting what is true. It has been calculated and refuted and recalculated, unless people some how stop buying things, and people stop visiting the US and the US stops producing anything, then the Fairtax will bring in more money than the current system. The first year will be the hardest, ( the critics will have a field day) but it will all be worth it in the long run. There is no different set of conclusions unless you bend the facts. I can help you with the answers.
Spent much time over the past few weeks writing to this guy and others who denounce FairTax. Won't waste much time reading or $ on some fool denouncing FairTax. There is nothing better. Mr. Shipp, I disagree that "the 1st year will be the hardest." Perhaps hardest for the politicians and lobbyist, but not for me or my neighbors. Unless you mean what to do with all my new doe. Thanks for all of your info. Keep it up.
Again, Michelle, I agree with you on the merits of the FairTax; which doesn't mean there aren't legitimate arguments against it. Maybe they aren't as strong or as effective as the ones in FAVOR of the FairTax...or maybe some of them are.
It does none of us any good to react to the "FairTax Fantasy" by simply dismissing it with a "this book is a fraud!" non-argument. Then you just run into a "Is not!', "Is, too!', "Is not!", "Is, too!" meme. Nor does it do us any good to take a "head in the sand" approach to critics.
Professors Hewitt and Adler aren't tin-foil hat wearing, raving loons. They're respected and thoughtful academians who sincerely don't believe the FairTax will work. Fine. Some of their arguments are just pfiffel, some rely on economists who disagree with the ones that the authors of the FairTax relied on, some rely on a different interpretation of what may happen under certain projections, and a few are solid.
ALL have to be addressed with logic, clarity, and simplicity in order to a) plug any "holes" in the FairTax that may--so far--not occurred to anyone, b) sell it effectively to the rest of America, and c) add strength to the FairTax credibility.
I would like to see some legitimate arguments against FairTax, that's the problem. Don't get me wrong, I read some of what Mr. Hewitt wrote. I did not read further as he did not make a case from the start. I took his stance as more of a book selling technique.
I used to work for IRS for many years. It is hard to convince me that FairTax has any flaws. I am quite sure that once FairTax is enacted that we will be able to fund the current S.Security, Medicare, and all of the other programs that lack funding. I sincerely believe that once we cut out programs/spending that are unconstitutional or unnecessary that we will reduce our debt and finally have money to put in the cookie jar. Factories galore. Prices will go down as soon as competitions steps in. Eventually the 23% would be reduced to an even lower number. Personally .05% is my goal.
I really appreciate your dialog. Keep me on my toes. thanks.
In my blog that David Shipp refers to above, I put forth a political motive that could be behind Hugh Hewitt's opposition to the FairTax. I think it is quite plausible that Hugh Hewitt sees a full-fledged attack on the FairTax as a way to undermine Mike Huckabee's credibility. It was very clear during the 2008 presidential primaries that most of the conservative talk-radio hosts were behind Mitt Romney. It is also quite a coincidence that Mitt Romney divested himself of Bain Capital (his big money venture capital firm) in December 2007 right before throwing his hat into the ring and that Bain Capital acquired Clear Channel Communications during this time as well. Clear Channel Communications happens to own the stations and has the contracts with many talk radio hosts including Hewitt. Could there be a little side-bonus to Hewitt (and others) for a Romney presidency...? Hey, I'm just say'n... There is clearly a temptation to skew objective thinking here.
I understand your theory, but I'm not sure it holds up.
For all his likeability and support of the FairTax, I don't think Governor Huckabee is a big enough political threat to warrant an attack on the FairTax. a) it's not Huck's only issue, and b) if it's a good enough idea, anyone else will embrace it. Hewitt and Adler actually think it's political death to any candidate who endorses it.
Yes, Hewitt was/is a Romney guy. But you have to admit, Romney's a pretty smart guy financially. And he's not *against* the FairTax, although apparently he does have some concerns.
Hewitt's livelihood--not only on the radio, but also as a professor, and a litigator--depends on his credibility, no matter who's President. I don't think he'd sacrifice everything he's ever accomplished just to be a potentially revealed as a hired shill.
My caveat to this (and to all of my opinion posts) is one successful political pundits will admit to: "Frequently wrong, never in doubt." =)
In time, even this illustrious group would come to appreciate the value of the Fair Tax. The sheer magnitude of its value would be experienced by a all American citizens.
A couple of things really bug me about politicians: 1. They seem to thrive on causing division among American citizens, kind of the antithesis to "united we stand, divided we fall". This really galls me. The Fair Tax is something that literally brings us together and I don't think Washington likes that. It makes us strong, thereby diminishing some of their power. They are supposed to be leaders, not rulers.
And #2, they seem to be under the mistaken impression that we, the people, lack the ability to think and reason, and that some how they have more intelligence than we do. Can you believe it?! I may be no MENSA candidate, but then, neither are they.
When it comes to taxation and the economy, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that you cannot continue to try and ram a square peg into a round hole and succeed. And after doing that for so many, many years, look at where we are. And most of them are still trying to do the same old thing even when it's glaringly apparent that it just doesn't work.
We, the people, can set this right by getting the Fair Tax enacted. Yes, there are other issues that will still need to be addressed, but scrapping the present tax code and enacting the Fair Tax is the first huge step toward a fantastic economy, and yes, a more united America.