There are no perfect apples
There are no perfect tax systems
Every apple will have some spot, bruise or other blemish either on the outside or inside
Every tax system will have some costs and some “blemish” to deal with
Some people will imagine every spot in an apple to be a wormhole
Some people will try to make every imperfection in a tax system into something more than it is
Some people will see spots or blemishes on an apple where there are none
Some people will see problems with a tax system where none exist
If there are no perfect apples, eat the best one available, and remember you can’t eat an imaginary apple.
If there are no perfect tax systems, we should compare an alternative to what we have or other alternatives, not perfection, and choose the best one available, and remember, you can’t operate an imaginary tax system.
Many of the complaints critics have about the FairTax are over-exaggeration and in many cases imagined “spots”. Whether they are made out of true concern or self-interest, they usually ignore the problems in the current system and the train wreck we are heading towards if we don’t make a change away from a destructive income tax.
Critics tend to circle around the FairTax “apple”, looking for every possible spot they can imagine, and then describing every spot as a wormhole to make whatever point they deem important to them. All the while, they ignore the apple we are holding in the other hand (the current system) that is mushy brown with a rotten core.
Everyone from every corner of America agrees our tax system needs changed. Some propose cutting out a few of the mushy, brown spots and all of a sudden the apple will be good to eat. Others propose throwing out the current apple and replacing it with one that looks good on the outside but already has worms in the core, waiting to eat their way through. Neither option produces a good apple.
The problem with our current tax system is the core. Income is simply the wrong base of taxation. We recognize this in our current system. We readily admit we should all work hard, save money and invest, yet we start with a base that punishes all of those things. In starting from a base of all income, it then becomes necessary to carve out items that are not consumption in an attempt to limit this punishment. The problem is in deciding what and to what degree we carve out those items. It is this need to limit damage created simply because we start with the wrong base that causes the “politicalization” of our tax code.
Lobbyists spend billions of dollars every year helping Congress answer this question of which items to treat “special”. The end result is not a pretty “apple”. They toss the apple around, creating new bruises, then simply turn the good side towards the citizens and hide the new bruises in the back, leaving the same rotten core in the middle.
This has led to over 72,000 pages of Federal tax rules in spite of numerous attempts to “simplify the tax system” over the past 50 years. Every attempt is made to solve a problem created from taxing the wrong base. Every time it is simplified, lobbying increases. The problem again is the base.
Many in Congress and many outside of Congress attempt to make a case for one more try at a simplified “apple” with the same rotten core. The problem is we have allowed this game to continue too long. As a country, we are now facing global forces that demand we become more efficient and practical in how we treat savings, investment and business.
Countries around the world are lowering their taxes on businesses and investments. They are encouraging the growth of capital to allow companies to invest in their operations and reducing regulations to make it less costly to do so. Meanwhile, the US acts as though it is in a vacuum and companies will choose to create here, simply because we are “America.” We are feeling the result today. The likely outcome if we don’t move away from a destruction base of income for taxation is increased joblessness, a further deterioration of the American standard of living and a bleak future for our children.
The FairTax is not perfect, but then, no tax system is. Many of the complaints are nothing but exaggerated attempts to preserve some special interest.
Consumption is the right base and the FairTax is the right plan. It makes the US the most attractive nation in the world to begin a business, or to save and invest. It removes over $400 billion a year of inefficiency from the tax code. It treats all Americans and businesses equally well regardless their status or size, and removes the tentacles of “corporatism” and special favors to large interests that even OWS agrees needs to end. It does these things in a design that is at least as progressive as the current system and benefits everyone through a new dynamic economy.
We can’t continue down this road. We aren’t just comparing the FairTax to the system as it exists, but also where it is leading us. If we are to recover our industry, markets and opportunities for our citizens, we must take a new path, and the FairTax leads the way.