Steve Forbes and Dick Armey are pushing the Flat tax as hard as they can. I have been posting the following on as many of their comment pages as I have time for. Perhaps others can comment that they agree with this post. \
The flat tax and the FairTax share some important similarities. They are both flat-rate taxes that are neutral with respect to savings and investment. The flat tax, however, retains the invasive income tax administration apparatus and can easily revert to a graduated, convoluted mess, as it has many times over many years.
Very few people really understand the flat tax. Its authors will tell you it is a consumption tax that uses the income tax system for implementation. Only an academic or government bureaucrat would dream up a consumption tax that needs the invasive income tax apparatus for its application, when one can simply have a retail sales tax and reduce the bureaucracy by 90 percent or more! In addition, a large part of the burden of the flat tax -- the business tax -- will remain hidden from people in the retail price of goods and services.
In contrast, the FairTax is simple, easy to understand, and visible. It cannot be converted into an income tax.
Under a flat tax, individuals would still file an income tax return each year similar to today’s 1040 EZ. While this is a simple postcard, the record keeping required to fill in the blanks is still long and burdensome. Under the FairTax, individuals never file a tax return again, ever! Under the flat tax, the payroll tax would be retained and income tax withholding would still be with us. Under the FairTax, the payroll tax, which is a larger and more regressive tax burden for most Americans than is the income tax, is repealed. Under the FairTax, what you earn is what you keep. No more withholding taxes; no more income tax.
Notwithstanding flat tax proponents’ honorable intentions, income tax reform has been less than a success in the past. Congress has tried to reform the income tax again and again, with the result being greater complexity and, generally, higher rates. The problem is the income tax, and it is time to stop tinkering with it.
Flat tax supporters have made major political attempts to pass their reform, including the efforts of former Majority Leader Dick Armey and presidential candidate Steve Forbes, and yet their efforts have not progressed politically for several years. With every debate, the flat tax loses grassroots and congressional support to the FairTax. It is time to junk the entire income tax system and start over with a tax system that is more appropriate for a free society and better able to meet the needs of the information age.
Support the Fairtax go to Fairtax.org or fairtaxnation.com