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Americans for Fair Tax

Since April 15 was on a weekend this year, today is Tax Day here in the USA. It's the day we have to pay the government for what they determined we owe them for the past year.

The US tax system is overly complex, inefficient, fraught with loopholes, unfair, invasive, and generally just plain bad. It's time for a change. It's past time for a change.

The time has come to enact the Fair Tax. Essentially, this is a national sales tax, intentionally designed to produce the same amount of revenue for the government as the current tax system does. It also includes a rebate which is designed to ensure that no American will pay tax on basic necessities, by reimbursing the tax on spending at the poverty level1. It closes the loophole of people who don't file or who don't claim all of their income. It abolishes the IRS. It even maintains our current Social Security and Medicare benefits (for what that's worth). The more I look at it, the more sense it makes.

Read through the FAQ. Get a copy of the book. Read it. Contact your representatives in Washington and encourage them to support the bill.

It's time to fix the US tax system.

ETA: If you write a blog entry today about tax system reform (related to the Fair Tax or not), post a link to it in the comments and I'll include it in the following list.

Bloggers Speak Out About Tax Reform:

[1] FAQ #3 How does the rebate work? All valid Social Security cardholders who are U.S. residents receive a monthly rebate equivalent to the FairTax paid on essential goods and services, also known as the poverty level expenditures. The rebate is paid in advance, in equal installments each month. The size of the rebate is determined by the Department of Health & Human Services’ poverty level guideline multiplied by the tax rate. This is a well-accepted, long-used poverty-level calculation that includes food, clothing, shelter, transportation, medical care, etc.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 17th, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
Some of it reminds me of Charles Murray's new book:

Though I don't think he advocates any particular tax system, but it's predicated on getting rid of all goverment transfer payments, which would probably make for a less intrusive tax regime.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 17th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah... I think you're right. I'm not totally positive, but my doubts are small compared to my knowledge of how much the present system sucks. We've made a system that's progressive - in theory - but can actually be made deeply regressive by those with cunning accountants.
Apr. 17th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
by those with cunning accountants

...and lobbyists.
Apr. 17th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
Good point. Of course, the lobby problem is even worse on the receiving end of the pipeline: interests and industries use a portion of the money they get from Congress to hire Congress to maintain/increase the money flow. sigh
Apr. 17th, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)
How do I hate the tax code, oh, let me count the ways...

1 1000
2 1000
3 1000

When I run for president in 2008, the Fair Tax will be part of my platform.
Apr. 17th, 2006 08:26 pm (UTC)
When I run for president in 2008, I think the Fair Tax will be the only "pro" plank of my platform. So far, I think my platform is:
  • pro-Fair Tax
  • anti-histamine
  • anti-dst
  • anti-time zones
Apr. 17th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
You're so negative.

We agree on the Fair Tax idea. Perhaps this will bring peace to the reunion....
Apr. 17th, 2006 10:05 pm (UTC)
I'm with ya on the first three items on your list, but what do you propose to replace time zones? Swatch @Internet time?
Apr. 17th, 2006 11:39 pm (UTC)
Apr. 18th, 2006 12:08 am (UTC)
We've talked about this before, I think, and I still disagree with you. Time zones perform a valuable and, I think, necessary function that becomes very difficult without them.

I get up at around 7am local time, no matter where I am. If we were to eliminate time zones, my wake-up time would be dependent on where I was, not what time zone I was in: in London I'd get up at 7am, but in anywhere that's currently considered eastern time, I'd get up at around noon. This is because noon GMT is the same as 7am eastern time.

While the idea of eliminating DST is a wonderful one, the idea of getting rid of time zones is just silly.
Apr. 18th, 2006 12:29 pm (UTC)
While I agree that it would be inconvenient to adjust the labels you put on the time of day (waking up is not always at 0700, depending on where you are), I am willing to suffer that inconvenience because the elimination of time zones would eliminate any ambiguity about time when talking with people who span the globe. E.g., if I'm working on a project with someone in California and they say that they'll call me at 1300, I don't automatically know if they mean 1300 California time or 1300 North Carolina time. The elimination of time zones would eliminate this ambiguity. I think that is more of an inconvenience than having to deal with adjusting schedules when travelling. My guess is that more people are affected by the ambiguity that time zones creates and do not travel than there are people who travel and would be inconvenienced by my proposal.

Having explained myself a little more, I will admit that this is probably the most minor plank in my platform. However, it is far from "just silly."
Apr. 18th, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC)
Far more communication, on the whole, is done with people relatively local to oneself. Concepts of "morning" and "afternoon" would have to be translated into different labels depending on locale, and that introduces a whole 'nother problem. Those that need to coordinate around-the-world can adopt GMT/UTC/whatever. Everyone else is too accustomed to rising at 0700 and sleeping at 2200 - they like and understand those labels. Changing them would make the whole thing seem foreign.
Apr. 18th, 2006 03:23 pm (UTC)
The translation to different labels would be a one-time occurance, depending on geography. From then on, when communicating locally, when someone says "morning" it still means "the time between the sun rises and is in the middle of the sky" -- some locals would label that 0700, some 1300, whatever.

That's the thing where I think you're missing the boat -- "morning" doesn't mean "0700" -- it means "in the few hours after the sun rises". It's the "0700" that is a made-up label. I'd rather have the made-up labels be globally coordinated than be highly location specific.
Apr. 18th, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC)
Ehhh, I'm not convinced. I see your point, I'm just not convinced. People resist change for the sake of change. Unless there's a large enough perceived benefit, this isn't going to gain much traction. I don't think this is going to meet most folks' "benefit threshold".
Apr. 19th, 2006 03:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's a hard sell, and I recognize that. As I already mentioned, it's the smallest plank in my platform and the one I'm most willing to let go if the need arises.
Apr. 18th, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC)
I found myself wondering this morning if it's too late to file papers to run for Congress...

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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