Friday, May 25, 2007

The Fair Tax: Huckabee And My Question

Mike Huckabee has embraced and advocates for the Fair Tax national retail sales tax that would eliminate personal and business and all other hidden taxes to the United States government that, of courser, are ultimately paid by the people who support or use those taxed facilities. n I favored a national sales tax 12 years ago. I agree with everything that it aspires to accomplish. Most notable among those things are 1) to liberate and ignite commercial dynamism in the American economy by ceasing to tax investment and wealth creation and providing millions of new work and investment opportunities. And 2) it would revert the authority over the dispensation of wealth, including taxes, back to the private individual: spend more, pay more taxes, spend less, pay less taxes.

In fact, with the enormous amounts of wealth that would be thrown back into circulation, a "revenue neutral" calculation to convert our taxation to consumption taxes would probably quickly mean an increase in federal revenues, except for one question that has arisen to me in the past several years: how would the tax be fairly and equally collected" Its not that I fear that the federal government should go without any significant portion of what it currently collects. By the way, a great part of that total is "hidden" for a reason. It's easier to pick your back pocket than to ask for your donation.

No. The question I have is this, and I would be happy for anyone to answer, as no one has ever done. In the burgeoning Internet community of cummunication and commerce, will not a significant national sales tax fairly beg a consumer to buy offshore, rather than in America? My concern is for a potential great hit that could be taken for American commerce.

How would the tax be collected on goods shipped into the United States from foreign providers so that they would compete equally with American vendors? I honestly don't have an answer? The best solution I've been able to imagine is for the US Government to simply collect an at least approximately per capita tax directly from state governments and leave states to collect taxes as they will, which may well vary in the choice and practicability of individual states.

The bottom line really is that many(not all) of the ostensible operations of the federal government should be undertaken by the states or lower governments, if at all, which should be for the individual states to decide. Within a closer jurisdiction, the people are better able to decide what works best for them. The United States could become a great buffet of public service packages for citizens to consider when they contemplate a move.

But, I'm anxious to hear other ideas. Email me at perrault@sbcglobal.net . Meanwhile, here are links to YouTube videos of Mike Huckabee at a Fair Tax rally in South Carolina and a more personal discussion.

Larry

Mike Huckabee addresses the Fair Tax Rally

The Fairtax proposal to replace Income Taxes with National Sales Taxes on all consumer goods. http://www.fairtax.com (more)

9 comments:

Lee said...

There are several states that are already equipped to collect taxes on things you buy out of state, when you move from one state to another. Kentucky, for example, collects the difference between the sales tax you paid on your car when you bought it, and the one percent extra that they charge, when you register your vehicle. I'm sure that there are ways the US Customs service could collect taxes on goods that are shipped into this country that have been purchased outside the country. Everything that comes in must come through Customs before being shipped on to the purchaser, anyway. Surely a relatively inexpensive system of collecting federal sales tax on everything coming in could be developed.

Huckabee's position on this particular issue is quite attractive. In fact, more than any other single position he has taken, many of which are more or less conservative standards, this one stands out. He's also going to face the same kind of opposition to it that Forbes faced when he proposed his flat tax idea. The party establishment froze him out.

Larry Perrault said...

I've had other conversation on the topic, since this post, too, and I'm a little more comfortable. Yes, some will find ways to cheat, but they always do.

I really think states should collect the tax and forward it to the federal government. In truth, this should put some push behind a 10th Amendment inclination to move our thinking closer to home.

Anonymous said...

All other tax proposals pail in comparison to this excellent proposal on the following website:
www.ElectronicFlatTax.com

That tax proposal replaces all taxing agencies at all levels of government that require accounting and other paperwork.

No accounting, no filing of tax forms, no invasion of privacy, no audits.

A brilliant proposal that will have difficulty being accepted by all the legislators that built our current 65,000 pag IRS tax code and have received millions in contributions from the lobbyists that obtained tax loopholes and subsidies for their special interest employers.

Alf

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