Another False Tax Attack (And One That's Just Deceptive) - FactCheck.org

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A Sales Tax Attack

Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is also attacking Burns with another ad claiming that he seeks to impose a 23 percent sales tax on groceries, gasoline, medicine and other goods.

It’s true that Burns has voiced support for the so-called "FairTax" proposal, which would impose a national sales tax that proponents say would be 23 percent. He did that in an interview with a conservative blogger in 2009.

But this ad is quite misleading because it fails to mention that the FairTax proposal would also repeal the federal income tax entirely and do away with the Internal Revenue Service. It would also eliminate gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare and self-employment taxes. But anyone viewing the DCCC’s ad could easily conclude that Burns favored slapping a 23 percent sales tax on top of all existing taxes, which is not true.

Burns isn’t really pushing the FairTax proposal very hard, either. In his 2009 interview, he said it would be impractical to implement it quickly, even though he favors the concept.

Burns May 14, 2009: I would love to ultimately see the FairTax implemented. I’m not at this point ready to say that I am an advocate of the FairTax right out of the gate. I mean, ultimately I would love to see the FairTax implemented in the United States. I’m just not sure that we can go from where we are today to the FairTax: I just don’t know that that’s practical. But I would love to see us get there.

The FairTax idea is highly controversial. It was rejected in 2005 by President Bush’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, which examined the idea in detail. The bipartisan panel calculated that a sales tax would have to be set at 34 percent of retail sales prices to bring in the same revenue as the taxes it would replace (not 23 percent). It also concluded that "middle-income Americans would pay a larger share of the federal tax burden" under the proposal. See also our 2007 article "Unspinning the FairTax."

[Ed: The irony is they also twisted the FairTax in order to condem it. Rebuttal here.]

But whether the FairTax is a good idea or a bad idea, characterizing it as a 23 percent sales tax without also mentioning that it would replace all other federal taxes is a deception.

The full article is published here.

 

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