Opponents of the FairTax -- Complainers but Do-Nothings

Suppose you could get them all into a room to create a new tax reform approach...

The following was sent by a FairTax Volunteer. It exposes the naysayers for what they are: Do Nothings!

William Gale, The Brookings Institution
Dale Jorgenson, Harvard University
James Poterba, MIT, and member of the President's Tax Reform Panel
Lindy Paul, former chief economist of Joint Committee on Taxation
Bruce Bartlett, conservative columnist and former economist with the Reagan administration
Rich Lowry - National Review
Jay Bookman - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Allen Buckley - Attorney and Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate
John Suggs -- Ed itor, Creative Loafing Magazine
Robert McIntyre -- Citizens for Tax Justice
Any editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page

That's an interesting and comprehensive list of FT opponents. I could not help but wonder what the outcome would be if you could get them (plus the author of the article) in a room together and asked them to agree on a tax reform approach which would address

1. the AMT
2. the spiral of complexity and higher compliance costs
3. the crisis in SS and Medicare
4. the trade deficit
5. the federal budget deficit
6. etc, etc

I know that the author has his own version of tax reform which abolishes corporate taxes (except for payroll), the AMT and makes up the revenue somewhere else. That proposal has one supporter that I am aware of - its author. It does not address the issues listed above in any meaningful way.

Then you have Dr Jorgenson, who has his own version of tax reform he calls "the efficient taxation of income" if memory serves. I would be willing to bet that after selling his books for many years and promoting it constantly, he has not more than 100 supporters.

Dr Poterba was on the President's panel which produced a report which was ignored by the White House which commissioned it, the congress which would have to enact it, and the general public. That proposal also basically ignored most of the economic issues enumerated above and contradicted its own interim report, the title of which was " America Needs a Better Tax System". That report was nothing less than a scathing indictment of the current system; it was a summarization of the input they received from the American public.

Jay Bookman is on the editorial board of a newspaper which regularly publishes articles about the economic challenges listed above but consistently fails to address solutions, other than imploring legislators to "do something". That newspaper has opposed the FT, even though it is the most comprehensive and effective way to address these issues.

The WSJ is in Steve Forbes' hip pocket and continues to tout "the flat tax" as if there were a single version of a flat tax that flat taxers rally around. They ignore the fact that "the flat tax" has been around for decades now and is on life support politically. Their only bill in the house is the Burgess bill, which is not revenue neutral and therefore will never be seriously considered by congress and has a grand total of six (6) co-sponsors. "The flat tax", of course, does not address the economic challenges listed above nearly as effectively or comprehensively as does the FT, regardless of which flavor of flat tax one supports.

I could keep going, but here is the bottom line for me. Unless and until the critics of the FT come up with a better way to approach these economic challenges that we face, I will continue to support it. If you put all these guys in a room and told them they could not come out until they reached a consensus, they would all die in that room.


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