Huck and the Fair Tax [Rich Lowry]
Lots of reaction to my column from the FairTaxers, of course. I haven't been able to go through it all. But here's a Letter to the Editor from Ken Hoagland from FairTax.org:
Is it really "daft" to insist that the bad of idea the income tax system, universally despised by the public and condemned by experts, be replaced with the better idea of a thoroughly researched national retail consumption tax? From inside Washington it might seem so. But outside the beltway, people like the FairTax as much as it is disliked inside. Why?
The public understands the FairTax proposal and in growing numbers have embraced it as the solution for an unfair politics and profit-driven income-tax system that damages the national economy and is an annual taxpayer torture. They understand better than Mr. Lowry that "embedded" income taxes already inflate the price of new homes and everything else we buy. They understand that only defenders of the current system insist that income tax rates be expressed in "inclusive" terms with the FairTax rate expressed differently.
Manipulation of the tax code is big business in Washington and when that business is threatened some are perfectly willing to distort the idea. But judging from the audience reaction to Mike Huckabee's mention of the FairTax at the last GOP debate, the public sees through these distortions. Mr. Lowry needs to have more faith that self-government can actually work when left to the people, despite the efforts of the self-interested to blatantly mislead.
And I need to make a correction and a clarification. The prebate checks would not be based on income as I said. Also, I should have made it clear that the tax would apply only to the sale of new homes. My apologies for those mistakes. Otherwise, lots of people are sending e-mails getting into arcane issues about the tax that I just couldn't address in a 650-word column.
12/04 05:31 PM