The “National Retail Sales Tax,” also known as the “Fair Tax”
proposal, has been scheduled for a long-awaited hearing in the House
Ways and Means Committee today, though
critics claim supporters of the measure are “not serious” about passing
the popular income tax rollback.
H.R. 2525, sponsored by Rep. John
Linder, R-Ga., would eliminate all
federal income and payroll taxes, to be replaced by a 23 percent federal
retail sales tax collected only once at the point of final purchase.
Used items and business-to-business transactions would not be taxed, and
families would receive pre-paid rebates for taxes charged on necessities
such as food and medicine.
The Department of Health and Human Services annually calculates the cost of necessities for
families. Under the provisions of H.R. 2525, a check would be issued at
the beginning of every month that equals the department’s figures up to
the poverty line.
“There is no better deal for the American family, and Congress is
becoming increasingly aware of the popularity of this measure,” said
Keith Appell, spokesman for Americans for Fair Taxation.
One Democrat source told WorldNetDaily the Fair Tax proposal is “a
joke,” and that Republicans do not actually want to see the bill pass.
The source referenced additional tax exemption measures being
concurrently pursued by the GOP as evidence that the Fair Tax’s purpose
is for dramatic affect.
But Appell disagreed, saying, “AFT has 150 local chapters with
275,000 members in all 435 congressional districts. No other tax reform
plan has that kind of deep grass-roots support.”
Additionally, concurrent pursuit of multiple bills on a single
subject is common practice in legislative arenas. Frequently, a
“drastic” proposal will be made — in this case, substitution of the
federal income tax with a national sales tax — while other, less
extreme measures will be pursued that make more moderate changes to
existing law. Such practice ensures the existence of legislative
options when one or more of the bills fail.
“The folks inside the Beltway are status quo people,” said Appell.
“It didn’t used to be that way. The country was around for 130 to 140
years before the income tax. But the establishment would have you
believe it’s always been this way and always will be.”
“Even under the British crown, we had no income tax,” Appell added.
Co-sponsored by Minnesota Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson, the bill has earned bipartisan
Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson is co-sponsor of the Fair Tax,
“This is the best and most well thought out idea that I’ve seen to
simplify the tax system, and I think it would do good things for the
people and the economy,” Peterson said. “It is fair, easy to understand,
easy to administer, and it will eliminate the hassle of dealing with the
A spokeswoman for Rep. Robert Matsui, D-Calif., a member of the Ways and Means Committee,
told WND the congressman will not formulate a position on the measure
until testimony is heard today.
Linder believes Americans should simply look at history to find
justification for elimination of the income tax.
“Our tax system is the single biggest impediment to people reaching
from the first rung of the economic ladder to the second,” Linder said,
“because the harder you work, the more you save, the more you invest,
the more we take.”
“We should get away from the notion of taxing what people put into
society, their productivity, their job creation, their work, and tax
what they take out of it, their consumption,” he continued.
“Now, people will say this is hurtful to the poor, because they spend
all of their money on necessities, to which my response is this: They
are already paying a 22 percent cost to the IRS in everything they buy.
We are going to get rid of that imbedded cost,” Linder explained. “But
beyond that, I do not believe anybody should pay tax on necessities.”
Provisions of the Linder-Peterson Act are similar to those advocated
by presidential candidate Alan Keyes, who favors a national sales tax.
Republican presidential candidate and former ambassador, Alan
“The income tax is a twentieth-century socialist experiment and it
has failed,” says Keyes on his
campaign website. “Before the
income tax was imposed on us just 80 years ago, government had no claim
to our income; only sales, excise and tariff taxes were allowed.”
“The income tax in effect makes us vassals to the government — the
politicians decide how much income we can keep. No mere ‘reform’ of this
slave tax, such as flattening the rate, can correct its fundamental
denial of control over our own money. Only the abolition of the income
tax itself will restore the basic American principle that our income is
both our own money and our own private business — not the government’s.
“Replacing the income tax with a national sales tax would rejuvenate
independence and responsibility in our citizens. True economic liberty
and moral revival go hand in hand,” Keyes said.
The Ways and Means Committee is
scheduled to hear testimony about the Fair Tax today at 10:00 a.m.
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