Sunday, May 22, 2011

Conservatives call for federal tax on consumption

TEA partiers call for and end to the income tax in Fair Tax law

Imagine an end to April 15 tax woes, the elimination of income taxes.

Nearly half of Americans – 43% - would support a national sales tax; only 38% oppose replacing the income tax with the Fair Tax, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports.

Like most tax concepts, the issue breaks down along party lines. The majority of Republicans polled – 52% - think taxing consumption would be more fair; 44% of Democrats share their opinion, and 49% of unaffiliated voters prefer the Fair Tax over the Federal Income Tax authorized by the 16th Amendment. The proposed system would eliminate tax filing for 100 million wage earners, reduce the IRS tax rolls to about 14 million, and remove the need for complicated calculations of deductions and accounting of receipts for medical expenses, mortgages and income properties.

Fair Tax is an idea that has been languishing in the House Ways and Means Committee since the 106th Congress of the 90's, studied by Presidential commissions, supported by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and aroused passions on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate chambers.

Supporters call it more equitable; detractors think it's regressive and singles out the middle class to pay the majority of the tax burden – 23% on each $100 of purchases - while it skips over the wealthiest income earners and subsidizes consumers who earn below the poverty level. The rate would be adjusted annually based on the amount of federal revenue collected.

The U.S. Tax Code would be replaced with a document of 133 pages; gone would be the dozens of volumes that contain all the complex regulations governing federal taxation. Adoption of the Fair Tax would abolish the Internal Revenue Service and establish a bureau of excise tax in the Treasury Department. It would spell an end to payroll deductions for income tax, social security, and medicare; capital gains taxes would be a thing of the past, ditto corporate income taxes.

Guest speaker Jim Wright will give it a go Monday at 7 p.m. at the Central Texas Conservatives meeting, to be held at the Temple Library. TEA Party advocates promise to make the issue one of constant discussion in the election campaigns of 2012.

“If you would like to see the IRS gone and get 100% of your take home pay and only pay taxes when you decide to purchase something, then don't miss this presentation. No more income tax, no more IRS, no more keeping and filing and reporting thousands of receipts, just an additional sales tax. Think of it!” said Elwood Smith, chairman.

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