Huckabee Hits Back at Frum

July 9th, 2010 at 11:59 am David Frum | 63 Comments |

| Print

Midweek, I published a piece on the potential strengths and weaknesses of a second Huckabee candidacy for president. Yesterday, Gov. Huckabee responded with a vigorous emailed defense against three of the questions I raised. With the governor’s permission, his rebuttal is posted in full below.

- David Frum


*    *    *


Hi, David—usually I like your stuff and typically don’t respond to things written about me no matter how off the wall they are (and there are plenty of those things.)  But because I respect your usual good writing and attention to facts, I must say that I was very surprised at the column this week.  You raised some interesting questions, but I have to take exception to your answers, which would have been decidedly different had you obtained the answers from sources other than those which were manufactured during the campaign by political opponents and then repeated as “fact” from that point forward.  On 3 questions you raise, I hope you’ll indulge me a first person response:


Is he appropriately discerning on policy? Huckabee based his presidential candidacy in large part on his advocacy of the so-called Fair Tax, a national retail sales tax that could supposedly substitute for the income tax and put the IRS out of business. This idea is not half-baked — it has not even approached the vicinity of the oven. (See here for a devastating critique by Bruce Bartlett.)  Huckabee’s advocacy of such an idea warns of a lack of policy skepticism, a susceptibility to schemes that sound good on first hearing — dangerous attributes in a president.

–It’s unfortunate that you have not read the actual Fair Tax bill introduced in Congress by Congressman John Linder or the book he co-authored with Neil Boortz.  The Fair Tax was the result of nearly $20 million of research from some of the top economists from Boston University, Harvard, and other credible universities.  What doesn’t approach the oven is the laughable “analysis” by Bartlett, who obviously failed to understand the Fair Tax when he decided to condemn it.  Most of the critics who deem it to be bad policy reflect something between total ignorance and misinformation to the point of gross distortion.  I am more than willing to defend in details the tenets of why it would be better economic policy to cease penalizing productivity and burying business people in compliance law in exchange for a simple and transparent tax on consumption.


• Is his religious appeal wide enough? Faith-based politics is fine. But Huckabee’s support in 2008 often seemed sectarian. He says his words were taken out of context, but at least once in the campaign he seemed to criticize Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. This too-narrow religious appeal offended not only many American Mormons, but also a much larger group, Catholics, who readily inferred: “Huckabee, a Baptist, seems to disapprove of Mormonism as non-Christian. What must he think of us?”

I have not been critical of Mormons nor of Mitt Romney’s religion.  I’ve repeatedly stated that I did not think that Mitt Romney’s religious views or affiliation were a reason to vote for him or against him.  I have spoken often of my absolute admiration of Mormons in public office such as Michael Levitt, Orrin Hatch, and Jon Huntsman.  My conflicts with Romney had NOTHING to do with his religion or mine.  It had to do with his inconsistency on issues ranging from guns, abortion, taxes, health care, same sex marriage, mandates of the government, etc.


• Is he socially out of touch with modern America? On gay rights the country is moving toward a new consensus. On stem-cell research, the consensus in favor seems as solid as ever. Huckabee has chastised Indiana governor Mitch Daniels for suggesting that the country needs a “truce” on divisive social issues. Does that mean Huckabee will reopen these divides — with conservatives increasingly breaking off the smaller half of the wishbone?

Actually 2 polls this year (Gallup and Pew) reveal that for the first time since 1973, the prevailing view is pro-life and most interestingly because younger  women are more pro-life than their mothers or grandmothers.  As for same-sex marriage, it’s been on the ballot in 31 states, including CA and Maine (hardly right wing red states) and in EVERY state where people have decided, traditional marriage is upheld.  It is most noteworthy that in both African American and Hispanic populations, the support for traditional views of marriage is significantly higher than in the white population.  As for stem cell research, I enthusiastically support stem cell research—just not the increasingly discredited embryonic version.  It has been a common tactic of the left to confuse adult stem cell research with embryonic stem cell research, which is as honest as saying that approval of married adults having sex is the same as approval of 4 year olds having sex.


You are an influential force and worth hearing, but when the instrument is playing the song “off key,” it  lessens the appeal of the musician.  You normally play well.  I want you to hit the right notes!


Sincerely,

Mike Huckabee

Recent Posts by David Frum



63 Comments so far ↓

  • Rabiner

    buddyglass:

    This isn’t the 10th century where Jews and Christians were taxed by the Arabian Empire since they were not Muslim. No government will just indiscriminately tax you because of your citizenship with respect to sales tax. It’s far too easy to find people who wouldn’t follow the tax since who is going to write down what was bought by Americans and what was bought by Mexicans. It would totally kill tourism as well.

    “This would help to normalize the quality of life between these towns and their American halves, which would probably go a long way toward reducing border violence.”

    Your scheme has nothing to do with reducing border violence. The violence is due to drugs and human trafficking which would still remain very lucrative businesses.

    “It does tax people more who spend all of their income. At the same time, for those people, the prebate is much larger compared to their total income. You can’t ignore that when calculating the FairTax’s progressivity or lack thereof.”

    Actually you can since everyone receives the rebate. Only those who earn under the poverty rate end up not consuming the entire rebate through the tax. If the multiplier effect is regressive (M) then the rebate (B) will not make it not regressive in your basic MX + B linear formula.

  • buddyglass

    Re: Taxes on Americans in border towns.

    Yeah. In retrospect I agree that would likely not happen. I still think retailers in these towns would, as a group (though not in collusion), voluntarily raise prices in direct relation to the percentage of their customers who are American.

    Re: Ignoring the prebate.

    I agree that the FairTax is not regressive, and that this is mainly because of the prebate. In other words, you can’t ignore the prebate, since its existence modifies the overall tax rate for each income group.

  • Adakin Valorem

    Rabiner // Jul 10, 2010 at 11:19 pm
    “Adakin Valorem: The Fair Tax is stupid. It taxes people who are unable to save at a higher rate than people who have the luxury of having large amounts of disposable income. You even say it yourself: “Ignoring the prebate feature, if you earn 100% and spend it all on taxable items, you will have paid 23% of your earnings in tax scored inclusively.” Apparently you like the idea of a regressive tax in this country to pay for all of government, personally I think that is the stupidest thing you could do.”

    Rabiner: I take it that you didn’t read the post by Ken Hoagland // Jul 10, 2010 at 8:07 am . I also take it that you pull quotes out of context. Here’s my comment in context: “The FT people use 23% to be consistent with the tax that it replaces. If you are in the 28% tax bracket, when you earn 100% you take home 72%. That the “inclusive” tax rate. Same with the FT. Ignoring the prebate feature, if you earn 100% and spend it all on taxable items, you will have paid 23% of your earnings as tax scored inclusively.”

    The subject was 23% versus 30%, not whether the FT is regressive or not, but since you insist on claiming “The Fair Tax is stupid. It taxes people who are unable to save at a higher rate than people who have the luxury of having large amounts of disposable income.”

    If you earn 100%, the FT reimburses you for all FT paid up to the poverty level. If we assume that the indicated poverty level is $25,000, then the prebate feature refunds to you the $5,750 to your annual gross income.

    If you only earn $20,000/yr and spend every dime on taxable purchases, you’ve paid $4,600 in FT sales tax, but since you received $5750 in prebate, your effective net tax is a negative tax. You earned $20k, but after the prebate offsets the tax, you are ahead by $1,150.
    If you earn $25000/yr, spending all of it on taxable purchases, you’ve paid out exactly what the prebate refunds to you and your effective net tax is $0. The prebate of $5750 matches your tax.
    Earning $75,000 your effective net tax is ($75k – $25k) is 23% of $50k or $11,500. $11,500 is 15.3% of $75k.

    Earning $150,000 your effective net tax is ($150k – $25k) is 23% of $125k or $28,750 and $28750 is 19.2% of $150k.

    Earning $1,000,000 your effective net tax is ($1000k – $25k) is 23% of $975k or $224,250 and $224,250 is 23% of $975k.

    But all that is just theory. In reality, taxpayers in each and every one of the above income levels can pick and choose what they wish to buy, save or invest.

    Granted the higher income earners have more opportunity to invest and save, while those at the lowest rung of the income ladder spend all of their earnings just on the necessities of life. But even they will buy a USED car or other used (i.e. non-taxable) items simply because they have little to work with.

    The $20k/yr or $25k/yr worker may choose to buy a used car for $3k or $4k. Or choose to spend $500 on tuition at the local Tech School so as to get a better job. Suddenly the effective tax rate for that low income worker reduced by their using untaxed dollars to buy that used car, or pay for that tuition. Four grand for a car and $500 for school lowers the amount spent on taxable items do $15.5k for that $20k worker. That means she only spent $3,565 in FT tax, but is still receiving $5,750 in prebate payments. The FT puts $2,185 in that low income person’s pocket over and above the amount of tax paid due mainly in how that person chooses to spend their earnings.

    The FairTax puts the individual wage earner in control of just how much taxes are ultimately paid while the prebate remains a fixed static rate based on what is considered “poverty” in that geographic location. Personally, I’ve never purchased a new car, nor have I ever bought a new home, my boat was four years old when I purchased it. I believe that regardless of income level, people will make their choices that are best for their own situation and in their own best interest, without having first had their pocket picked by withholding taxes.

    Rabiner, what was it you were saying about the FT being stupid? And taxing people who are unable to save at a higher rate than people who have the luxury of having large amounts of disposable income? Can you explain that part to me?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Support the Congressional Candidates that Support the FairTax…. And send the rest home next November.

  • Rabiner

    “Granted the higher income earners have more opportunity to invest and save, while those at the lowest rung of the income ladder spend all of their earnings just on the necessities of life. But even they will buy a USED car or other used (i.e. non-taxable) items simply because they have little to work with. ”

    That is exactly what I’ve been saying. It grants higher income earners the opportunity to pay a lower % of their income in taxes than someone who does not have the ability to save or invest.

    “The FairTax puts the individual wage earner in control of just how much taxes are ultimately paid while the prebate remains a fixed static rate based on what is considered “poverty” in that geographic location. Personally, I’ve never purchased a new car, nor have I ever bought a new home, my boat was four years old when I purchased it. I believe that regardless of income level, people will make their choices that are best for their own situation and in their own best interest, without having first had their pocket picked by withholding taxes.”

    I’d rather we not put it in their hands to dictate how much they pay in a given year outside of how much income they’ve earned that year. Letting people pay taxes only based on consumption is a recipe for income disparities to occur and arbitrage as well. It puts more of a tax burden on the middle class who exceed the poverty level of income but cannot afford to save or invest their remaining dollars. In addition the poverty level changes significantly from State to State, market to market but you’d want to use the same rate for everyone which would harm individuals living in more expensive states versus those living in cheaper states.

    “Inquiring minds want to know.”

    Obviously you don’t meet the standard since you’ve failed to grasp the basic algebra of the Fair Tax.

    “Earning $75,000 your effective net tax is ($75k – $25k) is 23% of $50k or $11,500. $11,500 is 15.3% of $75k.

    Earning $150,000 your effective net tax is ($150k – $25k) is 23% of $125k or $28,750 and $28750 is 19.2% of $150k.

    Earning $1,000,000 your effective net tax is ($1000k – $25k) is 23% of $975k or $224,250 and $224,250 is 23% of $975k.”

    That assumes you spend every dollar you make. Obviously that isn’t the case and thus the tax rate for an individual earning 1 million dollars is paying a lower rate than the person making 75 thousand dollars. The way you describe the Fair Tax in this quote is as the Flat Tax which is an income tax. The Fair Tax from what I’ve read is a consumption tax or sales tax which is far different and follows different principles. So as I said in my previous statement, the Fair Tax is stupid.

  • buddyglass

    I agree that the FairTax benefits the very wealthy more than it does any other group. That said, it isn’t a zero sum situation. It doesn’t hurt the poor or the middle class. If it doesn’t hurt those two groups, but helps the wealthy, then I’d say that’s still a net win.

    The FairTax calls for the abolition of the estate tax. One simple way to remove the “advantage” enjoyed by the wealthy, who save a greater portion of their income instead of spending it, would be to keep the estate tax, albeit at a lowered rate. Remove the minimum estate value before the tax kicks in (which I think is currently $1 million), but change the rate to match the FairTax rate (30%). Basically, create a scenario where, when you die, its as if all your savings were “spent” and taxed accordingly.

    The FairTax authors would probably balk at this, but it would still be a better “deal” than the current implementation of the estate tax.

    Edit: In retrospect, this may be kind of a bad idea. Having an estate tax necessitates all the annoying tax regs. related to “gifts”. You can only give so much to one person in a given year, etc.

    Side note: if I recall, the middle class already suffer the highest marginal tax rate of all income groups. If the same is true under the FairTax, then this group is no worse off than they are under the current system.

  • Adakin Valorem

    Adakin – “Granted the higher income earners have more opportunity to invest and save, while those at the lowest rung of the income ladder spend all of their earnings just on the necessities of life. But even they will buy a USED car or other used (i.e. non-taxable) items simply because they have little to work with. ”

    Rabiner’s response – That is exactly what I’ve been saying. It grants higher income earners the opportunity to pay a lower % of their income in taxes than someone who does not have the ability to save or invest.

    Adakin – Yes, the FT does grant higher income earners with the OPPORTUNITY to invest and save… but it also grants lower income workers with that same OPPORTUNITY to pay a lower % of taxes and thereby free up earnings for investments that otherwise could not have been afforded…such as educational tuition to learn better job skills, or simply saving some of that new income. Regardless of income level, the FairTax provides every income level with the ability to CHOOSE how they spend their earnings.

    It’s only logical that upper income earners would have a greater opportunity since they’ve accrued the assets in which allows them that choice. Most of those ‘evil rich’ at some point in their life were right down there with the rest of us, trying to struggle and earn a living. People become rich because they do the stuff rich people do. People in poverty are poor because they do the things that poor folks continue to do. But since we all live in a dynamic economy, everyone, rich or poor, have choices they can make.

    The main difference with the FT is that everyone gets to make pre-tax choices with earnings that otherwise would have been confiscated before they had any choice at all at how best to feed their family, provide clothing or pay the rent for them. Your criticism is based on a static analysis…that people are rich only because someone else is poor.

    If we assume that the low income worker under the current tax code has 10% of his/her earnings withheld for income taxes and another 7.65% withheld for FICA, then with the FairTax, that $17.65 of inclusive withholdings out of every $100 earned, equates to a real world “take home pay” increase of 21.4% over the $82.35 that this worker previously was bringing home. And that doesn’t even consider the 23% monthly prebate payment that refunds to that person the taxes paid for basic necessities by that wage earner. For lower income workers, the prebate could possibly double that 21.4% increase, thereby providing that worker with substantial opportunity to change their existing situation, either through saving this money that they didn’t have before, or investing in themselves via educational tuition to increase their earning ability.

    With the ‘windfall’ from bringing home 100% of their earnings plus the prebate income, lower income workers would discover new found opportunities to benefit themselves and their families. The FairTax provides that low income worker with far more opportunity to climb out of their cycle of poverty than does the current tax system.

    Recall that I said; “The FairTax puts the individual wage earner in control of just how much taxes are ultimately paid while the prebate remains a fixed static rate based on what is considered “poverty” in that geographic location.”

    Somehow you have interpreted my statement above as an endorsement of a blanket poverty level application nationwide when you said: “In addition the poverty level changes significantly from State to State, market to market but you’d want to use the same rate for everyone which would harm individuals living in more expensive states versus those living in cheaper states” – Rabiner

    Is there a reason why you wish to purposely distort the discussion?

  • Rabiner

    Adakin Valorem:

    “Most of those ‘evil rich’ at some point in their life were right down there with the rest of us, trying to struggle and earn a living. People become rich because they do the stuff rich people do. People in poverty are poor because they do the things that poor folks continue to do.”

    Because nepotism and who your parents were has nothing to do with it. The United States has one of the least mobile societies that pertains to socioeconomic status in the industrialized world.

    “Is there a reason why you wish to purposely distort the discussion?”

    It isn’t a distortion of the discussion if it’s a fair critique of the difficulties in implementing the Fair Tax in practice. In addition you’ll find that the way we calculate poverty must change significantly as we use a very outdated model from the 1950s to determine this level.

    “With the ‘windfall’ from bringing home 100% of their earnings plus the prebate income, lower income workers would discover new found opportunities to benefit themselves and their families. The FairTax provides that low income worker with far more opportunity to climb out of their cycle of poverty than does the current tax system.”

    You’re overstating the benefits significantly by talking of these wondrous new ‘opportunities’ low income individuals will have with their rebate. Everything will cost 23% more so that rebate is minimized as a benefit. In addition it will only help people earning under the poverty rate and those individuals will not be able to save or invest money with their rebate, they’ll instead spend it to cover day to day expenses.

    Buddyglass:

    “I agree that the FairTax benefits the very wealthy more than it does any other group. That said, it isn’t a zero sum situation. It doesn’t hurt the poor or the middle class. If it doesn’t hurt those two groups, but helps the wealthy, then I’d say that’s still a net win.”

    Should we have a tax code that benefits the very wealthy over every other group? I’d balk at saying we should and most other individuals would as well.

    Personally I like the estate tax. Taxes are based on two things: Ability to pay and will it affect a person’s utility significantly? Estate tax only targets those with large sums of wealth and therefore has little affect on their overall utility.

  • Adakin Valorem

    >>>Everything will cost 23% more so that rebate is minimized as a benefit.<<>>In addition it will only help people earning under the poverty rate and those individuals will not be able to save or invest money with their rebate, they’ll instead spend it to cover day to day expenses.<<<
    Again, what you say is valid only if you assume that the FairTax is an ADDITIONAL tax layered on top of the existing tax burden. But as the FT replaces the entire tax code and all of its expensive compliance requirements, your assumption that prices will increase is not reasonable.
    If the poor were somehow managing to get by on what they were taking home BEFORE the tax law changed, the new untaxed earnings and the prebate in their pocket would provide these folks with opportunities that they didn't have when they had only after tax 'take-home' pay in their pocket.

    Everything the poor buy today already has existing taxes already embedded within the product's production cost. The FT simply removes these 'hidden taxes' and replaces it with substantially the same amount of sales tax on the retail end, only with the FT, the tax is reflected on your sales receipt where everyone knows just how much our government costs us.

    RE: Estate taxes. The largest group of estates adversely impacted by the estate tax, aka “Death Tax” is the small family run business where the estate is primarily the family farm, or the Burger King franchise or some other similar small family run business.

    These businesses ARE the 'large sums of wealth" that the "Death Tax" hurts most, especially since such estates are composed of tangible assets instead of the “large sums of wealth” that you have characterized them as holding.

    When the ‘head-of-household’ owner of the family business dies, quite often it’s these primary assets that have to be sold off in order to raise enough cash to pay Uncle Sam’s draconian death tax. And once the family business is sold off, the employees and family that once worked there are displaced.

    In addition, the compliance costs associated with documenting and appraising the various tangible assets that may or may not total enough to trigger the death tax thresh hold are unnecessary with the FT. There are so many estate planning loopholes that are often implemented by costly estate planning lawyers and CPA’s that the actual asset value might not have actually exceeded the amount that would trigger the estate tax to begin with.

    In a macro sense, the costs associated with tax avoidance and/or compliance could have been put toward more socially productive goals such as growing the business and hiring more people instead of wasting it on tax advisors and accounting tricks.

    Why not Keep It Simple, pass the FairTax and let people CHOOSE to do what is in their own best interest. If ever there was a "Pro-Choice" tax bill, its the Fairtax!

  • Rabiner

    “If the poor were somehow managing to get by on what they were taking home BEFORE the tax law changed, the new untaxed earnings and the prebate in their pocket would provide these folks with opportunities that they didn’t have when they had only after tax ‘take-home’ pay in their pocket.”

    You fail to take into account the earned income tax credit which gives back all their taxes and in some cases exceeds it.

    “The largest group of estates adversely impacted by the estate tax, aka “Death Tax” is the small family run business where the estate is primarily the family farm, or the Burger King franchise or some other similar small family run business.”

    Farms and houses have large exceptions built into the estate tax.

    “Why not Keep It Simple, pass the FairTax and let people CHOOSE to do what is in their own best interest. If ever there was a “Pro-Choice” tax bill, its the Fairtax!”

    I have no problem with keeping it simple, hence why I argue for a simplified progressive income tax without deductions. But what the hell does ‘pro-choice’ have to do with the Fair Tax? Sounds ridiculous to me.

  • Adakin Valorem

    - “If the poor were somehow managing to get by on what they were taking home BEFORE the tax law changed, the new untaxed earnings and the prebate in their pocket would provide these folks with opportunities that they didn’t have when they had only after tax ‘take-home’ pay in their pocket.”

    You fail to take into account the earned income tax credit which gives back all their taxes and in some cases exceeds it. -

    Ahhh, you and I finally agree! Like I said from the very start, the FairTax is revenue neutral and just like your EITC example it can give back all their taxes and in some cases exceed it. But the main difference is CHOICE! With the FT, the wage earner chooses when taxes are paid. With the current system, the money is gone before you ever know it. Gone into a ‘loan’ that pays no interest on the funds that we beg to be returned. As a result, we live in a society that when asked how much we earn, most of us answer with our ‘take home’ pay.

    Then, once every year, the worker has the burden to go back to government and “prove” just how much is owed, and why (s)he should deserve to get whatever part of the confiscated booty that our complex tax law permits to be claimed back. How often do we hear of someone asking the IRS for a tax opinion and get conflicting answers from different people in the same agency?

    Given all the complex compliance costs and all the expensive ‘experts’ that must be consulted so as to direct that worker down the path of obtaining as much of the confiscated booty that the advisors suggest is allowed, we still must go back to the fed and beg for the amount of refund that we think we are due. Quite often, these compliance and consultation costs far exceed the actual tax revenue generated for the government. For example, small businesses and start ups typically pay two or three times more in compliance and consulting fees than they do in actual taxes revenue. Therein lies the inefficiency of the current system.

    The FairTax, on the other hand, requires almost no compliance costs on the part of the wage earning consumer. And that consumer has a CHOICE (there’s that word again) of whether to buy new or used items with their untaxed earnings. Or to simply save it, invest it or consume it.

    The FairTax also expands the universe of taxpayers…from the 120 million or so current tax filers, to each and every one of the 300+ million consumers that legally live here, plus the 12 to 15 million illegals that often are untaxed with the current system and the approximately 50 million foreign tourists, students and other such temporary visitors that will spend their earnings here.

    - “The largest group of estates adversely impacted by the estate tax, aka “Death Tax” is the small family run business where the estate is primarily the family farm, or the Burger King franchise or some other similar small family run business.”
    Farms and houses have large exceptions built into the estate tax.-

    Yes, they do have their own set of exceptions, but that has to do with depreciated adjusted basis and date of death (DOD) value for the beneficiaries.

    But the residual DOD value still has to be added to the estate residue for purposes of calculating the threshold for when the estate tax is due. That’s why the complicated field of estate planning is an entire specialized field in and unto its self. Trusts, life estates, gifting portions off to charitable trusts, passing on remainder interests, all in an effort to try to keep the family farm from having to be liquidated. And all to avoid paying the draconian ‘Death Tax’ (which can reach upwards of 55% of the assets that have had taxes paid when it was earned, taxes paid when it was held and now… taxes paid when the owner dies. And congress is forever adjusting that ever transient threshold that becomes a moving target by the political whims of lobbyists and congress.

    The FairTax is simple, pay the tax at the sales counter and abolish all other taxes on income, assets and wealth generation. The result would turn the US into the world’s tax haven with businesses flocking here to build their widgets and hire American workers.

  • Rabiner

    “Abolish Slavery, Pass the FairTax!”

    If you need to resort to hyperbole then you probably aren’t making much of an argument. If simplicity is the last argument you’re going to make and in your last comment it was then you’ve failed to show that the Fair Tax is the best way to raise revenue for the Federal Government. A simplified progressive income tax is far superior.

  • Adakin Valorem

    - “Abolish Slavery, Pass the FairTax!” If you need to resort to hyperbole then you probably aren’t making much of an argument. -

    By definition, if someone has a claim of ownership of your labor, your time and your livelihood it is a defacto claim of ownership on you…

    “We submit that forcible taxation on your personal income makes you a partial slave? For if you are legally bound to hand a certain percentage of your income (the fruits of your labors) over to federal, state and local governments, then from the legal standpoint you only have “some % ownership” of your person and labor. The pivotal point is whether or not ownership is ceded through voluntary contract. Have you any recollection of any deals you signed with the IRS promising them payment of part of your income? If not, then if 30% of your income is paid in income taxes, then you have only 70% ownership of Labor. You are a slave from January through April – a very conservative estimate at best, today!

    If one wants to stand on the U.S. Constitution as one’s foundation, then the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution can be used as an ironclad argument against a forcible direct tax on the labor of a human being. The 13th Amendment says: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

    The 13th Amendment makes it very clear that we cannot legally or constitutionally be forced into involuntary servitude. As such, we maintain that a human being has an inalienable right to own 100 % of Person and 100% of Labor, including control over how the fruits of his actions are dispensed.” (http://www.lewrockwell.com/yates/yates17.html )

    I’ve listed numerous macro-economic benefits of the FairTax over the current system during our dialog. Freeing the slaves from coerced taxation allows both rich and poor to choose what is best for their individual needs and desires.

    How would your progressive income tax not become just another tool of the politicians? If your example is similar to Reagan’s Tax Reform Act of 1986, that simplified semi-flat tax reform has ballooned over the past 25 years into the current 60,000+ page complex monster that we have today, facilitating legions of lobbyists on “K” Street each vying for the opportunity to use the tax code against their client’s competitors while gaining advantage for their clients.

    So, what are the macro-economic benefits of your “simplified progressive income tax”, in a comparison with the FT?

    Which tax system would attract foreign businesses and their jobs, to our shores?

    Which tax system would permit taxpayers to prioritize their allocation of earnings on the needs of their family versus the needs of their government?

    Which tax system would reduce or eliminate costly compliance expenses that contribute absolutely nothing to the intrinsic wealth of our nation?

    Which tax system would treat the worker as guilty until that individual worker first proves that he or she is innocent?

  • sdunn96

    Well said and laid out Adakin Valorem. I would like to see FT implemented, but I don’t see it being done….Partly because a lot of power would be given to the people and taken away from Government…..
    Plus I wonder if in the end it would be easier for the Fed. Government to raise the rate….