LETTER: Sales tax is a fair tax

  • Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Friday, February 24, 2012 8:40 a.m.

In Victor Reilly's letter of Feb. 20, "We need a fairer tax," it was unclear what Reilly considers fair. Recalling his previous letters, I assume he wants the wealthy to pay their fair share, which is liberal-speak for "as much as can be squeezed out of (them)." I believe our current tax isn't fair because it's neither simple nor transparent. Most of us have no idea what we owe until we spend a week accumulating receipts, receive all year-end statements, buy Turbo Tax, and start plugging numbers into the computer. Wouldn't it be nice to know (throughout the year) what it costs us to fund the federal government? I support the fair tax, which eliminates all income-based taxes and generates revenue from a consumption tax on new goods and services. While not perfect, it's a lot more fair than schemes that tweak tax codes by the political party in control, re-select winners and losers, buy votes from sub-groups, while adding tax complexity. The fair tax doesn't punish earnings, savings, investments or wealth. Instead it tends to reward responsible behaviors like saving, investing, re-purposing, buying used items, growing food, etc. There would be no advantage to hiding income in foreign banks, building products in low taxation countries or hiring a herd of lawyers to find loopholes in the latest tax laws. Consider the following analogy: Imagine a speed limit on Whiskey Road that isn't posted, varies according to who's driving, allows higher speeds for newer vehicles, fluctuates according to who's in charge, etc. This is our tax code. It's not simple, it's not transparent, and it rewards or punishes behaviors unequally (and politically). As with most everything in life including traffic laws and taxation - simpler is better (and fairer). Richard EichlerAiken

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