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03/05/2004 Archived Entry: "National sales tax will make us all welfare weenies"
THE TERM "USEFUL IDIOT" COMES TO MIND any time I hear some well-meaning person advocating a national sales tax. My lord, even supposedly pro-national-tax articles like this one make it obvious what sort of catastrophe the badly named "fair tax" would be.
Yet efforts to inflict the tax upon us are moving steadily ahead. Supporters say they expect to have 100 congressional sponsors of their scheme by (oh, the irony!) July 4.
Aside from the fact that the income tax won't actually go away if they pass this monster (and anyone who believes it will is stunningly naive) ... aside from the utterly disruptive, destructive impact of a 23% national tax that punishes us for buying and selling ... aside from the black markets and tremendous corruption such a system would generate ... aside from the fact that everyone's savings (especially those of old people) will end up being double-taxed (even if the income tax actually, by some miracle, was completely abolished) ... aside from the fact that there is absolutely no such thing in this world as a "fair" tax ... aside from the fact that a limited government doesn't need either the income tax or a national sales tax to operate ... this scheme contains -- as an intentional part of its structure -- a plan to put millions of Americans, including formerly proud and independent people, on monthly welfare from the fedgov.
Yes. Everybody below a certain income level (and how will they determine that? through income-reporting, naturally) will receive a monthly check from the fedgov. It's a "rebate" check to pay them back for the estimated amount of tax they paid on food, clothing, and other necessities. But no, it isn't. It's simply welfare, to make everyone more dependent.
(This would, incidentally, defeat people like me. I can avoid the income tax by, among other things, keeping my income modest. But if my major monthly expenses leaped by 23% overnight, I might not be able to survive without surrendering to the goverment and accepting their effing welfare dependency. In a post-"fair tax" U.S. could you survive without federal welfare, you young parents with children, you college students, you disabled people with low-wage jobs, you formerly proud-to-stand-alone homesteaders and homeschoolers?)
I've been hoping to write a full article on the multitude of outrages and catastrophes this "fair tax" would inevitably bring down upon our heads. Haven't had time. But I did interview Katherine Albrecht, who has her own -- and terrifying! -- ideas about how the national sales tax ties in with RFID chips and purchase tracking. That monthly rebate check business ... it's so inefficient (never mind so demeaning). Let's do away with it in favor of adjusting individuals' tax levels at the checkout counter according to their personal profile of income and expenses, which is of course contained in a federal database, keyed to the number on their implanted chip.
And then, of course, for the sake of the children, and the War on Obesity, and to prevent the nationwide Epidemic of Irresponsible Consumption, let's adjust that 23% tax -- just a wee bit, you understand, and never for frivolous purposes. Make it a 200% tax on margarine and meat and certainly on McBurgers. Or, are we "going Atkins" this year and putting the heavier tax on carbs? And naturally, guns ought to have a 1000% tax. And oh, those wicked SUVs ... But on the other hand, the products of Archer-Daniels-Midland and Halliburton and whoever else gave us huge campaign contributions this year, now those products, being essential to the security of the United States and the very future of Freedom itself, should only be taxed at 12% ...
If we end up with a national sales tax, I predict we'll shortly look back with glowing nostalgia on the days when we had only the income tax to rule our economic lives.
It's beyond comprehension that so many otherwise-intelligent people are marching enthusiastically toward this black abyss, waving the banner of freedom. The national sales tax would be the biggest boon to the state -- and the worst catastrophe for individuals and free markets -- since the income tax, the federal reserve, and the New Deal/Great Society/21st-century Nanny State combined. Its unprecedented opportunities for manipulating markets, breaking politically incorrect industries at will, raising government revenues, and controlling and monitoring the lives of individuals are giving Big Brother an orgasm already. And some freedom lovers are for it.
Unbelievable. If you think the 20th century was the century of the state, just wait until we get the national sales tax -- complete with its perpetual War on National Sales Tax Cheats and all the bureaus, auditors, and ninja thugs needed to wage that war upon us.
Posted by Claire @ 08:00 AM CST