23 thoughts on “Kevin Wade Fields Fair Tax Questions on the Angel Clark Show”

  1. Name the author of this quote:

    “Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions or property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there are in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. If for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be provided to those excluded from the appropriation.”

  2. Jefferson–obviously from this isolated quote he would like the FairTax. It exempts the basics through the prebate and taxes above that. Glad to have you aboard.

  3. Don’t get all excited about the “Fair Tax”. It’s a non-starter. No way it can work. No chance it will ever get traction. Probably might get a better hearing if they name it something else anything but Fair Tax. That reverse psychology Madison Avenue stuff in too clever by half.

    How do you name a system where a person making $1 billion and a person making $100,000 pay the same? Or a person makes $10 million buys a $10 million dollar house with it and pays no federal tax. Call it anything you want – but Fair Tax – that name is so old school Soviet thought bending it’s almost anti-American.

  4. Well if the only way your 1 billion dollar person would pay the same as the 100k person would be if they invested all of it and created jobs, but spent almost 0. I am okay with that. I don’t care if you pay taxes or buy a billion in government bonds either if investing in job creation is not your style. If you do not spend your money, your heirs will.

  5. David, the trouble is, the Federal Government needs money to operate the public sector. I agree it would be nice if we all found ways to pay zero taxes and just had all that money to buy stuff and make jobs. But that is not realistic.

    Not sure where you get this theory that the money people “invest” creates jobs. What if they invest in Mexico? The plan is not workable. It’s nothing more than the old national sales tax packaged as some kind of panacea. It really is snake oil. Maybe we could combine the Fair Tax withe Laffer Curve: You don’t pay tax on your $75 million bonus until you spend it all on “stuff” and the less you spend the less money the Federal Government collects – so eventually the Government will collect more because rates are lower. That’s about how all this double talk ends up. Double talk. Works out to be very very regressive. The need for rebates or maybe government purchase stamps for lower income folks would be a nightmare. Figuring out what is essential or exempt would make it totally political. Even figuring out who is poor enough for exemption. Is there a form for that? Will there be deductions? Will a disabled person get a break? Or if you have three kids in college? Getting a tumor removed would not be taxed? But maybe eyeglasses are? Maybe sunglasses not taxed if you have an eye disease? How about food? Taxed or not taxed. Are Dunkin Donuts the same kind of food as bread? Would a restaurant meal be taxed? Maybe if there are some answers to obvious questions people might consider it. Like capital gains question- the Google twins sell $100 billion in stock and no Federal Tax until they buy what? If they buy a personal AirBus in Europe do they pay the Europe tax and the US sales tax? Are their forms for that? Agents to oversea things. If you vacation to Grand Canyon is all going to be taxes, would it be better to vacation in Costa Rico? Lots of questions.

    Don’t see how anybody could support a plan where the name of the game is to avoid Federal tax.

  6. The present tax system is way way more fair to the average working person than this is. The current system is human being centered. Government distinguishs between a single person making $75,000 and a married couple with five children making the same amount. The family of 7 pays less. As does the family with two children in college. Or the family with extreme medical bills. The person living on social security is giving exemptions on that income. The present system has been calibrated over many generations to take into account an individual taxpayers ability to pay. The national sales tax, is blind to individual needs. Government needs to be more individual centered, not less.

  7. If they buy a personal airbus in Europe and bring it back, they will pay a U.S. tax. Now why would someone buy something in Europe to pay higher taxes to avoid lower taxes? You want to pretend reality does not exist. The first national government funded by a sales tax on record is Ancient Egypt. They did alright.

    Consumption taxes are used all over the world. This refinement based upon the American experience takes care of most of the problems. We are not talking about an idea that has no experience behind it. We are talking about something that we have found tried and true in the U.S. for around 100 years. It is a refinement by some of the best economic minds in America and backed by some of the most highly acclaimed experts in the field.

    Did people in Australia stop making purchases or Canada, or Europe when they added a consumption tax? It is not like we have no experience with this. This is subtracting a ton of existing taxes and replacing not adding a national sales tax that is uniform and simple.

  8. If they buy a personal airbus in Europe and bring it back, they will pay a U.S. tax.

    WHOA! When did this become part of the fair tax?? What a money grab! Are you telling me now that stuff i but overseas is subject to this fair tax?

    Of course, I would buy it overseas, sell it to my mother for a dollar, and then buy the used airbus back from her. No tax on a USED airbus!

  9. I love how something that’s completely untested has no potential flaws in David’s eyes. I’m sure he’d show the same fealty to any untested plan as long as a conservative told him it adhered to conservative principles.

    Here’s how to tell the difference between a true conservative and a radical: A true conservative is cautious about implementing any change, even one that comes from a “conservative” source.

  10. This Fair Tax is a waste of time, another position paper which should not be public policy.
    Anyone who bases a statewide campaign on this issue is forgetting reality.
    Man the De GOP is out of touch.

  11. David, sure consumption taxes are nothing new – but replacing the income tax and the capital gains taxes with a consumption tax is not just new – it calls for a fundamental transformation of America. As you know that is serious business.

    From what I heard Kevin say, he thinks we can collect a lot more money from foreign students, illegals, and drug dealers. It’s a way of getting all those exchange students in school to pay their fair share I suppose – while the hedge fund guy pockets $5 billion and pays only on the Rolls Royce and the Rolex he buys.

    Kevin says the tax is on retail only, not wholesale. How do you tell the difference? How many hands must goods pass through before they are at the retail level? Then the business of used goods. That mean anybody buying anything used pays no tax. That hedge fund guy can buy a used Jet. Used cars will be a great deal. How does a new car dealer make his cars used?

    David – this is not a workable idea. It will be an embarrassment to us because it is so so full of holes. Get out while you still can.

  12. If all you want to do is eliminate taxes for the rich, the House already passed that plan. Why bother with all this sales tax and rebate stuff?

  13. Angel wasn’t as up to speed on the fair tax as she probably should have been before having Kevin on, so she didn’t know what questions to ask and which points to challenge. Without asking challenging questions, the interview becomes more of a lecture and quasi-infomercial. And that’s fine if it’s what you’re going for.

    Larry King used the exact same method for interviewing. He refused to read the books his guests had written because he said he wanted to be in the same position the viewers at home were in; i.e. they know nothing about it yet.

    In my opinion, that method of interviewing leads to a very shallow conversation. A few callers had the beginnings of real questions, but not the forum to really hash them out.

  14. Tax on retail sales only? How about BJ’s wholesale? If a retailer sells something in quantity at a price low enough to be resold is that wholesale? Or if wholesale means only one step from the manufacturer does that kill other downstream distributors. First thing I would do is change my retail outlets to factory wholesale outlets. Americans are soo clever at dodging taxes this would be a field day. Probably have to double IRS staff to police this one.

  15. “It really is snake oil.”

    That’s okay. Snake oil is one of those “biofuels” that Kevin Wade wants the state to force us to use.

  16. For Alpha in 13, why is that the rich pay the vast majority of the taxes in America?

  17. Alpha #13…

    Nonsense. Liberal class warfare garbage.

    The top two percent of wage earners pay one half of all federal taxes.

    The top half of wage earners pay 91% of all taxes. Many wealthy pine for the days of Clinton when the top half of wage earners paid only 87% of taxes.

    Under the Fair Tax, they will pay even more, because they can spend more.

  18. Thanks Michael. It was too late for me to look up the figures. Why is it that liberals keep repeating the same nonsense about the rich and taxes? Yes, the rich should pay taxes. But what does that have to do with anything? They already do.

    It is also true that the Federal Government should go on a diet. And, note, for the defenders of big spending: When you go on a diet you don’t hack off a limb or remove an organ. You cut down on the fat a little here and a little there. When you lose weight, you lose a little bit of fat stored in nooks and crannies all over your body. You don’t cut off an entire part of your body.

    So it is with the Federal budget, State budget, or even Chris Coon’s former NCCo budget. It’s not about ending entire programs wholesale, usually, but trimming the fat here and there.

  19. “Yes, the rich should pay taxes. But what does that have to do with anything? They already do.”

    And the point is they should go back to paying at the level they did before the Bush tax cuts. Under Bush, for the first time ever, we went to war while cutting taxes. If you don’t want to stick your grandchildren with paying for the money you’ve already spent, then you go out and raise more money. That’s the difference between tax-and-spend and borrow-and-spend.

  20. “The top half of wage earners pay 91% of all taxes. Many wealthy pine for the days of Clinton when the top half of wage earners paid only 87% of taxes.”

    The new figures are the result of the Bush tax cuts. I wish you guys would make up your minds — you want lower taxes, but when you lower taxes on those who pay little, they end up paying nothing. Are lower taxes good, or are they not? Are you saying that the Bush tax cuts should have been ONLY for the top 50%? That would have been a nice political message to send, and might have cost Bush a second term.

    By the way, Michael, your formulation holds only for income taxes, which are only half of the money the federal government raises. And — here’s a math update for you — while their percentage of the total has gone up, their actual payments have gone down. The easiest way to make figure lie is to deliver them in percentage figures.

    And, last but not least, one big reason 50% pay no income taxes is that 50% of wage earners in the US earn $30,000 or less. Let me repeat that: Half of all wage earners are making do on about $577 a week or less. They already pay payroll taxes, gasoline taxes, sales taxes in most states, real estate taxes if they own any (they pay through rent if they don’t). How much federal income tax do you think they should pay?

  21. Why the heck would anybody be hot on seeing the bottom 50% pay more federal tax? That’s nuts.

    Peter asks why the top few pay most of the taxes. It’s because the tax system we have now bends over backwards to be fair. If you make the most you pay the most. If you have a big family with lots of kids you pay less. If you are just getting by, you hardly pay any income tax. This new national sales tax is not able to discern the uniqueness of each individual situation as the present system now does to the benefit of those with special needs, special circumstances. It’s a one size fits all, blind to everything but collecting money.

    Presently, a 75 year old retiree living on social security and pension pays no income tax. The new plan wants to change that. Wants him to pay an extra 23% if he needs a new water heater.

    People at the top will pay less, people at the bottom more. A $60,000 family with four kids two in college and a mortgage pays just about nothing in federal tax now. With a national sales tax they pay on everything they purchase.

    The class warfare cliche is pretty worn out. Radio Leader Limbaugh has been drilling that into heads for 15 years. Polly wants a cracker. Class Warfare. Profits are evil. We know the lingo. The cliches are a poor substitute for policy analysis. Class war is what you get when too many people are too poor. What’s happening now is a debate over taxation.

    Nobody promoting this bad idea ever did answer any nuts and bolts questions, like who figures what is wholesale or when does a new an item become used? Or the effect a national sales tax would have domestic travel spending. Seems to me it would be cheaper to vacation outside the USA. Or charitable contributions. And how exactly will those exemptions for the poor work? Do you get a special ID card to identify yourself as poor at the store? Is there a limit on what you can spend?

    Michael says he has a hunch people who get $40 million dollar bonuses spend it all. That gives you an idea of what kind of thought has gone into this. That hedge fund guy making $3 billion a year spends it all on jewelry boats and cars according to Michael.

    How the heck do people get so passionate about half baked ideas? I have a half baked idea: lets make all the states the same shape. Change the boundaries so the USA is all laid out on a grid system. It will make everything simple. Forget the details. This is a winner. Don’t ask any questions. Let’s do it. That, and a national sales tax just on retail new stuff to replace the progressive income tax and capital gains tax.

    Is this really what Tea conservative think tanks come up with? Fundamental transformation of America on a hunch.

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