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The Flat Tax is Flat Stupid

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Message David Cox

Several Years ago as a resident of Gwinnett County Georgia I had as my state Representative John Linder (R) He had developed this off the wall plan, and he saw himself as a sort of Luke Skywalker and he was out to destroy the evil empire. His plan was to blow up the IRS death star! “But how master Luke they are too powerful?” His daring plan was to fly his X wing fighter to Washington and destroy the IRS with the “force” of a flat tax.


But young Linder was naïve, he couldn’t understand why the peasants wouldn’t rise up and join his quest. Then it came to him it’s not the plan they don’t like it’s the name of the plan they don’t like and he relaunched his plan into the heavens as the fair tax! Who wouldn’t support fair? How could you protest and say give me unfair or give me death! But young Luke still had much to learn being a back water Congressman in the resistance he joined forces with Neal Boortz (rhymes with dorks) a sawdust Rush Limbaugh conservative talk show host who would become young Linder’s Yoda.


Together with crayons and paper they wrote out their manifesto, it begins with “When Karl Marx wrote the communist manifesto,” Well that’s all I need to hear if the communists like the old system I’m agin it! I wonder what Karl Marx thought about puppies and birthday parties for small children? The problem Luke and Yoda explained, wasn’t with taxes the problem was the IRS.  Kind of like the problem isn’t the traffic lights and stops signs the problems is the cops! Loaded with such logic they set out to destroy the IRS death star and as you are aware in America you can sell almost anything.


Well we live in a funny country in America we have this desire for new and are willing  try anything new because we hate anything old. Old buildings, old people, old policies we will try even the most obviously stupid plan if we label it new. If I sold a million pet rocks and the sales begin to slump we’d then repackage them as New! And improved pet rocks.


Perhaps you don’t think the pet rock analogy is very fair, that means then perhaps you probably haven’t read their book or booklet. All the troubles of the world will just melt away with a simply 23% sales tax! Life will be wonderful everyday a sunny day Jews and Arabs will dance together in the streets. You see, they want to make America’s tax code truly voluntary! Why that’s perfectly fair, that’s voluntary and who could be against that? In fact that’s such a good idea lets make utility bills voluntary too! Taxes are used to pay the bills of government your not visiting a museum where they ask for a donation but maybe I’m just unfair and I should give it a chance.


They want replace today’s indecipherable tax code with a simple sales tax, let me say thank you mister, why last year there I was trying to figure out the depreciation amounts on my overseas investments when I got word of a fire in my condo in Aspen. Oh it was terrible what could I do? All these taxes to do a fire to deal with and I was scheduled to be back to work at Burger King in the morning, Say, that flat tax sound like a great idea! Why instead of all those complicated deductions I could keep the whole two hundred dollars a week wow!


I got so excited I went out to by a new Mustang, right at thirty grand but then the sales man explained with the new flat tax the purchase price would now be thirty eight thousand nine hundred dollars. An extra nine thousand dollars, so what, I get to keep the whole two hundred from my paycheck. The salesman explained with nothing down and zero percent financing my payments would be five hundred dollars a month. I said, “Let her roll big daddy I’m bringing home two hundred skins a week now!” Then he interrupted me saying if I financed the sales tax over five years my payments would be six hundred and forty eight dollars a month.


I was disappointed as I left the dealership I really wanted that car, the salesman seemed equally disappointed too, apparently I wasn’t the only one to discover the pitfalls of new wealth in a voluntary tax system. So I climbed in my old heap and went to get lunch but as I passed the gas station my jaw dropped where the price had been $2.89 yesterday today was $3.75 with the new sales tax. Almost a buck a gallon on a ten gallon fill up but that’s only forty bucks a month and after all I’m rich now. I went down to clown burger and ordered a Mcfat and sloppy combo and the guy tells me “That will be $6.81”

"What? It was $4.95 yesterday?" He pointed to a picture of a smiling clown holding a banner that read; don’t blame us you wanted it fair!


So as I sat there eating my combo and it occurred to me that now that I was rich I had better start spending my money wisely. I would follow the American dream and purchase a home that would be a great investment plus I’d get a tax deduction, no wait no I wouldn’t not any more but hey what do I care I’m rich! So I found this nice place and offered them 120 grand and they accepted but much to my surprise the final price of the home would be 156 thousand. Boy that threw a kink in the machine with the sales tax I would have to finance 36 thousand dollars at 7.5% interest for thirty years. That’s 20 thousand dollars interest just to finance the sales tax on my dream home. Well yes, the banker explained perhaps you could pay with cash?


Heck I’m rich now I exclaimed but I’m not that rich, I went home crest fallen here I was rich yet I couldn’t afford anything under this voluntary tax system! When I got home my mailbox was full of bills I can pay these at least, but they all had a new box on the invoices marked sales tax you see I was voluntarily purchasing electricity and water and natural gas and cable TV and a cell phone. I’ll be lucky if I have enough left to eat on I thought, I took my last hundred bucks to Kroger and bought the whole hundred dollars worth the cashier rang it up $131.00 “Huh?” I asked, “How do you figure that?”


 “A hundred dollars worth of groceries $23.00 Federal sales tax $8.00 dollars state sales tax”


 “But wait I thought the fair tax would get rid of state taxes!” He looked at me puzzled and asked, “Are you on drugs how could the feds and the state work together on something like that?”


And then It dawned on me I spend 100% of what I make voluntarily just trying to stay alive. I wonder what percentage of their incomes Bill Gates, Oprah or Dick Cheney pay just to stay alive? So I wondered what is going to happen to the economy if everything is taxed at 23% how will we survive?


Well to my relief none of my stock and bonds would be taxed and my parent’s estate tax would be done away with had it been over a quarter of a million dollars. And corporate income taxes would be done away with as well as the taxes on my dividends check and the gift tax would be eliminated! To me being a layman not having the wisdom of Yoda  Boortz or Luke Skywalker Linder it seems they’ve eliminated the death tax and replaced it with the life tax if you work to stay alive you pay it. Maybe a better name would be the Paris Hilton tax relief act if you were Paris Hilton this program is the greatest idea since the coke spoon but if you work for a living and voluntarily spend 100% of it trying to stay alive this is the worst idea since jalapeno hemorrhoid cream and as strange as it might seems I find myself pulling for Darth Vader.

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I was born and raised in Chicago in a liberal Democratic home my Grandfather was a labor union organizer my Father a Democratic district committeeman my Mother was an election judge. My earliest memories were of passing out Kennedy yard signs from (more...)
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