Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“In 1765, Parliament passed the Stamp Act, which, as any American high school student can tell you, was an act that apparently had something to do with stamps.”     Dave Barry

July 24, 2006

“Fair Flat Tax” is Neither

by Brad Warbiany

Oregon Senator Wants to Take On the Burden of Fixing the Tax Code

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has made it his mission to force Congress to rewrite the entire tax code. If he succeeds, every interest in town would take one side or the other in what would be the biggest legislative battle in years.

Last November, a presidential advisory panel headed by former senators Connie Mack (R-Fla.) and John Breaux (D-La.) recommended that Congress lower tax rates, reduce paperwork, and pare back or eliminate most tax breaks, including popular deductions for home mortgage interest and employer-provided health insurance.

Wyden’s plan would also end many individual tax advantages but, in contrast to the panel’s proposal, would keep many of the code’s most popular preferences, including the home-mortgage and health-savings deductions. Wyden’s Fair Flat Tax Act would lower taxes for millions of middle-income families, in part by raising taxes on some corporations and also on wealthy people with significant investment income — which the president would likely oppose.

So Wyden wants to soak the rich, and his tax is far from flat. I think this is another failure of “truth in advertising” when it comes to congressional legislation.

Obviously to anyone who’s been here a while, I’m a big fan of the FairTax. That notwithstanding, though, it really sounds like Wyden is proposing a tax that has only the most popular exemptions included. While that may be politically expeidient, it’s not fair, nor is it flat. It’s probably a good proposal, and if he didn’t call it the “Fair Flat Tax”, jumping on the name recognition of the two most popular tax reform proposals before him, I might like it.

But the “Fair Flat Tax”. How’s the Holy Roman Empire doing these days?

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6 Comments

  1. I find myself responding to this article more because I want to thank the author for telling it like it is rather than taking real action to do something truly meaningful.  Senator Wyden’s propsal to raise taxes on corporation is just another example of people letting themselves be fooled into raising their own taxes.  Since corporations only pass on these taxes as a business expense, they don’t really pay them; we do.

    Now I think I go back to my letter writing campaign to make sure my own elected officials know that I want them to support the FairTax, regardless of thier party affiliation, or lack there of.

    Comment by John — July 25, 2006 @ 2:53 pm
  2. Anyone trying to redistribute wealth using ANY modification of the existing code is seriously deranged. Only when we stop taxing ourselves and corporations to death will true growth and competition emerge. The FairTax is the ONLY option. Period. But only a wholesale turnover of our current do-nothing-but-line-their-pockets Congress based on a groundswell of righteous indignation will result in the FairTax being passed. Tea party anyone?

    Comment by Mark — July 25, 2006 @ 3:40 pm
  3. Senator Wyden, the Presidents Tax Commission and so many others miss the basic point. We don’t need more taxes, we need more tax payers. The FairTax adds the illegal aliens, those in the underground economy, the illegal economy (drugs, prostitution, etc.) tourists and business visitors to the United States to that tax base.

    Comment by Duane Neighbors — July 25, 2006 @ 3:56 pm
  4. Hopefully, the senator from Oregon will come to his senses to favor the FairTax! It’s a real chance for Democrats to help restore their “American Dream” for middle-class Americans!

    Robert J. Ransom, Jr.-ChFC
    Chartered Financial Consultant (Retired)

    Comment by ROBERT J. RANSOM, JR. - ChFC — July 25, 2006 @ 5:40 pm
  5. I guess the crew here doesn’t believe that “Taxation is Robbery.” http://www.mises.org/etexts/taxrob.asp

    Comment by John Newman — July 25, 2006 @ 6:08 pm
  6. The crew here aren’t anarcho-capitalists. We believe in limited government, not no government. Governments must function on taxation. Think necessary evil.

    Comment by IndianCowboy — July 27, 2006 @ 4:39 pm

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