If Taxation Was More Transparentby Stephen Littau
This YouTube video humorously illustrates some of the hidden ways we are taxed. The ad was created by David Zucker (one of the brilliant minds behind the Naked Gun movies) for the 2006 campaign to warn viewers of the Democrats plans to raise taxes higher than any point in American history. Unfortunately, it seems that Zuckerâ€™s predictions will come true, particularly if the Democrats can hold both houses and gain the presidency in 2008 (but the Dems wonâ€™t call it â€œraising taxesâ€ but â€œrolling back the Bush tax cutsâ€).
I am not sure where Zucker stands on the Fair Tax but his video raises some issues that might be alleviated if the Fair Tax became law. Sure, the Fair Tax would not require the taxpayer to put coins in a meter or anything like that but we would have a much clearer idea of the taxes we pay than we do now. As it stands now, we pay all kinds of hidden taxes. When taxes are raised on businesses, the businesses raise prices to maintain their profit margins. These increased prices are ultimately paid by the consumer. Also think about what you are really paying in Social Security payroll taxes. The number on your pay stub is only half of what you are actually paying. On paper, your employer pays the other half but in reality, this is money your employer could be paying YOU instead of the mythical Social Security fund.
When you consider these hidden taxes, you are paying your normal withholding from your paycheck (which most people barley notice), your Social Security, your employerâ€™s Social Security, and Medicare while on the other end; you are paying a hidden sales tax. If the Fair Tax does nothing else, it at least gives us the honest amount of taxes we are paying. We can quibble about the 23% and wish it was more on the order of 10%, but we at least know how much the government is taking.
Of course our representatives do not want us to know what we are actually paying. In this way, they are much cleverer than the British who taxed the colonies to pay for the French and Indian War. As we learned in history class, the items the colonists bought required a stamp which informed them of the amount they were expected to pay the Crown. This begs the question: how would history have changed had the British disguised the taxes the way our government does with our current tax code? Would there have even been an American Revolution if the taxes the colonists were paying were not so transparent?
Dare to be Fair
To learn more about the Fair Tax and how you can help, visit www.fairtax.org