Monday, February 28, 2011

Inability to Develop Real World Solutions

The Fair Tax is a pipe dream delusion. From Fair's own website, we learn that "The FairTax is replacement, not reform. It replaces federal income taxes including personal, estate, gift, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, self-employment, and corporate taxes."

These ninnies must not have any understanding of either the constitutional process or political strategy. They must not realize that the Federal income tax was instituted by amendment to the US Constitution, and that to replace it would require a new amendment. The 16th amendment reads:

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. (Source) A proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution as soon as it is ratified by three-fourths of the States (38 of 50 States).

The proponents of the Fair Tax reveal themselves to be incapable of developing real world solutions. We will never, ever see a constitutional amendment to repeal the 16th amendment. There is just no chance that 38 states would ratify it, nor would 67 Senators vote for it.

There are only three reasons that I can discern as to why politicians and pundits would support the Fair Tax.

1. As stated above, the supporters of the Fair Tax just don't understand the Constitution. But the amendment process is such an easy concept to grasp that it would take a middle school drop out to fail to grasp this. It is hard to believe that Huckabee and company are really this stupid.

2. The idea of the Fair Tax is floated by those (I'm looking at you Huckabee) who are incapable of developing real world solutions. They lack the depth of thinking and reasoning to address the serious issues that our country faces. So they cook up a silly scheme that looks great at face value, hoping that the masses of voters who really don't take the time to research issues for themselves will be gullible enough to believe this fairy tale. This way, they can claim to be offering solutions and ideas, but without facing the responsibility that would ensue if their ideas were actually implemented. It's the best of both worlds for the intellectually vacant. This scenario is the one that I most believe accounts for the rise of the Fair Tax cult.

3. The politicians who back the Fair Tax know that they can't actually get the 16th Amendment repealed, but hope to pass some version of the Fair Tax before a repeal of the 16th Amendment comes to a vote. If they pass a new tax before the income tax is repealed, then they manage to institute another burdensome tax while being able to claim that it was the opposition who killed the amendment procedure. This last theory is pretty far fetched, and frankly, sounds Beckian. Nonetheless, one has to wonder if someone who loves taxes, like Huckabee did in Arakansas, isn't really pushing the Fair Tax as a means to increase taxation.


Right Wingnut said...

I have another theory on Huck's promoting of the Fair Tax..

Mike Huckabee on Taxes

...I suspect that his history of raising taxes may have something to do with his constant promotion of the Fair Tax. Much like Obama appointing a Deficit Commission, he's attempting to divert attention from his less than stellar record on the issue at hand...

More on Mikes tax record...

Mike Huckabee is NOT a tea party candidate

Dave said...

If there was any way to get there from here, the FairTax would be my number one issue. It would turn this country into a job-creating machine. It would give us trade surpluses from now until forever. It would wipe out tax-dodge "investments" and put that money to work. It would cause virtually every dime parked overseas to avoid taxation to come back home and get invested in America's future. It would eliminate entire professions, such as tax lawyers and accountants, and save us the vast majority of the IRS's budget, and put most IRS employees back into the private sector doing something productive, for a change.

By dramatically increasing savings and investment while reducing consumption, it would give us our future back.

But there's no way to get there from, instead of supporting Huckabee, my candidate is Mitt.

DanL said...

Rightwing, those are good blogs you wrote on Huck and taxes. I am not really a fan of CATO, but that F they gave him is just to much to wriggle away from. That is a very valid argument that you make about Huck using Fair Tax as a diversion away from his bad record.

Dave, I could have gotten behind the Fair Tax if it had been proposed before the 16th Amendment was passed and as an alternative to the 16th. Fair Tax has merit...until we come to the sticking point, which is repealing the 16th Amendment.

Right Wingnut said...

Dan, Thanks. A lot of it is old news, but people have short attention spans, so it needs to be repeated over, and over, and over again.

Anonymous said...

Fair Tax = CYA for Huck--since day one. I've been saying this for years, it's more than obvious.


Anonymous said...

The fair tax is supposed to create revenue, yet it is pretty evident that the amount of money it will cost to just implement the system is a waste. All there needs to be is a simplification of the tax code by use of a flat tax.

I mean, why demolish an entire bureaucratic program just to replace it with an entire new bureaucratic program? Doesn't make much sense. Not to mention that the fair tax only works in a consumer based economy...which we are but I wonder how that will change just to avoid paying the higher taxes. I wonder how many shipments will start falling of trucks and how much more powerful organized crime will become in this nation...via black market purchases. Also what happens when businesses start dealing in cash transactions "only?"


Granny T said...

I read that it was never legally ratified. Google 16th amendment never ratified. How hard would it be to repeal it if it was really never ratified in the first place?

Does anyone really think that we wouldn't get support to repeal it anyway?

DanL said...

Granny T, I really can't believe that it wasn't ratified. That sounds too conspiracy theory to me. As to repealing, it would only take 13 states refusing to ratify a repeal and it would be dead. It would take 38 states to ratify to repeal.

Here, let me list 13 states that would be sure to not ratify:

California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachussetts, Maryland, Deleware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin...

Oops, I went over 13. I apologize for that.

Pablo said...


I am so glad that you are writing again. You nailed this one out of the park. The Fair Tax is simply a way for Huckabee to avoid the discussion about his record in Arkansas. It is a distraction from real policy debates.

wesley said...

Pontificating is dangerous. One evidence of pontification is name-calling. Another is that you always end up saying things that are wrong. You said:

"These ninnies must not have any understanding of either the constitutional process or political strategy. They must not realize that the Federal income tax was instituted by amendment to the US Constitution, and that to replace it would require a new amendment."

And the people at the FairTax site say:

"Can the FairTax really be passed into law?
Do women have the right to vote in this country? Did we pass Prohibition? Did we repeal it? Passing the original 16th Amendment and the income tax wasn’t easy and repealing the income tax and the 16th Amendment won’t be easy either. That is why the FairTax has undertaken to build a grassroots movement and grassroots alliances to support the effort..."

Whether you agree or not is irrelevant.

So, will the so-very-concerned-about-the-facts Pablo print a retraction?

DanL said...

Wesley, Pablo didn't write this blog, I did. And why in the world would I print a retraction? You failed to point out anything factually false in my blog. All you did was spout more pipe dream delusions from the Fair Tax Fairy website.

I see that I need to write a blog on how amendments to the US constitution are passed.

wesley said...

DanL, sorry about that. Pablo shared the blog with me and I just assumed he wrote it. I know he writes here occasionally, but it did seem out of character. Thanks for the correction.

And if you don't think I've pointed out anything false then I will say nothing more.

Oh, and for the record, I don't support any kind of a Fair Tax.

DanL said...

Wesley, glad to know you don't support the Fair Tax. Yes, I do call people names sometimes, it is a failing of mine.

I will still address the constitutional amendment process in a future blog. As well as the arguments you quoted from Fair