Supporters of the fair tax plan cheered as a squad of Congressional candidates, three Libertarians and two Republicans, feed a mock-up of the 700,000 plus pages of the U.S. Tax Code into a wood chipper Saturday at the N.C. State Fairgrounds.
B.J. Lawson, Republican candidate for U.S. Congress District 4 provided and operated the wood chipper. Libertarians Dr. Mike Beitler, candidate for U.S. Senate, Tom Rose, candidate for U.S. House 2 and Lon Cecil, candidate for U.S. House 12, and Republican Bill Randall, candidate U.S. House 13, feed in the faux tax code pages.
“We the people have to run over the tax lobby in Washington,” said Laura McCue, a volunteer director of the N.C. FairTax group, organizers of the Shred the IRS Tax Code Rally. She said that the political commentators who tell fair tax supporters that the reform “is never going to help” is an example of the “distance and disconnect” between the “political class and the average American.”
The fair tax plan is a comprehensive proposal that would begin by abolishing all federal income and payroll-based taxes. This would include personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes. They would all be replaced with a single federal retail sales tax, administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.
The fair tax plan also includes what proponents call a “prebate” to insure that “all Americans consume what they see as their necessities of life free of tax.” This monthly check would be sent to every registered household in an amount calculated by multiplying the annual poverty level spending by the fair tax rate.
The fair tax plan is designed to be revenue-neutral, meaning it would neither increase nor decrease the amount of money already collect in taxes by the federal government.
A spokesman for Sen. Richard Burr, who was not present, said the senator is a fiscal conservative and had recently agreed to co-sponsor the fair tax bill (SB 1025).
“If Senator Burr is a fiscal conservative, then I must be an extreme fiscal conservative, because I would not have voted for TARP,” responded Beitler in his remarks. “I’m proud to be an extremist on this issue.”
One of the reasons he said he supports the fair tax plan is that it would eliminate “checkbook audits,” an experience he suffered many times while working as a CPA. “I sat across from my client as an IRS agent went line-by-line through their checkbook,” Beitler said. “If that is not a gross invasion of privacy, I don’t know what is.”
He said he also supports the plan because it would encourage savings and increase jobs, as companies moved operations back to the United States from overseas to take advantage of the abolition of the corporate income tax.
Cecil, Rose, Randall and Lawson pledged to co-sponsor the fair tax bill currently in the U.S. House (HR 25). “The IRS is becoming more of an Infinite Revenue Seizure agency for any revenue enhancement that Congress and our president can muscle through Congress,” said Ceci
As a libertarian, Cecil said that although he believes in eliminating most taxes, as long as there are taxes the fair tax is more direct and equitable. “It is based on sales, what you buy, not what you make in wages and income,” he said. “Your wages are yours to keep.”
Rose agreed that the fair tax is not ideal, but it’s a step in the right direction. “It will get the conversation started,” he said. “I support the fair tax plan because it will eliminate the need for the IRS and is so much better than our present federal tax system.”
Both libertarians agree that conversation should be about the real issue, which is cutting spending.
“If we don’t quit spending we’ll never catch up,” Cecil said. “But if Congress finally has the will to pass the fair tax, we’ll finally have people in place to cut spending. They won’t have the unlimited spending ideas in the current Congress.”