Does the federal government have a basic right to extract a specific percentage of your income -- or a comparable sales tax amount? Obviously not -- because only individuals have rights, and they don't include forcibly taking from others. If it is wrong for one of us to steal, a group of people doesn't suddenly get that right. But how do we fund the basic protective functions of government while allowing us to prosper as much as possible? That is the real question we should address.
America was sparked into independence by a tax revolt. The British crown was making their extractions on items like tea and documents, and the colonists said "enough is enough!" So we dumped cases of tea in Boston Harbor in protest. That was an authentic tea party -- in contrast to the rather-feeble media-managed spectacles we saw recently. (No, Rick Perry -- aka Governor Gardasil -- is no friend of freedom!).
You should also consider that the taxes we faced back then, were miniscule compared to what we face today. It was the principle of "taxation without representation" that was being opposed. And it led to the creation of the first nation to be "conceived in liberty" for the individual -- where government is supposed to serve us and not the other way around. So what went wrong along the way?
For most of our early history, federal taxes (Constitutional tariffs and duties) were fairly limited -- resulting in great prosperity. Once in a while we'd have another revolt, like the Whiskey Rebellion. But then the Civil War broke out -- after the North tried to destroy the South through tariffs. Lincoln also gave us our first income tax (bad idea!). And he enhanced the legacy of a strong federal government that still plagues us today.
In 1913 the Sixteenth Amendment was (supposedly) passed -- but there is also evidence that it didn't get the required support from enough states to pass. (See Aaron Russo's last film, 'America: Freedom to Fascism'). The income tax was instituted in tandem with the Federal Reserve Act -- basically to fund international bankers and NOT the federal government. (Read G. Edward Griffin's book 'The Creature From Jekyll Island' to see how this happened).
The income tax was sold with the "promise" that it would only take a small percentage from most people, but you can clearly see how that promise has been broken. Now the feds inhale as much as 50% of what we create. And automatic withholding (thanks, Milton Friedman!) of income / SS / Med. program taxes gives them your money before you even see the first penny! (Withholding was a WW2-originated initiative which still plagues us today).
So how can we tame this whole beast? Many have tried but the tax code just seems to get more complicated and intrusive, continuously micro-managing and social-engineering us under a mass of paper.
More than a few presidents have proved the value of tax cuts (incl. Coolidge, JFK & Reagan) but the reductions didn't seem to stick around for very long. And presidents like Clinton and now Obama, pass tax credits but shy away from real rate reductions that would immensely help citizens and the economy. Still, at least Obama has kept the door open to future tax reforms.
So what is this Fair Tax and why is it such a fraud? First of all, it would enact a 23% national sales tax WITHOUT getting rid of social security and Medi-taxes. So then you'd really have both barrels of the federal shotgun pointed at your head! It would be like giving tax-prisoners another ball-and-chain -- one on each ankle. I can hardly think of a worse situation to be in. But wait -- there's more!
The Fair Tax would end up tracking every single economic transaction made by Americans. Can you say totalitarianism? This is supposed to deal with the black market economy, but it would only be pushed further underground -- if not destroyed along with the rest of the private economy. And every citizen would be basically treated as a welfare recipient -- so you could get that big personal sales tax exemption that's another selling point of the "Fair Tax." (For a time I even thought it would be a cool idea to give everyone one of these magic electronic exemption cards to use at stores. What was I thinking?).
The fundamental question here is, why would we want to replace a tax system that was never fully ratified in the first place, and which already ensures our servitude? The Constitution specifically prescribes indirect taxes (like tariffs and duties) as the formula for prosperity.
The reason that America has been so incredibly prosperous in the past, was that our taxes were low. We also didn't allow international bankers to reduce us to servitude, as Tom Jefferson warned us about. And we had stable money backed by actual precious metals, so we could be sure what our hard-earned dollars were worth.
Instead of passing a misguided Fair Tax, let's work to get real limits on government spending and taxes. States generally have balanced-budget requirements, with some of them even sending a specific percentage of revenues back to the people as tax cuts. And supply-side economics does make sense -- lower tax rates lead to more revenues over time, from a more prosperous economy.
To expand freedom, prosperity and opportunity -- we need to constrain the state and its insatiable appetite for what we create with our honest efforts.
Ultimately we should be working toward a society where all problems are solved through voluntary means. Making criminals and trespassers pay the full cost of their transgressions, would then be the way to pay for government. Ideally then, most of us would no longer be plagued by taxes.
Let's work diligently to move in that direction -- instead of succumbing to the siren song of the phony Fair Tax! (Also read Claire Wolfe's important article on this issue).