Taxes, taxes, taxes
Craig links to a George Will column extolling the virtues of a national sales tax bill being proposed by John Linder, a Republican House member from Georgia. The proposal is for a nationwide 23% sales tax, and would abolish the IRS and, therefore, the lobbyists on K street. We'd replace the lobbyists with a thriving black market. In Erie County of New York State, as it currently stands, our sales tax would be 31.25%. If I buy a computer at $2,000, that's $625 in sales tax. If I buy a car for $25,000 (pretty cheap, nowadays), that's an extra $7,812.50 in sales tax. Which will be financed. Over the course of years. Yippee. If I buy a $40 shirt, that's really a $52.50 shirt. What they'll do, of course, is what they already do in Europe and mark the prices with the sales tax included, so it's not in your face. Except when a German buys something with 16% VAT, he's got paid health care with that. Even a Canadian with 15% (in Quebec, close to 20%) sales tax gets national health. If you want to abolish the IRS and K Street, all you need to do is lower the income tax rate, abolish all deductions, and do the old Steve Forbes tax-on-a-postcard proposal. Only you can't make it flat for everyone: 0-10,000 income = 5% 10,000 - 50,000 income = 10% 50,000 + = 15% Corporate = 15% Or something along those lines. I'd also abolish the income tax on social security income, for good measure. The only way this thing sells is if they take Republican Congressman Sensenbrenner's wonderful words in support of universal health care, and implement them: "the measure of a nation's commitment to the sanctity of life is reflected in its laws to the extent those laws honor and defend its most vulnerable citizens." Indeed.