I have been an advocate for the Fair Tax for almost a year.
(I used to promote a flat tax, but an explanation for
that change of heart is forthcoming…)
In my occasional use of Twitter, a few weeks ago I mentioned
the Fair Tax in a tweet (one of a series of tweets) to a
conservative who was promoting Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
Naturally, I was espousing the virtues of Gary Johnson.
A third individual – who enjoys trolling the “Twitterverse” for
#FairTax mentions – using the handle @FilmCriticOne
and goes by the moniker Mark DC injected himself
into the exchange out-of-the-blue with a string of tweets. It
was a rather spirited conversation (the
link doesn’t display every single tweet, unfortunately), full of
colorful commentary on Mark DC’s part. I thought I had managed
to shake him loose, but it was only for a few hours.
By the time the cyber-dust settled, I had reasoned that even if his arguments
are accurate and reliable regarding the specifics promoted by
Tax-dot-org, I still fully believe in the concept of a
fair tax, even if it’s not the
Fair Tax presently being touted.
But wait! There’s more...
What continued to linger in my mind in all my silent deliberations over
the Fair Tax were the contents of a pair of Mark DC’s later replies to
He posted, “Those ‘provisions’ are 3/4 of it’s [sic]
revenue...from city county and state ‘expenditure’ taxes.”
and, “If you remove ‘those provisions’ you have
to triple the tax rate.”
For a time after reading that specific portion of his feedback, I knew
I was missing a very important point – and it would turn-out to be one
he had unknowingly raised. While on the surface it may not seem
reasonable to tax federal, state, and local government expenditures and
the numbers he presented initially appear startling – making it an easy
red flag for him to wave – the epiphany eventually hit me.
Disguised as outrage over a supposed “fraud” was his real driving
force: fear that is intense enough to wedge his knickers into a knot.
What it boils-down-to
If Mark DC’s assertion is correct – that almost 75 percent of revenues
generated from the Fair Tax as it is presently written would come from
taxes on government expenditures – then the absolute last nugget of
knowledge the Progressive Left in America wants entering the popular
consciousness is this: public-sector consumption is outpacing
private consumption three times over!
Of course, there is some truth in popular discourse over the fact
Americans have become too accustomed to excessive consumption of goods:
from electronics to automobiles to various novelties. And, we are
reminded endlessly of the ruthless avarice of the corporate world.
But, if the Fair Tax were to be enacted and if the numbers being
trumpeted by its opponents such as Mark DC accurately reflect the
actual revenue streams, Americans would have statistical evidence at
their disposal of how much government in general consumes in comparison
to the overall private sector – to reiterate: three times the
rate of consumption by government at all levels in comparison to
consumption rates in corporate America and by individuals combined.
As that conversation would take-on a life of its own, we could expect
to see a rise in the number of residents in almost every conceivable
jurisdiction who begin to demand government spending be reined-in – as
opposed to clamoring for higher state and local taxes to offset what
would be due to the U.S. Treasury.
And, as public sentiment turns against Big Government, the libertarian
movement will pick-up even greater steam.
So, thank you, Mark DC. As a Progressive, your impassioned criticism of
the Fair Tax could be a Libertarian’s best argument for it.