I've stated my problems with the FairTax proposal in previous articles here and here. But libertarians can take a great deal of joy in knowing that the thousands of readers of the Neal Boortz/John Linder best-selling book are being exposed to some excellent, fundamental points and facts which they would otherwise rarely encounter.
The following is a comprehensive recounting of the good to be found in The FairTax Book:
The progressive income tax is noted as a major plank in Karl Marx's ten-point plan for a communist society (p. xx1) as are government schools (1).
Tax confiscations are limited only by the people's willingness to tolerate it; politicians have no limit to what they would take (10).
The U.S. survived with no income tax for most of its history (10).
The intended federal system, with 95% of the governing at the local level and a mere 5% by the national government, is noted (1011).
Citing Thomas Woods, it is noted that the war of 18611865 was not a civil war, but a war for independence from the national government (11).
The sordid history of the income tax, based on the work of Arthur Ekirch, is recounted in detail (1130).
It is routine for politicians to give a bill a deceptive title (12).
Charlotee Twight is referenced regarding the history of the withholding feature of the income tax (23).
Corporations don't pay taxes; only individuals do (3237).
The high cost of tax compliance is noted (3950).
The employer's share of Social Security and Medicare is actually paid by the employee (42, 125).
The IRS helpline gives out faulty information as a matter of routine (48).
Taxes add significantly to the cost of goods we buy (5160).
Corporations move offshore to avoid the high US tax rates (6267).
The fraud of the Earned Income Tax is noted (83).
The politicians have the audacity to call any money they don't tax away from those earning it, "tax expenditures" (96).
Milton Friedman is quoted on the relation of economic freedom to freedom in general (109110).
Knowledge of the tax code is the lobbyists' intellectual capital (114).
There have been ten thousand amendments to the simplified tax code of 1986, all to the benefit of those lobbying for the changes (115).
Unearned income is set off in quotation marks to indicate the phony distinction between it and earned income (126128).
James Bovard's book Lost Rights is recommended (145).
An entire chapter is devoted to IRS outrages (139146).
Milton Friedman is quoted on the ill effects of a Value Added Tax (154).
Congress can be depended on to spend every dollar it gets its hands on to fund vote-buying programs (136).
Frank Chodorov is favorably cited as a champion of liberty (175).
America became great due to the freedom of the people rather than due to government programs (176).
All of these facts show all the more reason to GET RID OF THE INCOME TAX. But why replace it with another government program that we know from history will only create more government growth and fraud?
Next article: what's offensive in this "libertarian" book.
November 4, 2005
Jim Cox is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Lawrenceville Campus of Georgia Perimeter College and author of Minimum Wage, Maximum Damage.