by Ronnie Spangler
Herman Cain and Bill O'Reilly have both proposed adding a National Sales Tax onto the backs of American consumers. This is a bad idea that only the wealthiest Americans can afford. Both men have the idea that Congress can simply eliminate the Federal income tax and install the National Sales Tax with a simple bill written by Congress and signed into law by the President. Life, politics and our Constitution are not that simple. Both men say they could restrict future Congresses from raising the amount consumers paid by requiring future Congresses to pass any new increase with a two thirds majority vote. This cannot happen. No current President or Congress can completely tie the hands of future Presidents or Congresses. At the beginning of every new House and Senate term the rules are written and decided by the majority. If a new Congress decides a simple majority will be enough to pass any bill, including one that would raise the rates of a National Sales Tax, then the rates will be raised.
It was the 16th Amendment that gave us the Federal Income Tax and it will take another amendment to replace or repeal that amendment. It is true Congress can raise or lower the rates but even Congress is limited on how far they can actually go.
Herman Cain's idea of 999 will not eliminate the federal income tax, at best it would be lowered but add the consumption tax on top of it and all he has done is increased taxes onto consumers. Basically its political talk for fuzzy math. Some of the candidates are calling for lowering the income tax by rewriting the tax rules and charging everyone a fair tax of between 18% to 30%. By lowering the income tax to 9% and adding a 9% consumption tax Mr Cain has done nothing more than increased the taxes on lower income folks to 18% and lowered taxes on the wealthy to 18%.
Wealthy Americans like Bill O'Reilly, that have corporations or businesses, will not pay sales tax on most of the big ticket items they purchase. Unlike the average consumer they have the advantage of purchasing items through their business and avoid paying state sales tax, I would expect the national sales tax would be no different.
If supporters of a national sales tax or consumption tax are serious then the first step would be to write an amendment that would replace the income tax with a consumption. The consumption tax could only be imposed after the income tax was eliminated. With all of the other taxes, fees, surcharges and hidden taxes the average American consumer has to pay we cannot afford another new tax.
Take a look at your state. Look at all of the taxes, fees, penalties, surcharges you are paying. Now look at all of the hidden taxes in your electric, gas, water, transportation and property you are forced to pay. Some states and local governments call them fees for services, some counties have an additional school tax on top of sales and property. Some others have excise or wheel taxes. After adding every tax, fee, or surcharge in your state ask yourself if you can afford another tax on everything you consume.