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Monday, May 02, 2005

Trouncing Francis Volpe

In a recent article (April 12) in The Sentinel Online titled "Some 'big' ideas are less than grand" this guy named Francis Volpe made a mistake that happens too often in the mainstream media -- he wrote without doing his research. Lest I be accused of the same thing, let me refer you immediately to www.fairtax.org.

Volpe assumes that because he has seen support espoused only by conservatives that FairTax is a conservative issue. Not so. He just hasn't looked in the right places. It's a bipartisan issue with growing support from both parties.

Volpe is quick to show his ignorance. He writes,"In return for getting the federal tax withholding added back to your net paycheck, everything you buy will cost 23 percent additional, under the Linder plan." That is simply not so. This guy is either a very poor researcher or an out-and-out liar.

Truth is, with the FairTax, embedded taxes in products and goods will go down 20% to 30%, depending on how much the manufacturer/wholesaler/retailer has passed along to the consumer of the product. After those are removed you pay the tax.

In the meantime, what you have is your entire paycheck to pay it with. The FairTax, you see, gets rid of ALL the taxes we're used to paying -- income taxes AND employee taxes. It gives every single person his or her total paycheck, or, in the case of the elderly or infirm, their total benefits check. Social security and medicare are fully funded by the FairTax. This is all much more significant than our sloppy columnist would have you believe.

Continuing his walk down the path of deception, Volpe writes,"Imagine those folks who lined up outside of stores a couple of weeks ago to be the first on their blocks to grab a Sony PlayStation Portable, the new hand-held device that lets you play video games, watch movies and listen to your MP3 music files.

One of these from a local store costs $299, plus $17.94 in state sales tax. The day the Linder plan goes into effect, it costs $385.71. "

"Figures don't lie, they say, but liars can figure." The Sony Playstation Volpe refers to as costing "$299, plus $17.94 in state sales tax" already had $65.78 hidden taxes in it, assuming Sony paid only 22%that they embedded in the cost (materials and their own employee taxes) -- chances are it was actually more. But using the 22% figure, the actual cost of the Playstation would have been only $233.32. That's the price you would add the FairTax on, not the inflated price he came up with.

Volpe says, "In my last two-week paycheck, my federal tax payment was only 40 percent more than the $68 price difference above. And I have a lot more stuff to buy before my next paycheck." With FairTax he would have the ENTIRE paycheck to work with. If he decided he wouldn't mind buying that Sony from a previous owner, he wouldn’t pay tax on it at all.

Only new goods are taxed under the FairTax. And everyone gets a rebate so they don't pay any taxes on things they buy up to the poverty level. That means the poor pay no tax at all. And each person with a valid social security number gets $178 a month rebate.

"Consumption taxes also let wealthier people escape taxes on big chunks of their income, since they have way more money than they can spend," Volpe says, forgetting that the wealthy buy BMWs instead of Hondas, mansions instead of houses, Kate Spade handbags instead of Penneys' brand on sale, caviar and champagne instead of sardines and beer – all taxed by the FairTax. People who evade taxes, drug dealers, illegal immigrants, 40,000 foreign tourists annually, and others who now get a free ride would finally pay taxes.

Volpe, obviously no admirer of George Will but an avid reader of the conservative columnist nevertheless, continues: "The thing that really cracked me up is that Will asserts the consumption tax will do away with D.C.'s lobbying culture. Well George, you're pretty well connected in the political realm, so I'm surprised you don't know two things:

"There are more things on a lobbyist's mind than tax breaks. They're seeking favoritism for federal contracts, provisions in legislation that favor clients while sticking it to their competitors, and far, far more."

I'm delighted to hear that, Volpe. That means the lobbyists won't stand in the way of the FairTax, then. In fact, if that's all they want they should be cheering us on. After all, with a broader tax base, the economy booming from overseas investments as well, there'll be more money for Congress to pass out in entitlements.

You have to be either stupid, lazy or a liar to write about FairTax the way Volpe did. But what do you expect from mainstream media, after all?


Check www.fairtax.org, see what you think.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sunnye, Francis Volpe here. Your letter to the editor about my column ran in the May 1 Sentinel.

By the way, I never once referred to the FairTax in my column, which was a response to the George Will column which also did not reference FairTax. If the Linder bill he wrote about is the FairTax proposal, then it was an oversight I'm sorry for. Nevertheless, if I'm a liar what does that make the person who claims I denegrated her specific plan when I didn't even mention it?

Having looked over your plan, the best thing I can say remains only this: you folks are optimistic to the point of Pollyanna-ism if you think anything like this will ever survive a House-Senate conference committee. Lobbyists will be all over this like white on rice. (Don't worry, big lobbying firms can do more than one thing at a time.)

I maintain that consumption taxes to the exception of all others are nothing more than an attempt to preserve entrenched wealth, just like the attempt to repeal the estate tax, or is that "death tax," no, more like the "Help Keep Paris Hilton Out of the Workforce Tax."

Monday, May 02, 2005 12:23:00 PM

 
Blogger Sunnye T said...

You just made my point, Francis (and by the way, I'm delighted you found the piece). No, you didn't mention the FairTax and you blasted away at the idea without researching it first. If you had done your research in the first place, you would have known it was out there.

I will challenge you to explain how in the world a consumption tax (that got rid of an income tax) could possibly "preserve entrenched wealth." My wealthy friends have bigger homes and newer cars than I. They buy $260 Kate Spade handbags instead of $29 ones at Penneys. They would pay more tax than I -- the FairTax wrests more money from the wealthy, but a long shot.

And I don't know if you noticed or not, but Paris has made a mint off of her porn movies and even her lifestyle. I bet she has a great tax lawyer. With FairTax she'd have to pay taxes for once.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 8:23:00 AM

 

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