Yes, a certain brand of IT professional, Ron Paul fan seem obsessed with it. Why do we hate it?
I'm concerned that people who wouldn't normally buy stolen goods, would, to save on the taxes. I'm worried that it would mean a crime spike and then the attendant measures to stop it. CCTV cameras, more cops and random home visits by IRS agents checking that you have all the proper paperwork for your TV.
OP, what you are describing is the UK. They've had a VAT (value added tax) since 1972. I'd be interested in this topic to pick up because one of my co-worker's (Yes, he's the computer guy!) is well, obsessed with the fair tax. He said he is giving me a Neil Boortz book about it and has stickers, t-shirts and a coffee mug emblazoned with ASK ME ABOUT THE FAIR TAX!
Consumption, not investment, drives the economy. To tax only the former and not the latter is to put the country in permanent recession.
It is also horribly regressive. The rich take more out of the economy than they consume, and yet the entire governmental structure serves them in a way it does not serve the poor.
You want the starving man to pay tax on a piece of bread to pay the salary of police who foreclosed on his house and protect the last dime of wealth with draconian and violent power. But the Mitt Romneys of the world would pay a trivial percent of their income despite the fact that they could not go 100 yards in any direction let alone manage worldwide investments without the protection of a powerful and armed government willing to kill to protect their property.
The only people against the Fair Tax are CPAs who'll be outta business when we can file our returns without their help. More than twenty countries have a Fair/Flat Tax system.
[quote]Why do we hate it?
Because it's regressive, because it would raise taxes on many in the lower and middle classes, because the percentage the proponents are pushing would bring in substantially less tax revenue, thereby dramatically increasing the budget deficit, and because the top 1% would pay significantly lower taxes. I'd say that's sufficient reason, wouldn't you?
So what happened in the countries where it's being used? Do people buy stuff in other countries? Is the black market more active?
It isn't being used in other countries. There is a VAT in some countries, but in conjunction with other taxes.
Countries with Flat Tax
Bosnia and Herzegovina 10%
Czech Republic 15%
East Timor 10%
Greenland 37 to 46% (depending on the city)
Saint Helena 25%
Saudi Arabia 2.5% zakat (citizens of GCC countries) 20% for foreigners
South Ossetia 12%
Trinidad and Tobago 25%
I'm confused. Is the fair tax a sales tax or an income tax?
r9's list - all pillars of global economic might where the poor are treated well, social services are available, and egalitarian ideals reign over oppression by the rich...
Is 17% what proponents of the Flat Tax suggest?
There's nothing "fair" about the fair tax... but it sure sounds good to ignorant, naïve ears doesn't it?
All of those countries have other taxes, dumbass, and those are FLAT income taxes. The FAIR tax is a sales tax.
It's not fair.
A truly fair tax is a progressive one because someone earning a million dollars a year can afford to have a greater percentage of their income taken out than someone making 30 K.
Tax systems in the U.S. have been flattened to a degree throughout the 80's and 90's - it's all linked to 'trickle down' economics, which doesn't work. Taxes like this are intended to get the rich to invest in an effort to spark the economy, but this doesn't happen. This is one of the biggest lies touted about this type of tax. And yes, regressive taxes shift the burden of taxes to the middle class - when you flatten a tax system, you get rid of deductions and credits that might otherwise save you from paying more tax. Put it this way, given a flat rate personal income tax of 20%, who can better shoulder it - someone earning 50k or someone earning 10 times that amount? And let's not forget - when you get rid of deductions and credits, you also get rid of things such as estate taxes - now, who do you suppose is going to benefit most from that?
There are several countries throughout the world that have implemented flat tax systems, mainly in Eastern Europe. They work well there because there is no middle class, and because the public services provided aren't as expensive as they would be in the U.S.