To the editor:
The conservative dream is still alive. The dream of doing away with all income tax and funding government through a sales tax is as constant as gravity.
This nightmare can be found under many guises such as the “fair tax,” the Missouri Club for Growth, Better Government for Missouri, Save Missouri Jobs and other labels that are dicey to publicly oppose. Who is in favor of “the unfair tax?” Who is against growth or better government or saving jobs?
Catchy phrases like “Tax what I spend, not what I earn” fit nicely on bumper stickers, but they are all a ruse.
I challenge anyone to produce a business owner willing to publicly state they will hire one employee if their state income tax is reduced. Businesses hire when demand for their goods or services increases and they need help. Customers create demand.
If you could buy a recliner from Crowley Furniture in Liberty 6 percent cheaper than you could buy the same recliner from Nebraska Furniture Mart across the line in Kansas, what would you do?
If Missouri lawmakers want to give Missouri businesses a competitive edge over our neighbors, then they should get rid of our regressive sales tax.
Enticing out-of-state shoppers to spend in Missouri seems like an easy chore. Let the neighboring states provide roads, schools, fire and police protection for their residents. Missouri businesses will happily provide these nonresidents with the shopping experience at an inviting discount.
An added benefit to discarding the sales tax would be increased purchasing power in the hands of consumers. We do live in a consumer-driven economy.
A revenue shortfall from lower sales tax is no more detrimental to the state than an equal shortfall from lower income tax.