To the editor:
Like most people who have objections to the FairTax, Stanley Robinson (letters, April 16, “‘Fair Tax’ is an empty promise”) is simply misinformed about some of its basic premises.
The first misunderstanding is his claim that we need to “separate things into taxable and non-taxable columns.” The FairTax applies to all new goods and services, but only once, at the final retail point of purchase. Your garage sales, used-car purchases and preowned homes are safe. In Mr. Robinson’s examples, whether it’s corn from the grocer or from the neighborhood farm stand, purchases would include the FairTax in the purchase price. The same is true for services rendered.
Although Mr. Robinson and other critics may suspect the FairTax is just a way for the wealthy to avoid paying taxes, in fact, the opposite is true. The very wealthy don’t have “income.” Their earnings are sheltered thanks to the expensive CPAs they can afford to hire.
You and I will have far more choice as to how much in taxes we choose to pay: If you want to buy a new Mercedes, you’ll pay more in tax than if you chose to buy, say, a Ford Fiesta.
Rather than the billions of dollars taxpayers currently spend in record keeping, tax preparation, and lost productivity trying in vain to produce an accurate tax return, the FairTax will be automatically collected at the register every time you make a purchase. Rather than a “Gordian knot,” the FairTax is simple and fair, and it will be the single largest transfer of power from the government back to the taxpayer since our republic was born.