A most outspoken critic assumes increased Social Security and COLAs based upon an unfounded 30% increase in prices. This price increase has, I believe, been debunked by the previously submitted information.
The claim of a new IRS — in the form of a State Tax Authority that will audit consumers and challenge them to present receipts — is unfounded. State tax agencies already exist, and under the FairTax, rather than having a burgeoning national agency collecting from — and possibly abusing — citizens, each state will have the option to collect the taxes as part of their usual tax collection activity (which already collects from businesses), then submit the taxes to the federal government. State organizations tend to be both more efficient and easier to deal with than any federal leviathan.
As far as the claim of auditing consumers, I have studied the FairTax since 2005 and have found no basis for thinking that will ever happen. Nor should it — since legal residents will no longer be responsible for tax reporting at all. This represents an unfounded scare tactic.
As far as the claim that the government — and the FairTax founders — want to enact the FairTax as a way of having both a national sales tax and a national income tax… there is no truth to that. While the 16th amendment makes an income tax legal (it was illegal before), the goal of the FairTax is to eliminate the 16th amendment through repeal. In fact, section 401 (the last section of the FairTax) specifically states that if the 16th amendment is not eliminated by 7 years after the FairTax goes into effect, the FairTax will essentially become null and void.
The effect on senior citizens will be mixed, primarily because many who have saved money have done so in tax-deferred investments (traditional IRA, 401k), but some also have the so-called Roth IRAs, which are post-tax. The effects will vary depending on what type of investment dominates a senior’s retirement portfolio or pension. Senior benefits, however, will be taxed at the same rate as everyone else ($23 of every $100 spent) and they will receive the “prebate” like everyone else (offsetting a significant amount of their taxes at low levels of spending). As many seniors live frugally on low, fixed incomes, their dollars would go further and many seniors would see a significant benefit.
In conclusion, Mr. Uninformed tries to be a one-man wrecking ball where the FairTax is concerned. Despite his claims of our ulterior motives, those of us who support the FairTax have not done so glibly, or because we seek personal gain. No, the vast majority of FairTax supporters are critically-thinking, well-educated U.S. residents (including many small business owners just trying to make ends meet) who have grown weary of both the corruption and individual intrusion evident in our current tax code. We are simply trying to find a better way… and we have found it in the FairTax.
We have encountered naysayers — and their same, tired claims — many times. They often attempt — in public view — to disparage a proposal that thousands of us have found worthy of our time and attention, while pushing his own proposal that is not financially feasible for the country at current levels of spending. As the FairTax focuses simply on the collection of taxes — and does not take any position on current spending levels — it is able to be a non-partisan proposal; and I personally believe its attempt to relieve lower- and middle-class residents of the biggest burden to upward mobility (income confiscation) is not only noble but right. And the fact that the FairTax removes tax lobbyists — and their influence — from national prominence elicits praise from those who are tired of special interests receiving tax breaks while the rest of us pay the bill.
I encourage every reader to check out the FairTax themselves. Once examined, the exhibits held up by detractors will be revealed as poor efforts at an attempt to discredit a large movement of people ready for a positive change in our tax code.
Dr. Presten Witherspoon is a small business owner in Duncanville, TX. He holds a BA in History from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena, TX. Dr. Witherspoon is a frequent apologist on behalf of the FairTax.