Skip to main content

fair tax, flat tax, they are all taxing

In honor of tax day, I thought I would write about a subject I have addressed many times before--taxes. Lately, I have heard a bit of talk about the fair and flat taxes. I wish I understood them more so I could decide if either of them is the "right" answer.

On the surface, the fair tax seems okay in some respects. You pay taxes on things you buy so you have some control (if food is included, I can see a bit of a downside, but for it to be simple, I guess everything should be included). For example, if I want a 20k car, if I am taxed 25 percent on it, then my car now becomes 25k. Seems hefty, but considering my income will not be taxed, not so bad. And it is not as if most people buy items like that all the time. Surely one of my smart friends can tell me what I am missing here.

The flat tax, in many ways, makes more sense, but I bet that is because I know very little about that. I have always wondered why someone making 200k should pay a higher percentage of taxes than someone making 20k. If you are paying the same percentage, obviously the person making 180k more is going to be paying a lot more, so what is wrong with that? But my understanding is you still have to fill out a tax return for this (though it should be simpler), and I imagine people will find loopholes.

I caught a few minutes of Glenn Beck around 1 a.m. this morning. He said the tax code is something like 60,000 pages. That is insane. Who is going to read that? And since it changes fairly often (3,250 changes since the start of President Bush's term, an average of more than one a day), my guess is pretty much no one.

Luckily, I read this today: The president noted that he's asked his economic advisers to thoroughly review how to simplify the tax code and report back to him by year's end.

If these people (some of whom have failed to properly pay taxes) need eight months to review and figure out how to simplify the code, clearly our current systems is complicated and flawed. Something should be done. Let's hope it is.

In the meantime, I would love to hear from any of you who understand this.

Comments

ashley said…
I would highly recommend reading the FairTax book to anyone who is interested in this topic. I read it a few years back, and it explains the plan very clearly. Regarding your comment about paying taxes on food, there are solutions built into the proposed legislation that would effectively prevent people from having to pay taxes on necessities.

I thought the book was interesting not only because of its analysis of how the FairTax might work...but also because it provides a very nice history of taxation in the United States. Gives you a little bit of perspective on where we are today and how we got here.

Anyway, it's less than 200 pages. And a pretty quick read...not dry and boring like some might suspect it is. I'm a big supporter of the FairTax over the flat tax because I like the idea of not having to report my income to the government at all, and I like the idea that EVERYONE will pay this tax...not just people who chose to report their incomes and comply with regulations. Even people who make money illegally will be putting in their share! ;)

I'm really glad to see this issue getting more attention! Check out the web site to see how you can learn more and get involved!
Chri said…
Glad to learn about Ashley's book recommendation. I need to learn more about the tax options as well. (I've always thought "Well Flat Tax, duh." because that seemed to make the most sense.) I really don't understand it when I hear "46 million people who file tax returns don't pay taxes." It's an income tax, right. If you make ANY income, you should be taxed, right?
christine said…
Oops, hit return when I was typing my name in that last comment...

Popular posts from this blog

Worry

Lately, I have had some anxiety. I have been waking up within an hour of when I fall asleep (partially because my bladder has its own timetable). And then I lie awake, worrying about various things. Mostly I worry that I am failing as a parent. I worry that I allow my child to be disrespectful to me more than she should. I worry that I am not forcing my shy child to do more things. And I worry that the few things I am pushing her to do will make her resent me. I worry that she gets stressed about school. I worry that she is bothered because she does not have a lot of friends. I worry because I don't know why that is.

I worry that we will be stuck in our house in our bad school district, a place where we would not send our child to high school when she graduates in two years (two years!). Then I worry that our somewhat introverted child will have to go to cyber school. Because there is just no way that we could afford to send her to Catholic high school, for which tuition is curren…

Why I am an "Other"

Last month while I was getting my driver's license picture taken, I tried to change my political party affiliation. For whatever reason, my choices were Democrat, Republican, Other, and None. But first, how I got there.

I registered as a Democrat when I first registered to vote, just before the '92 election. At that time, I was "kind of" liberal (for growing up in a somewhat rural area in western PA), and pretty much all of my relatives were registered that way, so it made sense. I was not really into politics at that young age, however.

As I got into my late 20s, I started to realize I was becoming more conservative, so a few years later, when it was time to renew my driver's license, I changed to Republican. I still remember the day at work when I told my coworker Anne that I was really a Republican. She told me she had known it for years. During the 2008 election, I was on board with John McCain running for president, mostly because I thought he was a good pe…

My first and hopefully my last biposy (or I would rather be at the beach)

This past Monday afternoon I had my biopsy. Up until Sunday night, I was not worried. In fact, I was never really concerned about having cancer; it was the needle part that bothered me. As it turns out, there is more than a needle; there is an actual incision. So it was not surprising that I only got a few hours of sleep. But on a positive note, I cruised right down the Parkway that morning, being the Monday before the 4th, so there was that.

I got there at the prescribed 30 minutes ahead of time; in fact, it was probably close to 35 minutes! I had to wait about 10 minutes, during which I could feel my seat vibrate (still not sure about that; I was tired but I don't think I was imaging it). Then I went back, changed, and waited in the "gowned waiting area" for no more than 5 minutes. Not even enough time to find out whose twins Jennifer Garner was pregnant with! WARNING: What follows will be detailed, though not too graphic.

Then I went back to a room, where someone as…