on August 2, 2005
It is obvious that Wealthy American and Rational Georgian did not actually read this book before the entered their review.
After reading this book, I am amazed at how simple the idea really is. Do away with payroll taxes and the price of the item you are buying will drop. The idea of embedded taxes that we are paying under the current system never even came to mind before. I, as the end user, have to pay the payroll tax cost of every vender that touches that item. That cost is a pretty significant part of the total cost of the product. Harvard studies are showing 21% and higher depending on the item.
On top of getting rid of the embedded tax, I end up getting more in my paycheck and I get a pre-bate for the cost of living. Where is the negative? I started to some research on line to find out and have yet to find any real negative. I found plenty of false propaganda from those that have not fully reviewed the plan, but no substantiated negative.
The book itself is well written and easy to understand. My hats off to both John Linder and Neal Boortz to taking a pretty complex subject and making it so easy to understand.
I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in the tax code and ideas on how we can change it.
on August 3, 2005
The eight objections listed in a review by Edgar C Sparks can be easily shot down, one at a time, and with very little difficulty (logical thinking and comprehension of sarcasm is required to understand any of the following:)
1. Opens us up to electronic money and total tracking of our monetary positions.
What exactly is "electronic money"? Is "electronic money" worth the same as paper money? If it is, than I don't really give a damn. Oh, and you don't what the government tracking monetary positions (nor do I). So I guess you'd rather just keep on filling out those income tax returns, thereby helping the government do just that. Under the fair tax there is no reporting of income, accumulated wealth or assets, so what exactly are you talking about?
2. Puts us all, everyone, on the Welfare roles.
Ok, I assume you are speaking of the refund on taxes paid for the basic necessities of life. Do you express feelings of dissatification and complain bitterly everytime you receive an income tax refund? I guess now it is "welfare" for the government you give us back some of our own money. This is, by the way, a much simpler way of relieving the tax burden on basic necessities, for those who can afford it or not (thereby making it fair), than exempting specific items making way for corruption of the tax code by special interest groups (which is what we have now). So the next time the federal government sends you a "welfare check" after you pay too much income tax, go ahead and send it back.
3. Quotes the wrong tax rate. It is 30%, not 23% of purchases.
Do you quote your income taxes using the same formula? If so then someone in a 15% tax braket is actually paying 20%. I know you people like to quote certain taxes inclusively and others exclusively to suit your own purposes, but in the interests of fairness we should use the same formula. The inclusive rate is always less than if quoted exclusively. And how conveniently you forget about the imbedded taxes you are already paying. Man, I just realized I'm paying 8.2% FICA tax. Blast!
4. Opens us up to a Sales Tax ID so that the rich can be taxed more than the poor.
This goes against the entire plan. It would require a change in the law to mandate the retailer to charge certain people more or less tax at the checkout based on this "Sales Tax ID". And as we all know the rich are not taxed at any higher of a rate under our current system, right? So we replace FINs with SIDs (whoops, already taken), may we throw our representatives to the fire if THAT ever comes to pass (nevertheless it would be no worse than what we have now.)
5. The tax rate can be easily raised at any time by the Congress.
And the income tax can't be? Oh, it can, but it's just hidden amoungst tens of thousands of pages of tax code, and certain provisions only affect certain people, and since tax laws change every year no one notices anyway. But if the whole rate for everyone in the nation moves, people will notice, and there had better be a damn good reason for it.
6. There is no way to limit the maximum tax rate. The tax rate can be increased to 100% and the Welfare rate increased so that all people receive the same income.
And if the rate is 100% how can this lead to an redistributed equal income? Yes this could happen if the INCOME tax rate was 100%, but so the hell what if the SALES tax is 100%. Money not spent at the retail level would not be taxed. Such a tax would destroy retail sales, and create an immense underground black market. An politicians would be extremely hard pressed to give everyone an equal income when revenue plummets. (By the way, who would work if you received the same income no matter what you did?) You do understand the difference between an INCOME TAX and a SALES TAX, don't you? It appears not.
7. It is nothing more than a way-stop on the way to a totally Communistic society.
No, actually the exact opposite. Not adopting this and keeping the income tax is what is doing exactly what you fear. If fact your concerns from objection #6 are valid but completely misplaced. If you are truly concerned about objections #6 & 7, then you should be demanding the Congress institute this tax reform. This is a voluntary tax, as opposed to the money just being seized without a conscious choice by you. That is far from Communist.
8. It will lead to wage confiscation.
Did you even READ the book? What a truly asinine statement. The fair tax has nothing whatsoever to do with wages & income. It replaces all income, estate, Social Security and Medicare taxes. You keep 100% of your paycheck (aside from any State taxes), and this is "wage confiscation". What in the blue f#$% have you been smoking? Wage confiscation is what we have right now, sir. Wake up! You've listed three objection to the fair tax, that are far more applicable to the income tax.
As put by many here, "If you don't like it you clearly don't understand it". But more accurately, if you don't like it, you are either willfully ignorant, or incredibly stupid.
on August 3, 2005
It is truly amazing how people critize this book without having any knowledge of the subject. They see the words "Neal Boortz", "Fair Tax" and immediately assume that this is some soak-the-poor, evil rich manipulation scheme.
READ THE BOOK FIRST! Every argument raised by critics on this site has been addressed, some from many different angles. One concept which MUST be understood and is clearly explained in the book: embedded taxes. For the critic "BushHater" (what a surprise), the concept if embedded taxes and how it affects the price of products is completely lost.
Maybe this example will help you, BushHater...let's say you grow peaches. A new President is elected who hates peaches and convinces congress to pass a 20% tax on all income derived from the production and sale of peaches. What do you think you would do, BH? Would you just say, "Thanks, government! Please take more of my money!" No...you would RAISE THE PRICE OF PEACHES to help cover the new tax burden with which you were saddled. You would also pay a tax advisor to find a way around paying that 20% increase in taxes -- more money out of your pocket. Do you get it yet? That is happening RIGHT NOW -- to the tune of 22% of what you purchase. Take away the income tax and that 22% is NOT NEEDED. And if you think the evil corporations will just pocket that extra money you know nothing about capitalism and competitive markets. Add back in the 23% sales tax and it is a wash. Oh, except that YOU get to keep ALL of your check, you get a monthly prebate check to cover the sales tax on essential products, you are not taxed on what you save, you do not pay SS or medicare taxes, etc.
It is a perfect system? No, there is no perfect tax system. But it is the best out there, it is VERY fair, and is sure beats the current system. Read the book. Understand the concept. See how concerns are addressed. Then, and only then, can you honestly review the topic.
on August 16, 2005
I've read the fair tax book and find that it is the most logical replacement for our present tax system. I don't get too excited when I read about what this economist said or that economist said. It's hard to get two economist to agree on anything. I have a B.S. is Business and Economics and a J.D. with an emphasis in business and corporate law.
Simply put, while the Fair Tax plan has its flaws, it has far fewer flaws than our present tax system. Even tax professionals, Tax lawyers, Tax courts, and the IRS cannot always agree on many provisions of the current tax law that the common citizen is tasked with compliance. To say that the Fair Tax plan has some flaws so therefore should be scrapped before it's put into place, is the mind set of the obstructionist and the stupid.
I've read many of the reviews that are critical of the Fair Tax plan and it's obvious the writers have no clue as to the true cost of doing business in America. Don't ask a bookeeper, ask a cost accountant the cost of tax compliance in todays business.
For the wage earner, how many times have you said or heard said that it's no use to work overtime because the government will just eat up the extra earnings in more taxes making the extra work not worth the effort?
For those who would reject the Fair Tax plan because of the few flaws, I would ask them, do you prefer our present system? Suppose we were currently under a tax system like the Fair Tax plan, would you favor replacing it with a tax plan that is like the current IRS tax code?
I've read many reviews that state that the poor are already paying a majority of the taxes and the rich are paying almost no tax. Those individuals are so far out of touch with the facts that any opinion they may have has to be flawed on the outset and can be dismissed.
The Fair Tax book, while not answering all the questions, does answer and explain the tax plan in very simple terms that most people can understand.
on August 3, 2005
Having actually READ this book I'd like to say this to all of the people that gave it bad reviews.
A) Did not read the book,
B) Can't comprehend what is in the book,
C) Are a socialist, or
D) All of the above
I've read all of these bad reviews and can only wonder where did they find the information that they claim was in the book? When you eliminate the embedded taxes that are in every item(adds up to around 22%) and then add a 23% sales tax to the same items they basically even out. Everyone receives a check at the beginning of each month for the amount of sales tax that they would be expected to pay for their basic needs. As far as the comment about drug dealers not paying any taxes, are they paying an income tax now? No. But under this plan when they go to purchase goods and services they will pay taxes.
People that have no concept of what they are talking about should really refrain from commenting on this. This means you people that wrote these highly inaccurate bad reviews. By the way, judging from some of these post you have to wonder if they can read at all, their English and spelling skills are pathetic at best.
on August 3, 2005
I am amazed at the ignorance of some reviewers. Some intentionally lie (or misstate the truth through ignorance), and some ask questions that are easily answered by anyone who has READ the book.
Therefore, I believe that most of the negative responses come from knee-jerk persons who are merely being negative out of their partisan love of taxation. I am not calling them "Liberals", since that isn't quite encompassing enough for all of their philosophies. After all, you can be "liberal" and not favor "progressive taxation". Taxation has been taught and promoted as a necessity for so long, that I believe some people mistakingly believe it has always been a part of this country. Few know that it was a temporary measure, and started at just 1%. The need for it in today's world is muddy at best - the "need" gets created every year, but somehow whatever is received is never enough.
What would the government do without the IRS? Suppose the Supreme Court found some new argument to eliminate the IRS. What would the Federal Government do for income? I bet they'd implement something like the Fair Tax Plan. After all, they will still want to spend as much money as possible, to buy as many votes as possible.
I know of many people of sound mind who believe that the IRS "is just too big" to ever be controlled or eliminated. This is logic that I just can't grasp. If it can be created, it can be destroyed. If this country is to survive, it needs to grow. The IRS isn't a "growing" strategy. It isn't helping people grow, it's punishing people. It is the cloud that blocks the sun, not the water that nourishes the plant.
I know that supporters of high taxation (though many of its supporters pay very little or no taxes personally) don't want to see their support system modified, but they're looking at the short picture. If prices don't change, they won't be affected, but the benefits to them from increased economic productivity will have long-lasting effects. They are looking at the cost of their rent this month, and not their ability to buy a home next year. This short-sighted, partisan idiocy, is exactly what the politicians count on. Your ignorance allows them to fleece you each year out of your future. The check you get each year is nothing compared the economic gains you could receive in a free-market economy not hampered by high taxation. The job you have today could be an amazing career down the road.
But if you can't open your mind, you will never see the bigger picture, or what is possible in an alternative future.
This book is about what we can do if we stop punishing success, and start rewarding it. If you slam this book, then you don't expect success in your own life. Or, you're too lazy to work on it.
I used to be the lazy type, always eager to excuse my failures. I understand the way the people think who slam this book - I used to be one of you. But then I realized that what I was doing wasn't working. Success doesn't come from envy of the rich - it comes from the success of hard work.
The Fair Tax Plan isn't easy - and nothing good ever is. It will be tough to grasp for many, but that doesn't mean it isn't important. Physics is tough to grasp, but I wouldn't want Gravity to stop working, just because so few people understand it.
If you really want to understand this plan, then read the book. Don't lie about it, don't create your impression before you read it. Just read it. And think to yourself what could happen if you started making 40% more each paycheck. Heck, even 20% more!
What would you do with more money? Give it to the government, or save it for your family? Or, even get a family! :-)
on August 3, 2005
The book is right. As a business owner, I will admit that I pad all my pricing to make sure that I get a certain amount of money after taxes. I hate doing it, but that's the way it is. Under the Fairtax, I could drop my prices anywhere from 20%-30%, and still make the same amount of money.
My clients would pay less, get the same service, and we would all have more money.
Finally a tax plan that was built to run the government like a business, not a pork barrel.
on August 3, 2005
There is a fundamental rule from project management that can describe the state of our current complicated tax system: there is an exponential relationship between complexity of the project, system, or solution and the cost to create and maintain the system over time (i.e., think NASA engineering projects, large software development projects, and the current tax code/system). To prevent extreme costs, the system's complexity should be reduced and simplified as much as possible, and this is the crux of this brilliant book, which offers a drastically simpler yet effective and mathematically demonstrable system (FairTax) of collecting taxes in a manner that will boost America's global competitiveness and stimulate job and wealth creation.
Many examples are given in the book that demonstrates the excessive cost of our tax system due to its complexity, here are a few examples:
* 5.8 billion man hours of effort are spent annually in the US to ensure compliance with the complicated tax code, which is equivalent to a full-time workforce of 2.77 million people! (p.43).
* Tax decisions made by businesses due to the current complicated tax system costs our economy 18% of GDP! (p.49)
* Approximately $500 billion a year is spent to comply with the code, all of it spent just to collect no more than three times that amount in tax revenue! (p.49)
This book also gives great insights into the reasons why businesses are offshoring due to our current tax system and the accompanying job losses caused by this and how the FairTax system can drastically increase the global competitiveness of America, creating many new jobs and implicitly bringing down our trade deficits (chapter 6). Another great insight is why corporate taxation adds unnecessarily complexity to our current tax system -- in the end, it's individuals who pick up the corporate tax costs, i.e., shareholders, employees, and customers (chapter 3).
I highly recommend this insightful well-written book, and with enough publicity and effort (i.e., please read the book and recommend it to family and friends) it will lead to a grass-roots effort to simplify our very complex tax system and lead America into more prosperity. Thankfully, the timing of this book couldn't have been better - President Bush and many members of Congress have been discussing ways of simplifying the tax system - it's time now to shout the need for change into their political ears. Neal Boortz and John Linder, thank you for writing this book and proposing the FairTax system!
on August 20, 2005
I am amazed by the reviews by people who hate America and even the authors so much that they are unwilling to improve their position in life, and the future of their children all in the name of being "progressive." Most of the negative reviews come from people who obviously don't understand basic economy principles and don't understand the FairTax.
I am tired of the 23% v. 30% debate...it is the same amount of money out of your dollar.
77c + 23c = $1.00 or 23% inclusive (income tax quoted this way)
77c * 30% = 23c & 77c + 23c = $1.00 exclusive
GET OVER IT! 23c out of $1.00 is going to the government in both cases! If this is your main argument - it just doesn't hold water
Secondly, I don't care how much you hate/distrust/abhor Neal Boortz (or John Linder) take comfort that it is ok to like this plan since it isn't his idea! He doesn't take credit for it - he is just putting it out their for our benefit. If you have the outlet to inform millions of people about a good idea that politicians aren't going to tell you about, you have an obligation to get it out there - and that is what he was doing. I don't care what party affiliation you have, this is deeper than politics - it goes straight to your wallet. George Bush isn't behind this, there is no conspiracy here...this movement has been around for a few years now headed by a grassroots organization and researched with donated dollars by bipartisan economists with no party ties. No political party gains here and that is the point. Politicians only have control of your taxes if you let them. Politicians would no longer be able to buy votes with promises to reform tax codes that can't be deciphered anymore anyway. Read the book!
I am a small business owner who provides services. Basic competition tells me that when the FairTax is implemented, to keep business, I will have to lower my prices to incorporate the FairTax, and I will gladly do so and more because I will no longer be paying payroll taxes, personal income taxes, self employement taxes, and as a business my materials and services from suppliers and subcontractors will not be subject to tax, and I will now be able to do as much business as possible without having to worry about how much I'll have to pay in taxes! So I will gladly offer my services to anyone for the same price and probably less after the implementation of the FairTax WHICH MEANS STILL MORE MONEY IN YOUR POCKET. Read the Book!
Finally, EVERYONE GETS THE PREBATE! AT AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE POVERTY LEVEL ACCORDING TO THE SIZE OF YOUR FAMILY, AND ONLY LEGAL HOUSEHOLDS WITH SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS GET IT. My family of 5 will get $570 per month no matter how much money I make to cover the sales tax expenses on necessities. Read the book!
There are obvious benefits for all Americans, and the so called "flaws" of the plan just aren't justifiable. New goods will cost the same as they do now due to competition and fewer manufacturing costs, but you'll have more money to spend, and when you want to sell your current house or car to buy a new one, more people than ever before will be willing to pay what you ask for it. Making your climb up the ladder seem more like an elevator ride. And even if you still can't be convinced, I think most people would agree that most any plan is favorable over our completely flawed system now that penalizes me for being productive, discourages new enterprise, and makes American companies run for the tax comfort of foreign shores. Not to mention illegal aliens who are paying nothing under our current system.
Enjoy the book - hopefully more of these incorrect assumptions can be laid to rest and people who are so energetically opposed could use that energy to help pass the FairTax.
on August 4, 2005
This is a tremendously insightful, informative and, most of all, ENTERTAINING book about one of the dullest subjects out there. I thought reading this would be about as interesting as taking a job as a toll-booth worker, but I was dead wrong (no offense to toll-booth workers, well I take that back - your job is boring). I had a brief understanding about the fair tax but this book sold me on how its implementation would not only help this country grow (making us all more money), but it would stop this insanity of penalizing the hardest workers. There's also something nice about hookers, drug dealers, and illegal workers all contributing to our system instead of law abiding working citizens fronting it all. And who could argue against bringing American businesses back home? Have you been to Detroit recently? (No offense to people in Detroit, wait I take that back too - Detroit IS pretty miserable) Sounds like a no brainer to me but I hope this concept doesn't get shot down for purely political reasons. I strongly encourage Boortz and Linder to work harder at talking with Libs about how this could benefit THEM as to avoid a knee-jerk reaction to opposing "Republican" bills. In a nutshell: Get this book, give it to your liberal friend - they need to understand more than anyone....