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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and thoughtful, though leaves a few questions unanswered
Into the ongoing - and often dreadfully unproductive - debate on fiscal policy, Ken Hoagland offers at least as much light as heat in his slim, tautly written polemic, "The Fairtax Solution." Hoagland offers a fine explanation of the Fair Tax, even as he raises a spirited defense against many of the criticisms leveled against this proposal.

What is the Fair...
Published on March 4, 2010 by J. A Magill

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1.0 out of 5 stars The False Claims
Comments on The so-called “Fair Tax”

1) Can we really say "Goodbye" to the Income Tax and the IRS? Not as long as the Federal government needs money to pay for the laws passed by Congress. The US Constitution had to add the Sixteenth Amendment to allow the Income Tax. Originally the Federal government only taxed alcohol, tobacco, the...
Published 1 month ago by Ray Stephanson


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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and thoughtful, though leaves a few questions unanswered, March 4, 2010
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Into the ongoing - and often dreadfully unproductive - debate on fiscal policy, Ken Hoagland offers at least as much light as heat in his slim, tautly written polemic, "The Fairtax Solution." Hoagland offers a fine explanation of the Fair Tax, even as he raises a spirited defense against many of the criticisms leveled against this proposal.

What is the Fair Tax? In brief, it would replace all income, payroll, and inheritance taxes with a consumption tax on all new goods and services which would be collected at the point of sale. All families would receive a "prebate" - which is monthly remittance meant to cover the cost of the tax paid on necessities and calculated by the size of the family, but generally in the $500-600 per month range. While the rate to which the Fair Tax must be set to achieve revenue neutrality (more on this later) is subject to debate, Hoagland unsurprisingly uses the one favored by Fair Tax advocates of 23% inclusive or 30% exclusive (more on this later as well).

In such areas as the mad complexity of our current tax system, its negative economic impact on productivity, as well as the way it invites political corruption, Hoagland offers a brief that is as spirited as it is persuasive. No thoughtful reader will be able to easily refute his thoughtful explanation of "imbedded" taxes (how taxes on businesses are converted into costs and passed onto the consumer) and who won't be given pause at the $300 billion annually spent as a "cost of tax compliance" though largely spent on tax avoidance (which even represented as 2.3% of GDP is pretty enormous). Hoagland also refutes claims of Fair Tax advocates being deceptive by calculating the tax "inclusively" instead of "exclusively" by pointing out that this is also how income taxes are calculated, including the amount paid in taxes as part of the whole (thus an item costing $77, once the tax was added, would cost $100).

While Hoagland freely admits that the Fair Tax would not be perfect - arguing that perfect shouldn't be the enemy of the good --"The Fair Tax Solution" is less successful in answering other charges offered by critics and answering questions that will be posed by sophisticated readers. One can quite reasonably ask if the 23% rate would be "revenue neutral" (raising the same amount as the current system), a question to which this work devotes far too little space. Indeed, one can reasonably wonder whether given the huge ramifications of such a shift as moving from an income tax system to one based on consumption, it is even possible to predict what the rate would need to be. Just consider the unpredictable effect a tax on all new goods would have on consumer choices and you'll get the idea. Likewise, while the Fair Tax offers a host of macroeconomic advantages, its impact on an economy in which 60% of GDP is generated by consumer demand would be powerful, disruptive, and potentially painful during the period of transition. Also absent is a credible argument about how to deal with the increase in tax avoidance and growth in the underground economy that a consumption tax collected at the point of sale would surely encourage, as many would shift to cash. If states such as New York with high sales taxes are any indication, this problem would be substantial.
I was also disappointed to find unanswered the question of how to consider the taxes paid by government purchases of good and services, which in the case of the Federal Government would amount to no net revenue and with regard to states raises serious Constitutional questions.

As with any evangelical work, "The Fair Tax Solution" also can tend towards the extreme in both its portrait of the evils of hell and the glories of heaven. Hoagland devotes considerable space to describing the problem of persistent and widening deficits but never links them persuasively to the income tax system. Given that the current income tax began in 1912 and FICA in the 1960s, but that the era of ballooning deficits began with the Reagan administration, this seems an extremely weak to entirely absent causal link. Likewise, shifting to a consumption tax is unlikely to cause a sudden bloom in civic virtue - farm state voters would still demand their soybean subsidies, senior citizens would still inveigh against any change in calculating their COLA, and the US political structure would still encourage the transfer of wealth from densely populated net tax paying states like California and New York to sparsely populated net tax gainers in the South and Midwest.

In the end, the Fair Tax is a revenue proposal and it is on this basis that it should be judged. "The Fair Tax Solution" while lacking in certain areas, still represents a substantial brief in favor of its position and marks the Fair Tax as a serious proposal which will demand consideration as the United States works to put its fiscal house in order.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fair Tax Solution must be passed now!, April 8, 2010
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This book outlines The Fair Tax and what it would do to help our economy. The beauty of it is it's simplicity, and this idea (and movement) comes from all points of the compass from Harvard economists to everyday businessmen to average citizens. I would also suggest reading The Fair Tax Book & Fair Tax, The Truth, both written by Neal Boortz and John Linder.

If you are tired of 67,500 pages of Tax Code and the IRS; if you are tired of spending hours on hours preparing your Income Tax Return; if you are tired of giving a large part of your paycheck to the government up-front (withholding); if you are tired of Congress picking tax winners and losers, then you need to study up on The Fair Tax. If adopted, our country's economy would experience the biggest growth in history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview of the Fair Tax, May 9, 2010
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Ken Hoagland has written a thorough, succinct, and easily understandable overview of the Fair Tax Proposal and H.R. 25 in Congress at the present time, awaiting its hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to learn more about this tax which will do away with the over 69,000 pages of our current federal income tax code, will end the IRS (maybe those folks could be utilized to make our borders more secure), will end estate taxes, and will end payroll taxes. Ken's book shows how this could very well be the answer to our current economic crisis with everyone paying their fair share of taxes, without causing an unfair burden on any individual citizen. Read this book; you'll be glad you did so.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, May 28, 2010
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have read both of Neal Boortz's books and I really like how clear and read-able this book is. You don't need to be a policy wonk to understand this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Price of book vs Kindle price, July 16, 2011
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James Howser (Ft Myers Beach, Fl United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The FairTax Solution: Financial Justice for All Americans (Hardcover)
I fist purchased this for my Kindle, and was surprised at the cost of $16.00+. This is the only time I have paid that much for a Kindle book. After reading I wanted to purchase the book, and have it sent to a friend. The cost of the book was $6.00+. In this situtation I question why they would even make it available on Kindle, or a red warning when ordering on Kindle.

Thanks,

Jim
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1.0 out of 5 stars The False Claims, October 2, 2014
Comments on The so-called “Fair Tax”

1) Can we really say "Goodbye" to the Income Tax and the IRS? Not as long as the Federal government needs money to pay for the laws passed by Congress. The US Constitution had to add the Sixteenth Amendment to allow the Income Tax. Originally the Federal government only taxed alcohol, tobacco, the carriages of the rich, and imports. When the tariffs on imports was raised after the Civil War it helped American manufacturing to prosper but reduced the taxes from imports. The solution was the income tax for those who benefitted from high import tariffs. The idea of a Federal sales tax was obviously rejected. An amendment would be needed for a sales tax.

2) Their claim is that without the Income Tax prices will fall by 23%, and, employees will get all their pay. Can that be done without Federal Wage Controls? Without payments to Social Security (and Medicare) wages should be increased by over 6% (the so-called "Employer's portion"). Will that happen? Who will keep track of employee earnings to credit them for their retirement? Is this a sneak attack on Social Security?

3) Will prices fall by "23%" as they claim? Won't we need Federal Price Controls to make prices drop? If prices fall by 23% then there has to be a 30% sales tax to recover that 23%. You can check this out on your calculator. A 23% drop on a $100 leaves $77, you need a 30% tax to recover that $23. Those who know about this scheme say the sales tax will have to be higher.

4) How honest are their figures about embedded taxes? That "23%" has to be an average figure, which leads to another problem. If the average price of a new automobile is $23,000 should all new cars have a $23,000 price tag? Common sense should warn you about arguments based on averages, since this is a way to lie with figures (or statistics).

5) They claim that your wages will rise without an income tax (and social security), and prices will fall is a fraud. You can't eat your cake and have it too. This is the biggest lie and fraud that many people find attractive! This tells you something about the intelligence of their believers.

6) Do you really want to pay 30% tax on your electric and heating bill? Or gasoline? What about your local property taxes? Local governments will have to pay this 30% tax or the tax will have to be raised to cover those who do not pay it. They say "education" will not be taxed (but don't define it). Will those who work in education be untaxed? Then this tax must be higher to cover those who are not taxed. That is why there is no detailed budget in the book.

7) Their scheme was rejected by President Bush in 2005. Candidates who backed this plan were defeated in the primaries. Who can be elected to pass this law? You will need another amendment to the US Constitution to allow it. Who will check sales to see that the tax is collected from new items sold as "used"?
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Keyword in this book title is "FAIR", April 14, 2010
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D. Lawson (Platteville, CO) - See all my reviews
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Ken does a great job of describing what the FairTax will do for our country and every citizen. This is "Must" for our country. Not only does Ken accurately describe the benefits, he also shines the light on the reasons why it is opposed. Any time politicians (of either party, especially when both parties) are against a piece of legislation, you can be sure it is beneficial to our individual freedoms.
The FairTax is gaining popularity because it is the only system that will help end Washington's corruption when it comes to tax favoritism.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone Wins with the Fair Tax, March 28, 2011
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The idea presented in "The Fair Tax Solution" by Ken Hoagland is so simple, yet it could have profound positive effects on our country (and the world) if we would just implement it. I highly recommend that every American read this book. Hoagland is not an economist, but that is exactly what allows him to use layman terms to successfully explain this powerful solution to the United States' current economic situation. Simply put: stop taxing what goes into the economy (earnings, savings, investments) and instead start taxing our consumption. Take control of what you pay to the government. No plan is perfect, but this one seems to have the potential to correct so many of our problems, including our national debt crisis.

Almost everyone wins under the Fair Tax, because the tax base is expanded to include all the 15-20 million illegal immigrants in our country, the drug dealers, and every other under-the-table worker. If they spend money here, they pay their taxes under this plan. The poor benefit because they will only be taxed based on their level of spending. Employment goes up because businesses will have the money and motivation to build and expand in America. It will be the end of the IRS and their complex tax forms we have to wade through every year. We won't need to keep all those detailed records anymore, because the only time we pay a tax is when we spend our money. We all get to take home our paychecks without deductions for FICA and Social Security and Federal Income Tax. True, we pay a higher sales tax, but in the end, it is still less than what we are doing now. Hoagland does an excellent job of explaining how this will benefit our economy and you personally.

The losers under this plan are the politicians who currently wield power by continually manipulating our already-too-complex tax code and promising favorable tax legislation to lobbyists, campaign supporters, or favorite causes. Foreign producers would also lose the advantage they currently have in our market. With our current income tax, we penalize businesses for their successes, their creativity, their inventions, their growth, thus driving them out of our country to places where the tax laws allow them to reap the benefits of their work. Under the Fair Tax, "made in America" would mean something again because businesses would be motivated to put their manufacturing plants here.

The only way that this Fair Tax will ever get implemented is if there is a groundswell from the citizens, because the politicians will never go for it unless we make them. I plan to be a part of that effort, thanks to Ken Hoagland. So please read this book and then pass it on to your friends. Educate yourself on the Fair Tax. Write to your Senators and Representatives.

Spread the word.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent idea, easy read, February 23, 2014
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This is a well thought out plan that will do more to stimulate the economy than the $1T per year that is currently sent over federal budget.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The FairTax Solution, February 10, 2014
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This review is from: The FairTax Solution: Financial Justice for All Americans (Hardcover)
This is a very good read. The information herein is presented very well. After reading this, I also googled FairTax and found a website with even more information and videos that helped me understand their point of view, and the facts supporting their positions. I highly recommend that all taxpayers and voters read these.
I've utilized the extremely cumbersome and ever evolving, current Federal tax system to prepare 40+ years of tax returns. I've also studied some of the Flat Tax initiatives. After reading this and studying the FairTax website, I think the FairTax Solution has considerable merit and that it is likely a much better, simpler, easier solution for the vast majority of taxpayers funding of the Federal Government.
I expect that the Enactment of the FairTax Solution into Federal Law is meeting overwhelming resistance by special interest groups, Federal lobbyists, congressman, tax preparers, Federal tax employees, tax accountants and lawyers who are focused on their short term interest of lining their own pockets, rather than longer term goals of simplifying the process of funding the Federal Government in a more fair and cost effective manner.
Taxpayers would be wise to study the FairTax solution.
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The FairTax Solution: Financial Justice for All Americans
The FairTax Solution: Financial Justice for All Americans by Ken Hoagland (Hardcover - March 4, 2010)
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