Customer Reviews: FairTax:The Truth CD: Answering the Critics
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on February 14, 2008
First off, I'm actually going to write a review of the book as a book (which is what the section is really for). Then I'll add to the other commentary.
I enjoyed this book, just as I did the first FairTax book. It is nice read, and I enjoy Boortz's writing in particular. Probably one of the biggest flaws of the book is the extreme length of what is probably the most important chapter in the book: that is, the chapter that deals with what the authors consider legitimate criticisms to address. Even as an ardent reader and supporter of the FairTax, getting through this chapter was a bit tough. Surely they could have broken it up a bit.

There is nothing abstract in the book. Examples are clear cut and well explained. Having the footnotes in there also really helps, as the authors have highlighted for you, the reader, the same things they read.

All in all, a good read, and highly recommended to both those who support the FairTax and even those who don't. For those that do, this will clear up the major issues, and give you, as the authors say, the ammunition you need to refute some of the claims. For those that don't support the FairTax, you'll have a better understanding of your enemy's idea.

Boortz and Linder "ignore" the reviews by various organizations that alter the FairTax in some way. In other words, these organizations established guidelines for their reviews of proposed tax plans that change how the FairTax would work. Imagine it like this: an independent organization is going to rate every car on the road in terms of safety features, but in their guidelines, they state that solid steel bars running down the sides of a car shouldn't be considered. My car, and all the others like it, take a hit in those safety ratings. Why? Because someone decided to cut out an important feature.

The FairTax only deals with Federal income taxes. Excise taxes, such as those levied on alcohol and tobacco, will likely still be there. Asides from almost always being state mandated taxes, excise taxes are exclusive (that is, they are not reflected in the price you see at the counter; you see it only after it is added at the register). Any tax levied by a state, whether it be on income or your various property and licenses, is still valid. The FairTax does not deal with the 50 individual states and taxes they choose to levy.

The thing that will stop Congress from raising the tax rate is the collective displeasure of the American people. Right now, tax increases (when they do occur) often only impact the rich because the current tax code allows politicians to selective target groups with tax breaks and increases. Implement the FairTax, and everyone is paying the same rate (though, as I'll address soon, not the same amount); now Congress would be trying to raise the tax burden of every American. That's a sure fire way to find yourself booted out of office.

Pay as you use items (phones, vending machines, etc) already have embedded taxes factored into the cost of each item. Gambling and lottery winnings get double taxed already: first upon receipt of them (they are a form of income) and then when you spend them (those nice embedded taxes again). Ditto for internet purchases. I purchased my copy of this book off of this website. Rather than drive to a bookstore, I chose to make the retail purchase online: all the embedded taxes that the FairTax would replace are still there.

I admit I'm surprised at the number of people who argue that the FairTax would drive people into a "used" buying frenzy, including things like used gasoline (not sure how that one works, though), and say that is a bad thing. Is it a bad thing for you to save your money by buying used? That's money you can invest, or save to send your kid to college. I work in retail, and people have a voracious appetite for new things, even if they aren't always necessary. Kids want new toys (video games). How many women want to buy used cosmetics? Your favorite author puts out a new book: are you going to wait to try and find it used? Yeah, some people might, but overall,

Now, the FairTax has everyone pay the same rate: 23% (AND REMEMBER, THAT COST IS ALREADY THERE under the current system as companies are just passing their tax burden onto the consumer). There is no difference in a millionaire buying a mop for his maid to use and the stay at home mom who will buy the same mop for herself: they both pay 23%. I've often thought, however, that the class warfare folks should be jumping on the FairTax bandwagon, and here's why:

Ask yourself, who is more likely to buy a new car: the rich guy, or the middle class guy? Who is buying a personal sailing yacht? Rich people will get shafted under the FairTax, even as they are now, but at least now, they will have a choice in the matter. Poor people will see a rise in their bring home income, the prebate to cover necessities, and little or no change in overall prices (with embedded taxes gone, some prices go up, others go down, and some stay where they are. Even those that would change would not change much).

Oh, and one final thing. I've heard it said, and seen it here, that one reason not to support their FairTax is simply because of whom some of the proponents are. Well, first off, the movement is big, and growing, and it includes plenty of normal, everday Americans. Not giving the FairTax any thought because you don't like Boortz and/or Linder is stupid. It reminds me of the comment I heard back in 2000. A friend of mine, rather conservative himself, stated he wasn't going to vote for George W. Bush because we already had one president with the last name Bush. That was his sole reason.

Is that not moronic? I mean, it is one thing to disagree with candidates, and to vote against them because of that. It is a similar, though admittedly not identical, situation here. Boortz and Linder may not be your favorite people in the world, but they are carrying a message. Judge the message for itself, not based on who carries it.
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VINE VOICEon February 12, 2008
If you didn't get (grasp) the Fair Tax idea in the first book, or if you listened to the fearful, or the misinformed, or those who have no understanding of how the economy works and how the present tax system acts as a brake on the economy, then Fair Tax: The Truth: Answering Critics by Neal Boortz and John Linder is a must read for you. In fact this should be required reading on the part of every American who considers himself literate.

One by one, the questions are answered in a logical, calm manner. The misunderstandings and intentional misrepresentations are taken on by Boortz and Linder in a point by point response. While I do have disagreements from time to time with Mr. Boortz when I listen to him on the radio I am 100% on the same page with him on the tax issue. His and John Linders system makes so much sense I can't see how anyone doesn't get it.

This isn't just a rehash of the first Fair Tax book either. There is new information contained in Fair Tax: The Truth.

Well done Neal and John.
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on February 12, 2008
I have a degree in economics and I spent almost 7 weeks in college working with the economic effects of tax policy! Fair-Tax is awsome!!!

This is the best book by far on this topic, far better than the first one explaining the entire concept. Just as with anything else in life, if you are to have an educated opinion on anything, you must first fully research the facts revolving around what you want to talk about. Unfortunately this is not what the pundits, critics, and media surrounding the Fair-Tax have done.

95% of people against the Fair-Tax don't fully understand or have not properly researched this topic before opening their mouth. And the other 5% of people against the fair tax are against the Fair-Tax because they want the government to have a vice grip on the America Public and Private sector in some way, shape or form.

What you really need to do, is just to borrow this book, and read the last chapter. I do want Boortz to get #1 on the best seller list, but for those of who do not want to spend the proper time to educate themselves as they should in this matter, should look to the final chapter. This gives a perspective view of what life would be like if you lived under the fair tax. If you read the last chapter and still are in favor of the Federal Income Tax when you are done, you clearly cannot grasp the full benefit of the Fair Tax to yourself, your loved ones, your friends, your company (or your employer), and your country.

I bought about 30 books to give to people when the first book came out, I am sure I will do the same this time.

Atlanta, Georgia
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on February 25, 2008
Just look at the reviews who give it one star. Claiming lots of attorneys and IRS employees will loose thier jobs. Basically the reviewers are saying, ME,ME, ME. What about being fair? This book sums it up in one simple go. So some attonerys will loose there jobs. Some IRS employees. What about the small businesses who have been put out of business by the IRS in error. Or the small business owners (2007 it was 23)who were so stressed out by IRS audits that they killed themselves. 15 of those had done nothing wrong. It will save the planet as we dont need to keep copies and tons of paper.
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on February 15, 2008
After reading this book you will ask yourself, why hasn't Washington passed this plan! If our elected officials and soon to be elected officials truly care about the people, the country, and really want to change things for the better, what then is the possible reason the FairTax has not been passed? This plan is amazing and the most fair for all people, not to mention the most researched tax plan out there. Plus, best of all, it gets the government nose out of our personal lives. No IRS should be music to everyone's ears.
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on February 23, 2008
For some reason, critics of the FairTax (or any other proposed taxing system) insist that it be perfect. And if the new system is not perfect, then don't replace the broken income tax system we have now. That is pretty much like saying you can't buy a new fuel-efficient, safer car because it's not perfect. Keep your old car instead...the one that belches smoke, gets 7 mpg, and costs a fortune to keep running.

The United States will never have a perfect tax system. That point is made clear in the book. But doing nothing while waiting for the perfect system that critics crave will lead to a bankrupt nation. The numbers and trends don't lie.

Critics also fail to comment on our broken entitlement systems (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid). That's because the FairTax provides true reform that does not depend on the wages of the average working Joe. Everyone, tourists and illegal immigrants included, will get to particpate in making those systems solvent.

Hmmmm, I wonder if the critics have an agenda that is not in the best interest of working Americans? Yep, that's covered in the book, too.
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on June 7, 2011
I never thought I'd be saying this about a book about taxes, but "FairTax: The Truth" is a page-turner from beginning to end. Neal Boortz and Rep. John Linder do a phenomenal job of articulating the FairTax in a way that allow everyday Americans without a background in Economics to understand the FairTax and why it is a superior solution to our current income tax system.

The premise of the book is simple: our current tax code is a mess. There are 67,000 pages of regulations in our current tax code, hundreds of billions of dollars being spent just to comply with them, and businesses moving their investments overseas to avoid being hit by the second highest corporate income tax among industrialized nations. The solution to all of this? The FairTax.

The FairTax, to summarize very briefly, is an idea to remove the plethora of federal taxes we currently have: federal income tax, payroll tax, capital gains tax, estate tax, corporate income tax, etc... and replace it with a uniform federal consumption tax of 23%. That's it. No more complex tax regulations that nobody understands, no more April 15th, no more Internal Revenue Service, no more politicians amending the tax code to punish one demographic and rewarding another for the purpose of receiving more votes. This book goes into the details of the FairTax, explaining why it will work, how it will affect you, and why you should support it.

Most Americans agree that tax reform is needed in this country. If you are a tax-payer, you need to read this book and see why the FairTax is THE tax reform we need in this country today.
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on February 21, 2008
The following review was posted By "Fed Up With Liars" (Everywhere, USA)

I would like to take the time to answer some of her concerns.

"These issues are from a housewife-who-already-buys-used, not an ivory tower economist, and therefore aren't addressed in this book or on any of the multitudes of web pages regarding FairTax:

1. Depreciation--when as item is going from "new" status to "used" status, how does one calculate the used item market value for such things as yard sales, thrift stores, and auctions? Will FairTax affect the Kelley or NADA value of used cars?

2. Those pesky unseen non-payroll taxes--Are the taxes on cigarettes, gas, booze, and all the various fees, levies, and licenses covered under this plan, or are these taxes going to be raised to cover the FairTax loss difference? What about personal property taxes in some states for cars, computers, and TVs?

3. What is there to stop Congress from raising the FairTax level from 23/30% to somewhere closer to European tax levels of 80-90%?

4. What about gambling, pay phones, pay toilets, vending machines, and lottery tickets? I see a possibility for double-taxation on lottery tickets, gambling, AND the winnings they might produce.

5. Are internet purchases included?

6. What about trade, commerce, and the obviously resulting backlog of new items that will pile up at ports and points of origination (all the way back to the raw materials phase) as a result of all our new-found frugality? With nobody buying new items, where is the incentive to create and produce them?

7. Isn't this just a grand scheme to target our purchases, and a back-door way to federally-forced frugality? What about freedom of choice?

8. Are we going to have to keep track of every purchase we make to determine whether it was bought BEFORE or AFTER the tax plan before we re-sell the items? What about auctions, and thrift stores, food banks, and other "donation-run" organizations who will now have to ask questions of each and every donor before accepting merchandise?

9. How will this tax plan affect employer benefits? Are health insurance premiums and other employer-paid benefits going to go up as a result?

10. How will this plan impact the buying and selling of securities? Will each buy become a taxable event? How does one buy "used" securities to avoid the tax?

The book itself is a good read, but I was looking for answers to questions that may be a little too low-brow for the creators of this plan. I'm going to write to Congressman John Linder of Georgia to see if he can help me out. Writing to Neal Boortz was less than useful--he never responds."

1. Depreciation. This no longer exists as there are no corporate taxes. As far as Kelly Blue book and the like those formula would still apply to calculating a price for a used car.

2. Non-payroll taxes as you have mentioned would still be there on cigarettes, gasoline, liquor, etc. The Fair Tax address payroll taxes, income taxes, corporate income taxes and payroll taxes, death taxes, capital gains taxes, inheritance taxes. Not excise taxes and the like.

3. You with you power to vote them out of office if they try.

4. Most of what you mention has to do with income taxes or corporate taxes. The Fair Tax would be computed into the price of the a phone call from a pay phone or the goods from a vending machine. Gambling winnings currently are taxed as income so you would get all of the winnings tax free now. Losses, well you'll just have to eat those.

5. The bill includes all purchases at the retail level, so I would say yes the Fair Tax will be collected by the seller on Internet purchases from sellers in the U.S.

6. There will always be people purchasing new items, how can you think they wouldn't? True a lot of people, especially those who try to duck paying income taxes will attempt to by pass the Fair Tax system, but at some point they will need or want some hot new item and purchase it. Especially when they figure out that April 15th is just another spring day.

7.You have that choice. Buy or don't buy, it's your choice. You want to save that extra money you now have, go ahead.

8. What? If it's not new then it's used. If you don't pay anything for it because it's a charity giving it to you, what tax would there be and to whom?

9. How are they effected currently? They have nothing to do with federal taxes what so ever. The premium you pay includes any corporate income tax so that will be replaced by the Fair Tax and you'll never know the difference.

10. Securities are exempt from the Fair Tax as the Fair Tax is designed to allow you to invest tax free.

If you would have read the first book you would have known that and all the rest of what you asked.
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on February 21, 2008
There was one chapter that presented a great reversal comparison.

It went something like this. Let's assume the federal government is currently being funded by the FairTax system and there is a bill being presented to congress that would replace the FairTax with a system incorporating an income tax, a payroll tax, a corporate tax, and an estate tax. How do you think Americans would respond to the following? The new tax bill is designed to give power back to government where it belongs. It will no longer be transparent. The government will be able to raise taxes by manipulate the code without you realizing it. Lobbyists will have the opportunity to convince congress to change the code to benefit their special interest. Within a few years the code will be so complicated, no one will completely understand it. You will no longer receive 100% of your paycheck. The government will keep their share before you have a chance to spend it and if you need to take on a second job to fill your family needs, the government will keep a larger up-front percentage. Since you no longer will be paying a consumption tax, you will no longer receive your monthly prebate check. In order for corporations to show a profit, corporate taxes and compliance costs will now be added to the cost of goods and services, but after eliminating the 23% consumption tax and adding back 22% to cover compliance costs and corporate taxes, prices will be reduced by at least 1%. No longer will the earnings from your savings and investments be free from tax; no longer will the money you spend on education be tax free, you will be using after tax dollars for these purposes. Trillions of dollars will leave the American economy to work in foreign markets but you will be able to purchase Chinese products for less than American made products. You will now have a death tax. When you die, your family will have to file a complicated estate tax return. A huge amount of the wealth you've managed to build during your life will be sent to the government. On April 15th of each year, you will be required to file a complicated tax return. To support your figures, you will be required to keep records of all your financial transactions. Not everyone will be treated equal on these returns. There will be many loopholes which will protect mainly wealthy Americans. Taxpayers who aren't able to take advantage of these loopholes will be required to make up the difference. A huge portion of your tax dollars will be used to support a new federal department which will be called the IRS. This organization will try to catch cheats by auditing approximately 1% of these returns. Many Americans will take a chance on being audited; they will either not file a return or they will cheat on the ones they do file. All honest Americans will be required to make up the lost revenue. And here is the best part; illegal aliens, drug dealers and tourists will no longer be paying taxes. Again, you will be required to make up for this loss. Let me ask any opponent of the FairTax; would you support this new tax proposal?
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on February 20, 2013
Well researched and easily categorized, this book helps anyone understand the FairTax as well as understand how to answer the critics. I would also get The FairTax Solution because that book goes into depth about the corruption in Washington DC as well as why think-tanks, lobbyist and media are invested in maintaining the income tax.
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