Imposing a national 'fair' tax

Commentator Stephen Moore

TEXT OF COMMENTARY

Scott Jagow: The mother of all hearings wraps up today. That's how Congressman Charles Rangel described his four-day hearing on taxation. It covered the gamut from middle-class taxes to taxing private equity.
But commentator Stephen Moore says Congress should really consider what he calls the "fair tax."


Stephen Moore: We could abolish the income tax and the payroll tax, too, and replace them with a 23 percent national sales tax. All taxes would be paid at the cash register when you buy a grape slurpee or a Honda Civic.

This "fair tax" would instantly banish 8 billion pages of paperwork, and the more than 12,000 IRS agents who snoop on all our financial transactions. Economists from Harvard and MIT have verified that this plan wouldn't swell the budget deficit and would increase American jobs.

The United States would instantly become a global magnet for new investment and businesses, and those Benedict Arnold companies that have fled America in search of lower taxes would be back on the next 747. Under the fair tax, we'd finally do what other nations do: we'd tax imports, but not our exports.

We would no longer tax Americans on what they earn and save, only on what they consume. So, for the average worker, every penny they earn, they would get to keep. Take-home pay would increase by more than 20 percent under the fair tax. Seniors would still get their Social Security checks, now paid for out of sales tax collections.

Oh, but wouldn't a national sales tax be regressive and hurt the poor? Nope -- under the fair tax, every American family of four would be able to purchase the first $20,000 of goods and services every year tax-free.

What better way to clean up the swamp of corruption and sweetheart deals in Washington than by terminating the IRS tax code? This is supposed to be a government of, by and for the people -- not the tax lobbyists and special interest groups in Washington. So let's promote growth with equity through the fair tax.

Jagow: Stephen Moore is a member of the editorial board at the Wall Street Journal. In Los Angeles, I'm Scott Jagow. Thanks for listening, hope you enjoy your day.

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