Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Intellectually Crippled Leading the Morally Bankrupt -- or -- Put Down the Friedman and Step Away From the Bong

So this morning I'm getting ready for work, listening to NPR as usual, and especially this morning, since they are the only news outlet not grotesquely pimping our National-Death-And-Grief-Fetish-Day.

But that only left the gateway open for this baleful artifact to drop through the aether and find its way into my radio...here's the nut:
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. [...]
I am then informed that the author of this ignorant screed is one Stephen Moore, one of the flying monkey, invisible hand gang at the Wall Street Journal's opinion page. However, if you gun his name through yer favourite search engine, you also quickly learn that he is also Ultra-Commandante of the Club For Growth. Yeah, try to quell yer surprise...

Do I even have to spell out what a whack-ass idea this is, even for the Club For Growth? I mean, 23 freekin' percent? And it will have no harmful effect on the middle classes and be revenue neutral? Wait for it; Moore has anticipated you and your pasty-faced, weak-kneed, surrender-cheese argument:
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 planet is this guy on?! For a moment, forget the fact that implementation of some goofy system of accounting will be required, like a national sales tax receipt to track that first $20,000.00, the idea that 20 grand buys bupkis anymore is laughable.

You want to buy a new car for $20,000.00? That now becomes $24,600.00. Yeah, that won't have a chilling effect on durable good spending. Any savings you put away for health care, like the Club for Growth suggests we should through MSA's, gets eaten almost immediately by this tax, far outstripping any interest you might have accrued.

My favorite part is where they suggest that Social Security will be made solvent with this. So the point is not to keep working for the future, but spending for the future. Moore points out that paychecks would increase by 20 percent -- a whole 20 percent! However, spending it on anything will cost you 23 percent. So while it might spur thriftiness, that would in turn screw revenues.

The punchline here is that the Club for Growth is not interested in healthy government spending or taxation. They are interested in repealing out current form of government and economy and replacing it with an imperial plutocracy, and crazy-ass schemes like a national 23 percent sales tax are simply goofy ideas they float because one day they think one might stick.

Of course where he gets all this is from legendary right wing academicians Neil Boortz' and John Linder's book "The Fair Tax," where they plucked the 23 percent apparently out of their ass.

This is supposed to be the intellectual class of the right. So now, they are down to the economic equivalent of a Coyote and Road Runner cartoon, where they set out a bowl of free bird seed in the road, while holding a rope attached to one (1) Acme Anvil suspended above our heads, in the vain hope we will stop long enough to eat that the anvil will finally squash us.

Yeah, I've seen that one... it doesn't end well for the Coyote, either...

mojo sends

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