The FairTax Book: Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax And the IRS

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-06-01
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications

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Wouldn't you love to abolish the IRS ... Keep all the money in your paycheck ... Pay taxes on what you spend, not what you earn ... And eliminate all the fraud, hassle, and waste of our current system? Then the FairTax is for you. In the face of the outlandish American tax burden, talk-radio firebrand Neal Boortz and Congressman John Linder are leading the charge to phase out our current, unfair system and enact the FairTax Plan, replacing the federal income tax and withholding system with a simple 23 percent retail sales tax on new goods and services. This dramatic revision of the current system, which would eliminate the reviled IRS, has already caught fire in the American heartland, with more than six hundred thousand taxpayers signing on in support of the plan. As Boortz and Linder reveal in this first book on the FairTax, this radical but eminently sensible plan would end the annual national nightmare of filing income tax returns, while at the same time enlarging the federal tax base by collecting sales tax from every retail consumer in the country. The FairTax, they argue, would transform the fearsome bureaucracy of the IRS into a more transparent, accountable, and equitable tax collection system. Among other benefits, it will: Make America's tax code truly voluntary, without reducing revenue Replace today's indecipherable tax code with one simple sales tax Protect lower-income Americans by covering the tax on basic necessities Eliminate billions of dollars in embedded taxes we don't even know we're paying Bring offshore corporate dollars back into the U.S. economy Endorsed by scores of leading economists and supported by a huge and growing grassroots movement, the FairTax Plan could revolutionize the way America pays for itself. In this straight-talking book, Neal Boortz and John Linder show you how it would work-and how you can help make it happen.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
A Word from Congressman John Linderp. xi
A Word from Neal Boortzp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
The History of Our Income Taxp. 9
... Then Came Withholdingp. 19
The Myth of Corporate Taxesp. 31
Our Current Tax Code: The Cost of Compliancep. 39
The Embedded Costs of Our Tax Codep. 51
Bringing American Business Back Homep. 61
The Birth of the FairTaxp. 69
The FairTax Explainedp. 73
The FairTax Prebate: The Key to Fairnessp. 81
Underground and Offshore Economy... Taxed at Last!p. 91
So We've Done It. What Happens to Our Economy?p. 105
The Opposition. Where Will It Come From?p. 113
Social Security and Medicare Under the FairTaxp. 123
Income Tax Outragesp. 139
Questions and Objectionsp. 147
Okay. Great Idea. So What Do We Do Now?p. 173
Afterwordp. 181
Acknowledgmentsp. 197
Indexp. 199
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


The Fair Tax Book
Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS

Chapter One

The History of Our Income Tax

No . . . you haven't bought a history book. You've bought a book that details a new method of raising revenue for the federal government that will send the American economy into warp drive—while restoring financial privacy and economic liberty to American families and wage earners.

To plan successfully for the future, though, it's necessary to have at least a basic understanding of the past. If we're trying to kill a bureaucratic monster that destroys initiative and impedes economic growth, it's crucial that we know just what cave that monster crawled out of. In the words of the American philosopher George Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

As you read this depressing (though brief) history of the income tax in America—and the chapter on withholding that follows—keep this basic fact in mind: There is absolutely no limit to the government's desire for your money. When it comes to politicians' powers of taxation, the only limit they recognize is the people's willingness to tolerate the confiscation of their wealth. The amount of your earnings that the government is willing to leave in your pocket is only the amount it cannot seize without promoting an outright rebellion.

In the early years of our republic, the federal government levied few taxes. The Feds managed to get by with only a handful: taxes on alcohol, carriages, and some basic consumer items such as sugar and tobacco. When the United States went to war against Great Britain in 1812, sales taxes were placed on various luxury items to cover the cost. The cost of fighting a war can be high, but citizens are generally amenable to higher taxes in times of war because they realize that the cost of not fighting the war can be even higher. These patriotic feelings would be exploited in later years to the immense benefit of the free-spending political class.

In 1817, with Great Britain once again defeated, Congress did away with all internal taxes and funded the cost of the federal government with tariffs on imports.

Remember, please, that during this period of American history most governing was done at the local, not the national, level. This is as our founding fathers wanted it. Various people present when our Constitution was drafted expressed a belief that, in times of peace, roughly 95 percent of all governing should be at the state and local levels, with the remaining 5 percent coming from the federal government. Add that to the list of founding principles that have been all but ignored.

The first attempt at an income tax came about to raise funds for what we know as the Civil War.1 In 1861, Congress passed a bill assessing a 3 percent income tax on everyone earning between $600 and $10,000 a year. Six hundred dollars a year in 1861 would equal about $10,000 now. If you earned more than $10,000 (about $166,700 today), the rate went to 5 percent and a nice little inheritance tax was added to the mix, as were some additional sales and excise taxes.

The Union wasn't alone in enacting the income tax. The idea also caught hold south of the Mason-Dixon line, and the Confederate states enacted their own version. Misery, it seems, has always loved company.

By 1872, with the war over, the populace was starting to show its displeasure with the income tax. The political class reacted by eliminating the income tax. The Feds went back to taxing tobacco and booze. Yet the politicians' dreams of a permanent income tax weren't easy to squelch; the snake was hibernating, not dead. Over the next twenty years or more, members of Congress introduced no less than sixty-eight bills to enact another income tax.

The second term of President Grover Cleveland brought us the economic fiasco that's gone down in history as the Panic of 1893. First, the Reading Railroad (remember it from Monopoly?) went into receivership. A few banks and other businesses dependent on the railroad followed, and soon we had a general economic downturn. Now, as we've learned, when the economy goes sour that's a signal for the government to start taking more money out of the pockets of its citizens. It was time to try an income tax again.

Using the Panic as a handy excuse, eager politicians passed a law calling for a new income tax in 1894. Politicians then, as now, were not particularly eager to showcase just what they were trying to accomplish, so they made a blatant attempt to quell any possibility of a strong anti-income tax response from the voters by assigning a rather bizarre title to the new tax bill. They called it "An act to reduce taxation, to provide revenue for the government, and for other purposes."2 Just how much can you trust a politician who passes a law to tax your income, and calls it an "act to reduce taxation"?

The 1894 "act to reduce taxation" presented Americans with a 2 percent tax on everyone making more than $4,000 a year (the equivalent of $50,000 today). In a nice twist, our politicians decided that all government officials—state and local alike—would be exempt from the new tax. Not a bad deal! Tax the people, exempt yourself. That's what the politicians of 1894 meant by "equal treatment under the law." Why not give it a try? Who knows . . . it just might have worked.

As it turned out, this 2 percent tax on incomes over $4,000 started a chain of events that culminated in a constitutional amendment and our current income tax system. President Grover Cleveland, you see, thought that the 2 percent income tax was unconstitutional, so he let it become law without his signature. The question of constitutionality was presented to the U.S. Supreme Court—and the income tax lost.4 The Supremes ruled that the income tax was actually a direct tax on the citizens of the United States, a violation of the Constitution.

Now here's where things get really depressing. After an income tax was declared unconstitutional, the politicians in . . .

The Fair Tax Book
Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS
. Copyright © by Neal Boortz. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from The FairTax Book: Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS by Neal Boortz, John Linder
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Absolutely Brilliant!! August 10, 2011
Insightful from how the income tax was formed to how the concept of withholding was devised. The Fair Tax Book shows a detailed process how it would work. I am a Proponent and every Politician should stand up for the good of the people. Good product arrived ahead of schedule, and in new condition as advertised by seller. Overall I experience no problems.
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The FairTax Book: Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax And the IRS: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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