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Old 11-13-2012, 03:54 PM
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US: What are your thoughts about Fair vs. Flat Tax

Curious about what the clever and competent members of the forum think about Fair Tax versus Flat Tax. For the sake of keeping it simple, let's just say a Flat Tax = same percentage of comes out of everyone's paycheck. Fair Tax = no income tax, everyone is taxed based on consumption. Which do you prefer? And why?

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Old 11-13-2012, 06:25 PM
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First I have to challenge your terms because they are often misused and I do want to sign on to some one else's definition. A VAT or sales tax based on non-essential commodities is the fairest of all.

A flat tax on all income per person above a minimum threshold is the far distant second choice.

Property taxes and inheritance taxes are an abomination; the former punitive and the latter nothing but a redistribution scheme.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:28 PM
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Yes..the inheritance aka death tax is horrid. So you consider property taxes as a punishment for folks that own real estate?

I lived in Germany and did understand the VAT system. What I wonder is, after seeing how broken many of these countries with consumption taxes like VAT are failing.

What would really make the VAT viable in the US economy?
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScriptMan View Post
First I have to challenge your terms because they are often misused and I do want to sign on to some one else's definition. A VAT or sales tax based on non-essential commodities is the fairest of all.

A flat tax on all income per person above a minimum threshold is the far distant second choice.

Property taxes and inheritance taxes are an abomination; the former punitive and the latter nothing but a redistribution scheme.
Agreed with what ScriptMan has said but I would make one change.
I wouldn't exempt anything from the consumption tax.
I think the potential to pick and choose winners and losers would be there for someone to exploit by playing with the definition of "essential".
Tax everything at the point of purchase at the same rate and do away with all other taxes.
 
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:47 AM
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Agreed with what ScriptMan has said but I would make one change.
I wouldn't exempt anything from the consumption tax.
I think the potential to pick and choose winners and losers would be there for someone to exploit by playing with the definition of "essential".
Tax everything at the point of purchase at the same rate and do away with all other taxes.
Here in Kentucky we have a 6% sales tax on goods with store bought food and medicine excluded from the collection process. Zap is right that the definition of essential could become distorted. Every edible item sold in a grocery store is not essential food and frankly the lines are blurred and now abused.

When we were in Europe I asked a grocer about the VAT tax and was told that the excluded items were a very small segment like milk, bread, peanut butter and so on. The so on was not discussed in any detail.

If there were exclusions there would have to be some hard and fast rules to define the items. The opportunity to reclassify soft drinks as a food because carbs have food value is a prime example.
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