Turn administration officials' tax liability into credit

Posted: Thursday, February 05, 2009

So far, three Obama administration officials have had tax issues. The tax problems of these three administration officials may be the key to truly stimulating the economy.

It could work like this: We provide every tax payer a tax credit equal to the $180,946.69, combined tax liability of recently confirmed Treasury Secretary Geithner ($40,000), withdrawn "Chief Performance Officer" nominee Nancy Killefer ($946.69), and withdrawn Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Daschle ($140,000). The tax credit would operate the same as an iTunes or Starbucks gift card. Each taxpayer could apply the credit to his or her tax filings until $180,946.69 in tax liability was consumed.

The "evil" rich would see their credit consumed sooner than the working poor, who might need years to consume their credit. Taxpayers, relieved from tax liability, could actually receive more of their paychecks and have money to spend, which really would stimulate the economy. If Congress wanted to get into the act, they could also credit the tax liability of Senators Charles Schumer and Christopher Dodd, and Representatives Charles Wrangel and Barney Frank. The resulting tax credit could absolve many of us from paying federal income taxes for the rest of our lives.

Seriously though, if we assume that these were generally ethical people (I would hope members of Congress and a former Federal Reserve Governor are ethical), who couldn't understand an overly complex tax code that has become nothing more than a tool for special interests and social engineers, then we really need to go to the heart of the problem: federal income tax and the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution that established it.

The alternative is the Fair Tax. It's a consumption tax that would eliminate all other federal taxes, the IRS, the Sixteenth Amendment, and payroll withholding. Imagine that your gross pay is your pay. Imagine the prices of nearly everything you purchase being reduced by 20 to 30 percent. Imagine the near elimination of the underground economy, which means everyone would be taxed on an equal basis. The Fair Tax can do all of these things and also provide the economic stimulus that we need right now at no additional cost to the government. Check out www.fairtax.org for the details.

Rick Currier


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