Is an “American Spring” possible?

As a student of history, I know two things:

  1. Those who don’t study history are bound to repeat it.
  2. Whenever the gap between rich and poor becomes too large- things cave in.

Apparently, the people in Washington and Wall Street weren’t students of history.

Henry Ford was an absolute jerk, but he realized if he wanted to sell lots of his expensive cars, he had to make them affordable to his workers- so he paid them well.

Buy War Bonds- "Are you doing all you can brother"

Who pays for the war?

Let’s take a look at the pay ratio in most of our major corporations- any idiot should see that by paying the C-suite big bucks and shipping the jobs off to China is going to eventually kill the goose that laid the golden egg. The American government can’t pay its bills, the American people are going broke trying to put gas in their tank, pay for health insurance, college loans and housing that is no longer worth what they borrowed, a perfect storm is brewing. Take a look at what’s happened in the Arab countries in the so-called “Arab Spring.” Think about what the “Tea Party” is modeled after? Folks, a revolution could be coming to America- or riots, or both.

I’m not the only one thinking about this- CNN’s Jack Cafferty asked the same questions:

For the first time maybe since the Vietnam War or certainly since the civil rights movement, there are some darkening storm clouds on the civility horizon. A growing number of voices are continuing to suggest that if this economy doesn’t turn around, and people can’t start feeling optimistic about their futures again, we could be headed for some ugly scenarios. A new CNN poll says 48 percent of Americans think the country is headed for another Great Depression in the next twelve months. That is a stunning number.

James Carville, who in 1992 told Bill Clinton, “It’s the economy stupid,” says the current economy is so bad, there is a heightened risk of civil unrest. And unless things start changing for the better, it’s a distinct possibility.

Our country is bankrupt and our government refuses to do anything about it. Unemployment is stuck above 9 percent. Millions of Americans are out of work, some for a number of years now. The value of peoples’ homes is sinking below the break-even line. In the most recent jobs report, more than half of the private sector jobs that were added were at McDonald’s.

For young people coming out of the nation’s colleges and universities, their families having invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their education, the outlook is grim.

via Cafferty File: Tell Jack how you really feel Blog Archive – What are the chances the U.S. economy could eventually trigger violence in our country? « – CNN.com Blogs.

He included some of the comments in his news story- but the comments are interesting in their own right. There are people ready to say “WTF do I have to lose”- and I’ll be damned if I’m going to lose everything while banking CEOs who screwed the pooch still are millionaires, without a care.

Bernie Madoff ran a Ponzi scheme and went to jail, our Congress hasn’t done much better- outspending their allowance year after year- and none of them are in trouble. It’s not as simple as cutting spending or raising taxes anymore- 14 trillion is a bit bigger than that. It’s time to do a reset- and historically, resets come with a big dose of violence.

I recently got one of those e-mails that circulates with a million cc’s and it was right on the money:

Minorities
We need to show more sympathy for these people.

  • They travel miles in the heat.
  • They risk their lives crossing a border.
  • They don’t get paid enough wages.
  • They do jobs that others won’t do or are afraid to do.
  • They live in crowded conditions among a people who speak a different language.
  • They rarely see their families, and they face adversity all day ~ every day.

I’m not talking about illegal Mexicans ~I’m talking about our troops!

Doesn’t it seem strange that so many are willing to lavish all kinds of social benefits on illegals, but don’t support our troops?

Wouldn’t it be great if we took the $360,000,000,000 (that’s billion) we spend on illegals every year, and spend it on our troops!

A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to‘The United States of America ’ for any amount, up to and including their life.

And I think back to the sacrifices this country made in the last declared war- WWII (in case you needed a refresher) where everyone pitched in for the war effort. And, all men were equally expected and eligible to serve.

Before we end up with war on the streets of America, it’s time that the burden of this war is equally distributed across all socio-economic classes. It’s time to hand the bill off to the richest Americans, who live in safety and have their freedom, because our poor are asked to do their fighting.

It’s time to put the brakes on the tax breaks for the rich- and the privileges of being an American without having to share in the sacrifice that everyone of the working class is making- paying $4 a gallon, going without health insurance and living in homes that are upside down.

Put a war tax on incomes over $1 million a year until our troops are home, and make it hurt. It’s the only way we’re going to get Congress to stop squandering our tax dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq while the people at home struggle. And if you’re super rich and don’t like it- you can either buy off your congressmen to stop the war, or take your money and go live somewhere else- because if things don’t get better soon- this country might look like somewhere else where the people revolted. Take a look at the Arab Spring for starters.

 

 

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31 Responses

  1. truddick June 10, 2011 / 7:36 am
    David, the Tea Party is modeled after the John Birch Society, with a somewhat lower standard of dress and discourse; two of its major funders, the Koch brothers, are the sons of the founder of JBS.  The kind of violent revolution that the TP would promote is rather similar to the ones that right-wing militias envision.

    The real revolution ought not to be generated by emotive violence but by conscientious civil action.  The conditions in the USA now are rather similar to those of the latter 1800s, the time of the rise of the robber barons.  That unstable and unfair economy was finally corrected by the labor union movement–which had a good deal of violence initiated not by the noble rabble, but by the robber barons and their Pinkerton guards.

    To draw an analogy between the USA and Egypt/Tunisia/Libya/Yemen/Syria/Bahrain is egregiously false.  The citizens of the USA currently have what those nations did not–an electorate with the genuine power to replace everyone in government.  The sticking point is that we have allowed mainstream media and the two-party system to restrict us to false choices, to more of the same.  We could get this government right in four years if we quit fixating on irrelevancies, if we reject as simpletons any candidates who refuse to consider all alternatives, if our fellow citizens would realize that the overly left-wing policies of the late 1960s-1980 were the opposite side of the same bad penny as the overly right-wing policies since.

    The first step, I think, is to educate everyone that the wealthy currently pay around 17% of their incomes in taxes (all taxes at all levels) while those of us in the shrinking middle class pay around 33%.  The economy is not driven by the wealthy, but by middle-class consumers, and so tax cuts for the wealthy do not create jobs (if they did, it would have worked by now).  We could wipe out the national debt in a few decades, put social security and medicare on rock-solid financial footings, and give the middle class a nice tax cut if we only required the wealthiest 400 Americans to pay proportionately.

    But look at our political leadership: they won’t support “job-killing” tax hikes.  Which begs the question, Speaker Boehner: will you support “job-CREATING” ones?  And do you know the difference?

    It’s time to swing the pendulum away from anti-intellectualism and Ayn-Rand objectivism (but let’s hope it doesn’t swing so very far into the other extreme).  To do that will require less irrational anger–less of the Tea Party participants screaming “keep your government hands off my medicare!”–and more careful analysis and reasoned action.

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  2. Dad June 10, 2011 / 9:45 am
    I find it truly surprising to learn on this blog that the Tea Party is the spawn of the John Birch Society. Robert Welch, who hated newsmen, was once scheduled to speak at Fort Wayne. I could not get a press pass so I sent as a Hoosier. My story appeared on the front page of the Van Wert Times-Bulletin the next day and I was flabbergasted a few days later to get a note from Welch saying, “Well done!”
    Basically, he exhumed the story of the Illuminati and told us with a straight face that President Eisenhower was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party.
    Thanks, Mr. Ruddick
     

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  3. Stephen Lahanas June 10, 2011 / 10:16 am
    I think the key question is not whether we’re going to have a Depression but when we’re going to acknowledge that we’re already in one.
    Just in the past two weeks we’ve heard the following formally released news bytes:

    Chronic unemployment is now worse than during the great depression. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/05/eveningnews/main20069136.shtml
    Home prices have fallen now more than they did during the Great Depression: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1392814/Its-worse-Great-Depression-Home-prices-suffer-double-dip-2002-levels.html
    Worst of all, is the growing recognition that the 600 trillion, yes 600 trillion dollar Derivatives Market is now teetering on the brink – this represents the Mother of All Speculative bubbles.

    By most objective measures we not only never came out of the Recession, we are in fact sinking further into what already was clearly a downturn as significant as the Great Depression. You can’t resolve a problem without first acknowledging it…

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  4. joe_mamma June 10, 2011 / 11:00 am
    “We could wipe out the national debt in a few decades, put social security and medicare on rock-solid financial footings, and give the middle class a nice tax cut if we only required the wealthiest 400 Americans to pay proportionately.” – truddick

    How’s that math work?  The net worth of the Forbes 400 is about $1.4 Trillion.  The federal deficit this year will probably be between 1.3 to 1.5 Trillion.  So if the government somehow confiscated all the wealth of the Forbes 400 and liquidated it into cash it could still be in deficit by 100 Billion.  The 14 Trillion in national debt is still there.  Social Security and Medicare unfunded liabilities are still there.

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  5. joe_mamma June 10, 2011 / 1:17 pm
    “Henry Ford was an absolute jerk, but he realized if he wanted to sell lots of his expensive cars, he had to make them affordable to his workers- so he paid them well.” – DE

    This is an often repeated fable.  In fact Ford started to pay higher wages because the average Ford worker quit after 4 months.  Inexperienced workers are less productive.  Also…about half of this increased pay was in the form of bonus.  A bonus that was payable only if the employee met certain character tests in addition to performance…no gambling, no drinking, immigrants must take classes to become “Americanized” and learn English. 
    In short it’s the exact opposite.  Ford was compensating to promote productivity not to promote consumption.

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  6. David Esrati June 10, 2011 / 1:30 pm

    @Joe Mamma- he was still an absolute jerk- I got that part right.

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  7. Jeff Dziwulski June 10, 2011 / 5:37 pm
    Rudduck compares this era with the Gilded Age.

    As in the Gilded Age, when the natives get restless, call out the militia, or, in the case of the Pullman Strike, call out the regular Army, when all else fails.    

    Whats forgotten is the fight against unionization in the 1890s and early 1900s was sucessfuil. 
    (and Dayton’s industrialist community pioneered some of the effective tactics used in defeating the union wave)

    The unions were pretty much defeated, until the return of industrial unionism in the 1930s, via the CIO.

    So, no, I think there wont be violence.  Or if there is it will be easily dealt with.  The police power of the state is great, and the control of conciousness via the media is almost all-encompassing.   So there is no ‘space’ to oppose the system, the set-up, the status-quo.  

    Times are hard.  Oh well. 

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  8. Brian June 10, 2011 / 5:38 pm
    @truddick, brilliant post.   

    I love these points, but do you have data to back them up?  

    ————–
    The first step, I think, is to educate everyone that the wealthy currently pay around 17% of their incomes in taxes (all taxes at all levels) while those of us in the shrinking middle class pay around 33%.  The economy is not driven by the wealthy, but by middle-class consumers, and so tax cuts for the wealthy do not create jobs (if they did, it would have worked by now).  We could wipe out the national debt in a few decades, put social security and medicare on rock-solid financial footings, and give the middle class a nice tax cut if we only required the wealthiest 400 Americans to pay proportionately.
    —————

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  9. Ice Bandit June 10, 2011 / 8:38 pm
    …the spawn of the John Birch Society, dear Dad? Granted, cannabis abuse during the 1960s may have had a deleterious effect on the Old Bandito’s short-term memory, but methinks that grey matter still recalls Tea Party formation back in 2009. A collection of tax-protesters met at Courthouse Square on April 15, as they have for years, and listened to a few speeches. Now the Old Bandito went to this protest and saw a libertarian-leaning and like-minded yet lawful band engaged in free speech and assembly, and engaging in the right to petition. David Esrati was at attendance at this same assembly, and using the Vulcan Mind Meld technique of Mr. Spock and the ESP powers of the Amazing Kreskin, read the minds of all 2,000 in attendance and declared they were all a bunch of racists. And as this phenomena was unfolding in Dayton, it was replayed in thousands of American cities throughout the fruited plain. Alas, dear Dad, the Tea Party has no leader, nor membership dues, nor a secret handshake or decoder ring. And if it is spawn of anything, dear Dad, it is the internet which allows organizers to hang up a virtual billboard for upcoming events rather than the caprice of daily newspaper. And contrary to Truddick’s revisionism, the Tea Party’s real models are the flash mob and the bluegrass festival, except when the Tea Party leaves the place is cleaner then when they arrived….

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  10. Jeff Dziwulski June 10, 2011 / 9:14 pm
    The Tea Party event I went to, the first one they had on CHS, was pretty impressive, actually.  One of the largest nonpartisan political events Ive witnessed in Dayton.  Despite the background funding from the Kochs et al, if the message didnt resonate no one would have attended.  And THAT is the key to the sucess of this movement, that its message rings true with a lot of people, hence its sucess and influence.

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  11. Stephen Lahanas June 11, 2011 / 10:59 am
    Jeff, the ironic thing about the Tea Party messaging is that they’ve adopted the populist message that the Democrats chose to abandon. It’s ironic because its not just the money they’re getting from the Kochs / american enterprise institute etc. – it is the actual messaging.
    Their message was crafted knowing full well that the true impact of the policies they would pursue would not only not benefit 99% of team party supporters – it would hurt them:
    1 – by shifting more of the tax burden to the middle class
    2 – by removing regulations that were put in place to police industry & protect us
    3 – by shifting more production overseas. The ‘job creators’ are creating the majority of all new jobs offshore.
    Yet it sure sounded good that someone was taking aim at Wall Street and pointed out that no one in DC listens to ordinary Americans any more – the problem is the new wave of conservative pols are cutting us ordinary folks even further out of the process. We’re seeing what insider government really looks like now (both in DC and in Columbus). However bad it was before – it’s getting worse. It will be pay to play and most of us will never make it to the field…
     

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  12. Gary June 11, 2011 / 11:12 am
    When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose … I am successful because I care about the troops, my family and indigent people … It’s that simple … This world is not ours anyway … think of it that way … It’s Mother Nature’s, we are her/the stewards, when she gets pissed, she just sends tornatos and sunnomi’s sp.? and earthquakes …
    I feel Obama is secretly planning a new move in his next term, and it’s not a New World Order which some think it is–it’s going to be a growing economy … He has the best staff now to do it, too!  Have some faith, mercy and patience, and trust in Mother Earth!

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  13. joe_mamma June 11, 2011 / 12:13 pm
    Just so we’re all clear…

    What Tea Party policy proposal would shift the tax burden to middle class?  What industry regulations are they asking to be removed?  What policies would shift production overseas? 

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  14. joe_mamma June 11, 2011 / 12:35 pm
    Gary…so if Obama haa a “secret” move to grow the economy in the second term, then why isn’t he implementing his “move” now and save Americans the pain and suffering we are currently experiencing?  If you care about the indigent then why would you vote for someone who is going to wait until his second term to “fix” the economy?

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  15. Gary June 11, 2011 / 12:44 pm
    joe_mamma June 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Just so we’re all clear…
    What Tea Party policy proposal would shift the tax burden to middle class?  What industry regulations are they asking to be removed?  What policies would shift production overseas?   I’m going to take a few stabs at some answers: Firstly Joe, I guess Barack is concentrating on his campaign trail at the moment; and since the economy recovery is going to take years anyway … As far as the Tea Party, you need to watch out for Sarah Palin’s bus in your neighborhood and as her your questions, since she appears to be a tea party tea head??? If she runs for president it’s just going to be so funny watching her flub up … The tea party is run by the rich republican corporations and lobbyists and they don’t give a rat’s ass about the middle class!  They want to rid any and all industries that they don’t control!  They want all their corporations to go over seas and create a new world order with them to take over the world! 

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  16. Ice Bandit June 11, 2011 / 2:31 pm
    I feel Obama is secretly planning a new move in his next term..it’s going to be a growing economy. (Gary)
     
    …you couldn’t be more correct, dear Gary. If the Great Helmsman knows how to make the economy grow, he’s certainly keeping it a secret…

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  17. Gary June 11, 2011 / 2:59 pm
    Arab Spring is a term that was used beginning in March 2005 by numerous media commentators to suggest that a spin-off benefit of the invasion of Iraq would be the flowering of Western-friendly Middle East democracies. The term took on a new meaning in 2011, as democratic uprisings independently arose and spread across the Arab world. NOW I’M STARTING TO GET WORRIED … WHAT IF BARACK IS THE DEMIGOD FROM THE EAST–WHAT IF THE CIA DID MAKE UP OSAMA BIN LADIN–WHAT IF WE HAVE NEVER BEEN TO THE MOON–WHAT IF THERE IS GOING TO BE A NEW WORLD ORDER?

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  18. Ice Bandit June 12, 2011 / 7:36 am
    …just so you don’t get that pregnant and alone feeling, dear joe_mamma, you’re not the only one waxing quizzical over Stephen Lahanas’ allegations about the Tea Party. The fair-tax, a main plank in the Tea Party’s platform, replaces a confiscatory, and prosperity killing income tax that nobody understands with a simple and voluntary consumption tax without breaking the backs of the left’s blessed poor. Furthermore, the regulations Stephen contends are for protecting consumers and policing industry are usually written and paid for by the “policed” industries themselves in order to keep competitors out of the marketplace, and artificially inflate prices. Anytime Uncle Sam claims to be doing something for consumers, the real beneficiaries are generally nearby with a campaign contribution. And as far as running businesses off-shore, the government needs no suggestions from the Tea Party on how to expedite that phenomena; that ship (filled with industrial equipment) sailed back in the Clinton Administration…

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  19. Stephen Lahanas June 12, 2011 / 12:32 pm
    for Joe and Ice…
    OK – let’s talk about the Fair Tax. What’s fair about the wealthiest Americans paying an ever decreasing share of their overall income while we (the Middle Class) continue to pay an increasing share of ours while also paying an increasing share of the overall tax burden? Income tax ought to be assessed on the amount of income total earned and the ability to pay. Super-wealthy tax payers will benefit disproportionately as key tax deductions are removed and rates lowered – however our effective tax rates will increase as those deductions are phased out. Recall the alternative minimum tax? That was invented specifically to add tax burden to the middle class to make up for cuts to the wealthy (it was Reagan’s idea).
    Here’s what’s going to happen – the wealthy and big corps will keep their tax breaks and subsidies because guess what – they are the ones funding the Tea Party and providing support to the think tanks which are churning out the BS talking points designed to exploit your growing discontent as this country becomes ever more mired in corruption (fueled by them ironically enough).
    Ice – no it didn’t start with Clinton – outsourcing began in earnest during the Reagan administration based upon overtures initiated while Nixon was in office. Several trillion $s have been invested in setting up the ‘global supply chain’ which is perhaps the stupidest idea ever when considering how monumentally inefficient it is and how much subsidization it requires (and how unbelievably destructive it has turned out to be in terms of wrecking standards of living, the environment and agricultural production in most nations).
    Joe – what policies ? It’s the whole agenda, read it. It’s actually not that much different than the BS that G.W. spouted in 2000, just repackaged for the times. The question is what K Street lobbying firms are these new Tea Party pols not working for? Industry lobbyists are writing everything they’re working on from the dismantling of Medicare & Social Security to blocking the credit limit, to trying to dismantle the consumer credit agency to pushing to remove arsenic, lead and mercury limits on drinking water – the list is pretty long.
    My suggestion is to stop reading their talking points and start looking at what they’re actually doing. At the state level the agenda is leading to massive cuts (which will lead to more than 100k layoffs in Ohio this year) and stripping firefighters, teachers and cops of job security and bargaining rights. This at the same that chief GOP lobbyist in Ohio (who is a big Tea Party supporter) has made 500 million $ paid for by Ohio taxpayers to run 31 charter schools, 21 of which are on academic suspension.
    So here’s the difference between me and the Tea Party backers – I unlike them, am not actively trying to screw you our of your money while at the same time convincing you you to think like me. I am however asking you all to start thinking for yourselves while you still have a few cents left in your pocket.
     

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  20. truddick June 13, 2011 / 10:48 am
    Hmmm.  Ice Bandit first declared:

    “Alas, dear Dad, the Tea Party has no leader, nor membership dues, nor a secret handshake or decoder ring.”

    Dad?  Have we met, Icey?  Your writing doesn’t remind me of any of my sons’–

    Then Ice declared:

    “The fair-tax, a main plank in the Tea Party’s platform, replaces a confiscatory, and prosperity killing income tax that nobody understands with a simple and voluntary consumption tax without breaking the backs of the left’s blessed poor.”

    So let’s get this straight–a pseudo-party with no leaders, membership, or i.d. has a platform with “Fair Tax” as a main plank?  I don’t see how that’s possible.  Are you thinking clearly?

    The “Fair Tax” proposal merely rearaanges the deck chairs.  It doesn’t matter what basis of taxation you impose; at some point people pay money to the government.  If you’re thinking income taxes have to be as convoluted as our government has made them, then you have to admit that a consumption tax could be made equally convoluted–haven’t you heard horror stories about how in France (where “value-added” consumption taxes are big) there are government agents outside meat shops with thermometers to check the temperature of chickens–because the tax is different if the chicken is cooked or raw.

    Meanwhile, the “Fair Tax” makes false claims.  They say that they’ll eliminate the IRS.  Well, you’ll need a similar agency to police collection and payment of the sales taxes.  Moreover, the “Fair Taz” protects the poor (to use your terms) by giving a rebate of up to $27,000 based on income–so you’ll still need to track and match incomes to do the rebate–which means keeping the IRS or making a new, similar agency.  That’s MORE government, not less.

    What we need is a constitutional amendment that says that all taxes must be levied based on categories, not individual people or corporations–which would outlaw any special-interest tax breaks like the ones that permit global corporations to avoid paying taxes altogether.  THAT would make taxes more fair, in reality and not just in name.  If you want to go further and get the tax codes properly simple and elegant, you need to elect smarter candidates–another reason to ignore the Tea Party where it’s praiseworthy to be abysmally ignorant of world geography and U.S. history.

    Then again, if you claim that a leaderless, creedless rag-tag pseudo-party has a platform with major planks–well, draw your own conclusions.

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  21. joe_mamma June 13, 2011 / 1:43 pm
    “Meanwhile, the “Fair Tax” makes false claims.  They say that they’ll eliminate the IRS.  Well, you’ll need a similar agency to police collection and payment of the sales taxes.  Moreover, the “Fair Taz” protects the poor (to use your terms) by giving a rebate of up to $27,000 based on income–so you’ll still need to track and match incomes to do the rebate–which means keeping the IRS or making a new, similar agency.  That’s MORE government, not less.” – truddick

    The fair tax uses monthly Prebates…not rebates thatt would be handled by an existing government entity that already tracks income and issues payments, the Social Security Admin.  Also…compliance costs would be reduced because tax collection points would be at the retail level not the individual citizen level. 

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  22. Bubba Jones June 13, 2011 / 9:22 pm
    truddick – before you start criticizing the Fair Tax, at least educate yourself on the actual HOUSE BILL not the bill as it’s been edited by your liberal friends.  The PREbate (not REbate) is NOT based on income.  Every legal household will get the same amount based on the number of people living in the home.  So, a family of four with a household income of $40,000 per year will get the same prebate as a family of four with a household income of $400,000 per year.  The idea is to eliminate any and all sales tax burden for purchasing the essentials up to some level above the poverty level.  That will eliminate any tax burden on, as Ice so eloquently puts it, the “blessed poor.”
     
    As far as eliminating the IRS, you are correct that some sort of agency will be responsible for collecting the taxes.  However, under the Fair Tax, the number of “reporting entities” will be reduced by hundreds of millions.  That’s because individuals won’t be remitting the tax – that burden will fall to businesses just as state sales taxes are now.  The individual pays it to the business who in turn remits it to the government.  So, the only “reporting entities” will be businesses.
     
    As far as Ice’s comments to “Dear Dad”, he was referring to Mr. E’s (aka “Dad”) response to your assertions that the JBS spawned the Tea Party.  As intelligent as you so often profess to be, I’m surprised that you missed it.  But, since you are so intelligent, I’m sure that you’ll educate yourself on the Fair Tax by going to FairTax.org to read about the $20M+ that was spent on a study many years ago to come up with the most efficient and fair way to raise money for the Federal government.  And once you’ve done that, you can download the actual text of the house bill.  It’s only about 100 pages (compared to the 50,000+ pages of IRS code and regulations that are currently in place) so it’s a fairly easy read.
     
    After you’ve done that reading, then do a little research on Value Added Taxes.  You’ll then see that VAT and the Fair Tax have very little in common.
     
    Happy reading!  And, have a great day! :)

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  23. truddick June 13, 2011 / 10:31 pm
    <sigh>

    The “Fair Tax” is a sales tax, which is by definition a value-added tax.

    You all claim that the rebates are “prebates” but they still require tracking individual taxpayers in order to administer the rebates (and I’ll skip the rhetorical “prebate” tag from now on, I don’t need to spin it).  In order to track individual taxpayers, you need a large federal agency like IRS.  Social Security Admin could do it–if you expanded it to about twice its current size.

    Having collection points at every point of sale is simpler than having collection points for every wage earner HOW?  I make dozens of purchases from each of my bimonthly paychecks.

    And the original income tax law was much, much shorter.  Repeal it and replace it with the “Fair Tax” and give the current dysfunctional congress a few years and they’ll muck it up just as badly.  Elect smarter people–not your ignoramuses like Palin, Bachman, Huckabee, Rand or Ron (and yes I’m picking on all Tea Party people here; ask me sometime for my list of Dem imbeciles when we’re not talking TP) and you’ll get your simpler, more fair, more elegant tax without special interests.

    You all seem quite clueless about who is funding your Tea Party and Fair Tax movements.  My claim was not that the John Birch Soceity founded the TP movement, but that JB was founded by Koch the father; his sons Koch have bankrolled the TP movement (along with career politician Dick Armey and others of that ilk).  I’m waiting for Dayton TP founder Rob Scott to reveal where his money comes from.  Aren’t you guys wondering why you’re advocating this stuff for free while others are getting paid rather well?

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  24. joe_mamma June 14, 2011 / 8:12 am
    The “Fair Tax” is a sales tax, which is by definition a value-added tax. – truddick

    Not really.  Very different actually.  Just for clarity sake.  A VAT is a tax that is added anytime “value” is added to a product.  So products and materials are taxed several times as they wind their way through the supply chain. 

    The fair tax has one taxation/collection point, the final sale.

    “Having collection points at every point of sale is simpler than having collection points for every wage earner HOW?  I make dozens of purchases from each of my bimonthly paychecks.” – truddick

    Those businesses are already tracking and paying sales taxes based off of your purchases.  The fair tax would simply be an additional percentage on top.  Since its such a simple calculation implementation costs would be relatively minor, and would definitely be less than the cost of complying with the current federal tax code.

    “And the original income tax law was much, much shorter.  Repeal it and replace it with the “Fair Tax” and give the current dysfunctional congress a few years and they’ll muck it up just as badly.” – truddick
    This is a risk with any tax, so it isn’t a valid argument.  Instead we should be focusing on electing leaders that do not want to use the power of government to play favorites.  

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  25. Ice Bandit June 15, 2011 / 6:32 am
    Elect smarter people–not your ignoramuses like Palin, Bachman, Huckabee, Rand or Ron…(truddick)
     
    …you’re right, dear truddick. Why, once the hoi-polloi and the great-unwashed get their way politically, who knows what their elected reps might do? Their policies might cause massive and long-lasting unemployment, create social havoc and turmoil and make our once powerful currency as worthless as if it had a portrait of Mr. Monopoly rather than George Washington. And their reps may involve us in an endless and expensive series of global conflicts of which we have no national interests. Or send naked pictures of themselves to teenage girls. Oh, that’s right, our Harvard educated Great Helmsman and his Ivy-League educated Democrat flash-mob have already been there, done that, and kept the “Hope and Change” t-shirt. Never mind….

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  26. djw June 15, 2011 / 9:27 am
    I can’t believe there are still people clueless enough to advocate for a massive sales tax like the “fair tax” instead of an income tax. Kiss goodbye any semblance of a domestic tourism industry–or any domestic spending on any good that could be brought abroad. If you’re relying on economic patriotism to fuel domestic consumption, you’ll be sorely disappointed. 

    But here we are in a crisis not of overtaxation (real tax rates are as low as they’ve been in many decades) but of insufficient demand. And your brilliant idea is to switch over to a tax system that appears to be designed to suppress demand.

    All because the IRS is mean. It’s a non-solution to a non-problem.

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  27. David Lauri June 15, 2011 / 11:11 am
    Eh, I’m no advocate of the Fair Tax, djw, but has Canada lost American tourists because of their GST?  Most Americans are probably too ignorant to know they can get a rebate on GST paid while in Canada (see http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/visitors/).
     
    And yes, I know that a VAT is not exactly a sales tax, but has tourism in Europe been negatively affected by the VAT there?  Again, most Americans probably have no clue they can get rebates on VAT paid in Europe (see http://goeurope.about.com/od/vat/VAT_refunds_Value_Added_Tax.htm).
     
    There are plenty of good arguments against a “Fair” Tax, but worrying about a decline in tourism probably isn’t the strongest.

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  28. joe_mamma June 15, 2011 / 12:46 pm
    “Kiss goodbye any semblance of a domestic tourism industry–or any domestic spending on any good that could be brought abroad. If you’re relying on economic patriotism to fuel domestic consumption, you’ll be sorely disappointed. ” – djw

    You are forgetting that everything you currently buy already has the income tax and payroll taxe costs imbedded in its price.  The fair tax replaces the federal income tax and payroll taxes thus removing that hidden cost from the price of goods.  In addition there would be savings because there would be no need to spend so much time and money on federal tax compliance.  All in all the price of goods should be flat or more likely decrease.

    “But here we are in a crisis not of overtaxation (real tax rates are as low as they’ve been in many decades) but of insufficient demand.” – djw

    Except that most of the drop is due the recession.  If you include property taxes, excise taxes,  fees, sales taxes, payroll taxes, estate taxes, customs duties etc…that is certainly not the case.  Also you need to factor in the debt….every dollar of debt is a dollar plus interest of taxes that have yet to be collected.   

    Thank you,…thank you….I’ll be here all week…

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  29. Gary June 15, 2011 / 2:38 pm
    If you want to get rich and pay all the taxes there are doing it, sell pot seeds in Canada and/or open a medical marijuana shop out west–it is being done every day legally!

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  30. Ice Bandit June 16, 2011 / 11:56 pm
    You all seem quite clueless about who is funding your Tea Party and Fair Tax movements. (truddick)
     
    …Back at ya. Your’re right dear truddick, must of us are so clueless we think Moby Dick is a venereal disease, but some are finding motivation in who is funding the maintaining of the status quo. And you won’t find a slimier bunch outside a primordial swamp. Without our current dog-and-pony show, lawmakers at the state and national level would have to find a currency other than the tax break. Tax lawyers, who don’t understand the daily changing tax laws better than anyone else but make megabucks by pretending they do, would have to start chasing ambulances. And the multi-billion dollar compliance agencies; or the army of accountants and preparers who go adios without the tax system we prosper in spite of rather than because of. These folks add nothing to the bottom line, but they are paid to keep the filer out of the exercise yard at Leavenworth, and add cost to everything. Remember that bunch from the cantina in Star Wars? If a bunch of tax lawyers came into that watering hole, the aliens would run home to take a shower….

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  31. jstults June 23, 2011 / 3:51 pm
    Jeff Dziwulski:

    So, no, I think there wont be violence.

    Richardson’s work seems to show that being under a common government for a long period of time has a pacifying influence, unless the government is used by one group to oppress another.  In that case, common government actually seemed to be an irritant, increasing the chances of deadly quarrels.  For the data nerds there’s COW; his book is hard to find (and his editors drew conclusions he didn’t and his data didn’t support), but you can read this online.  The transitions to an industrialized economy tend to be violent, but the violence tends to fall off after that into relative peacefulness.  If we’re currently transitioning to a new type of economic order (if you think “information economy” is a real thing, very different from “industrial economy”), then it may very well get violent.  Hard to know, there’s no history for the future.

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