Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor… and 20% of Your Retail Purchases: The FairTax Book

The FairTax Book The FairTax Book by Neal Boortz

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I got this book from a friend who recommended it because he agrees with the concept.

Written by a politician and a libertarian pundit, this book explains the FairTax proposal.

I first heard of the FairTax when Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee backed it during his 2008 presidential run. Getting this book from my friend provided me with the opportunity to finally find out what the FairTax was all about.

It’s an interesting proposal, certainly. I can understand the appeal of having a flat percentage sales tax that comes with a monthly stipend for living expenses since I spend far less than I earn (You mean some people out there spend more than they earn? *chuckles* Oh, to be young and naїve again). And there certainly is a lot that I hate about our current tax system.

I know that some detractors claim that it would be too easy to cheat the FairTax system. But I wonder why I, an honest taxpayer, have to suffer because some chump decides to try and cheat the system. We honest folk are the ones who suffer most when someone else cheats on his taxes. We bear the cost of the countless amendments and changes to tax law. I’d be thrilled if more money was put into finding and punishing tax evaders as opposed to pumping money into reforming our current tax system.

However, the FairTax leaves some gaping holes that make me very uncomfortable. According to the book, the best way to implement the act would be cold turkey — i.e. starting January 1st the year after it’s passed, we would just start issuing the tax. No mention is made of whether retailers would adjust their pricing to reflect the new tax or if they would be given any help to understand the new policy. No mention is made of what would happen to the thousands of IRS employees that would be unemployed (yes, I understand that the fact that we need thousands of IRS employees just speaks to the current system’s inefficiency. I never said that the current system was working fine).

And my biggest problem with the book was Neil Boortz’s often inflammatory language. It smacks of propaganda to me and it makes a book harder to read for me, even if I agree with the policy underneath it all. I understand that Boortz is a radio talk show host and that this is just kinda how they talk. But I just didn’t appreciate the tone of the book, that’s all.

At the end of the day, though, I think we can all agree that the current tax system leaves much to be desired, and I have to admire Boortz for trying to bring a potential solution to the nation’s consciousness and Rep. John Linder for sticking to his guns for ten years. It’s more than I’ve done, I’ll give them that.

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