Why FairTax is stupid

By William Entriken

2 minutes

Below are some basic notes against the book The FairTax Book by Neal Boortz and John Linder.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairTax

Responsibility moved from IRS to state

Tax collection responsibilities are shifted from the IRS to the state, to coincide with the current state sales tax collection infrastructure.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but states are even more corrupt that the federal government. The last time I checked, the state of New Jersey has shut down all state-sponsored prescription plans, the state gaming commission, and countless other programs while sending home without pay 10’s of thousands of state employees because they cannot agree on a 2007 budget.

Links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_New_Jersey_state_government_shutdown

Paper trail added for all cash expenditures

All cash expenditures are linked directly to you

To further investigate this claim, I will need to read further into the matter. However, no literature I have read on the matter discuss the specific tax collection practice. Even a cursory look at the collection will lead you understand that a record needs to be kept by both the retailer and customer about each transaction (sale). This will require the retailer to uniquely identify you (social security number). Also, it is quite likely in practice that any such system will be implemented such that your “sales record for tax purposes” will be kept associated with your itemized sales receipt. What this creates is a record of every retail item purchased in the US to its purchaser.

Links: https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Libraries-post-Patriot-Act-warnings-Santa-Cruz-2664869.php

P.S. Anonymous purchases could be abused. Since one would simply purchase all but $10,000 of products anonymously, be considered poor, and have that money returned.


Let’s just barter and forget these stupid records

The black market would destroy real businesses, since their prices are 23% cheaper. Some claim government intervention would alleviate this. Large businesses would be hit hardest by this factor, and they would be the largest (sole) force pressuring the FairTax investigators. Through the influence, this would mean that only small businesses will be scrutinized for tax purposes. This will result in the largest infiltration of the tax collection agency by large businesses since Scientology.

Foreign Market

The Foreign Market

  1. Put your money in a Swiss bank
  2. Buy all your shit overseas
  3. … (this step isn’t even necessary)
  4. Profit!!!

Older and wiser

2008-06-11 I see now that sales receipts not need to be kept. Other arguments remain.

2008-12-08 After enlightenment, I now understand: What is the worst possible tax system? One that has been “clarified” for over a hundred years.

2023-08-13 Okay, now I have traveled a lot since writing the above and see how this works, Taiwan and Mexico have this figured out. Every sales receipt needs a QR code and verifiable digitally-signed attestation (a la Mexico). And offering a reward for finding tax cheats is ineffective, better to make every retail purchase simultaneously a lottery ticket (a la Taiwan). This initiative should be done at US states first through the “model legislation” approach, stewarded by Americans For Fair Taxation.


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