YOUR OPINION: Fair Tax chacterized as ‘bait and switch’
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Have our rich become richer on the backs of middle and lower class citizens? Has our government given them breaks to succeed? And when they are successful should they give some of that back to those who made it possible? Does it not seem likely that many of our local politicians say no to all three questions? This means that a “progressive” income tax (those who make more pay more) championed by Theodore Roosevelt is rejected.
Former State Rep. Carl Bearden ran a lobbyist business while being a legislator. He has a new think tank partially funded by so-called Fair Tax advocate and multi-millionaire Rex Sinquefield. A recent Bearden article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch said liberal think tanks opposing the Fair Tax are wrong. He said his think tank is right. How do we know?
Bearden echoes Mr. Sinquefield concerning economic growth. They say that our state tax system holds back economic development. Mr. Bearden championed Tennessee as a miracle state. Recently Texas was the miracle state. Texas is a no-income-tax state and is almost without unions. Now Texas has reported a large unfunded debt that will have to be addressed.
In late January an AP story was circulated that reveals the kind of issues a no-income-tax state like Tennessee faces. Amazon was dealing with Tennessee to develop two large facilities in the state that would add 2,000 jobs. Amazon would only do that if Tennessee would nullify the law that Internet sales within the state of Tennessee had to be taxed. Zero income tax is not enough for Amazon. They also want zero sales tax.
Missouri has one of the lowest state income tax structures in America at six percent. To eliminate that, sales taxes will be the alternative. James Moody, John Ashcroft’s budget director, has just released a 14-page document that was sent to the state auditor. He clearly states that Fair Tax proposals will be a disaster for the state. “Bait and switch” is the words he uses. Expect an income tax of 6 percent to be replaced by sales taxes amounting up to 15 percent. Moody says this will break our state government or break low and middle income citizens of Missouri. I think that is us.
Some of our local politicians are pushing for this scam. The Catholic Church, the realty board and others are fighting against the greed.