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Your Opinion: Fair tax misnamed

Your Opinion: Fair tax misnamed

February 22nd, 2011 by Tony Smith, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

The misnamed Fair Tax is not fair. Yet, Beverly Martin tells me Marx was for a "progressive income tax." Hooray. At least he got something right.

Martin complains that I did not give her specifics on Fair Tax proposals nor did Mr. Moody. She is completely wrong. I cited Mr. Moody's critique of the Fair Tax which he provided to the state auditor and is easily found on the Web. He covers all bills and initiatives presented the past few years. He clearly explains the shortcomings of these tax proposals and how they will clearly lead to citizens having more money extracted from their pockets.

Martin sings praises to capitalism and how those who risk capital should not be burdened with trifles like "stupid" taxes. But as Omaha billionaire Warren Buffet often says, "I pay a lower tax rate than my secretarial staff." Who disputes that wealthy people have numerous ways of lowering their tax burden. I think it is unfair when most burdens of society are to be shouldered by those least able to pay for it.

Ms. Martin jumps from Missouri income tax to the topic of corporate taxes. She first tells us these are worthless and states do not need them. Then we are told the libertarian Cato Institute says they are job killing. Here is a fact. Whatever those taxes are, eliminating them means some other source of taxation is needed or some service needs to be reduced. When specific services are listed, the vast majority of people surveyed say they want good roads, bridges, libraries, police and fire protection, and schools for our children. Reduce taxes but keep all services? Are we expecting a miracle?

The prosperity Missouri once had was built on low skill factory work. We had shoe plants, jeans factories, glove factories and more auto plants to name a few. Today Missouri is being decimated by a global market. Low skill factory work mostly goes to Asia and elsewhere. It is not coming back.

Rex Sinquefield, a Missouri multi-millionaire, is using his money to promote the Fair Tax and mislead people that this will bring prosperity. That is a fantasy. The 21st century jobs we need require a more educated work force. Bio-tech, medical research, skilled labor, computer sciences, agricultural and energy research have to be developed in our state. We cannot merely reshuffle taxes to create a Missouri prosperity.