Y’ever wonder why the right-wingers always seem to be left standing around slack-jawed in the aftermath of the latest socialist advance? Read this:
“People ask me if I?m really calling for the elimination of the IRS, and I say I think that?s a great thing to do for future generations of Americans,” Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert explains in his new book, to be released on Wednesday.
Granted, Drudge doesn’t shoot 100%. But this is exactly the sort of bold action from principle that Bush has been known to do, and freeing us from the tangled gordian knot of the IRS would indeed be a gift to the future of America.
Now, I’d expect that some sort of IRS-replacement scheme would involve one or more of the following:
1) a National Sales Tax, a one-time tax at the point of sale;
2) a Value-Added Tax (VAT), which gets tacked on at some magic rate at every transaction of an item (trees -> lumber -> house = 3 taxes);
3) a Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is #1 and/or #2 on parts and labor.
This is supported by Hastert’s own words:
Now consider that a flat tax, national sales tax, or VAT would not only eliminate the need to do this, it could also eliminate the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) itself and make the process of paying taxes much easier.”
“By adopting a VAT, sales tax, or some other alternative, we could begin to change productivity.
Let’s ignore, for now, the point that the enforcement mechanism for all of this would necessarily be at least as large and as intrusive as the IRS. Let’s also ignore the fact that Hastert wants to make taxation “easier”. Instead, let’s think about what happens after this plan is enacted.
Why wouldn’t there be a higher tax rate for “socially irresponsible” goods and services? A 100% tax rate on booze and smokes could go towards combatting those evils, or at least towards funding government agencies whose purported agenda is combatting those evils. They’re both the same, as far as the voters know anyway. A 50% tax on guns and ammunition could go towards reducing gun violence and putting 100,000 more police on the streets. Disparate tax rates on three-cylinder Low-PollutionMobiles and evil gas-guzzling SUVs would prod purchasers towards environmentally-friendly alternatives, although the local, county, and state VAT/GST on motor vehicles would encourage even more to use public transportation.
What’s that, you say? Local versions of a National Sales Tax? Why not? Here in the Evergreen State, I’m sure a 5% GST on automobile parts, services, and sales (all to fund the Great Monorail Leap Forward, of course) would be happily enacted by the urban core localities. In fact the possibilities are limitless: backwards Southern counties would be slapping 1000% taxes on sex toys, urban hippie hellholes taxing gun shops out of town. Want to stop private gun sales in your state? Simply add a modest VAT, since only businesses can get VAT registration numbers, and a business that does firearms transactions must have a Federal Firearms License: “Sorry, it’s those gol-dang Federal laws that’re making this happen – we’re just trying to fund gun safety. You aren’t against gun safety, are you, Citizen?” It’d be a dream come true for every would-be social engineer on every Hicksville city council.
But the guy who wrote the gushing quote above isn’t seeing the natural, inevitable results of this particular bit of policy wonkery. He’s only focused on the here-and-now, which as near as I can tell is about 80% “Re-Elect Bush” and about 20% “No More IRS”. He and his fellow voting conservatives never stop to think that the policies they agitate for will extend beyond the next election – government institutions are tools that will respond to whoever is holding the handle, and it won’t always be Bold-Principle Bush.