Monday, August 15, 2005

Parry and Thrust (big ups to NB)

I'd like to start today's post by offering my sincerest thanks to Mr. Neal Boortz. It's not every day that something I've written is addressed by such a major political commentator as yourself. I feel truly honored to be able to rebut your response, and I really mean that. Thanks also to the Boortz brigade for commenting; though I would request that if you're going to criticize me, please refrain from ad hominem or strawmen arguments. But feel free to get as snarky as you please. Thanks!

Let's begin, shall we?
The first thing that you will notice is that most of these people who are sounding the alarm about the FairTax don't really have a clue as to just what the FairTax is.
Well, I can't speak for the commenters, but if the jacket points don't at least give us an idea, whose fault is that?
Search through the postings and you will see that these leftists believe that federal taxes should only be paid by the wealthiest Americans, and that the rest should pay nothing at all.
While this assertion is by no means the consensus view of the commenters, Boortz may be referring to the following comment, which I agree is pretty wacky:
[We should s]hift the tax burden of the country "onto the backs of the rich" with a steeply progressive income tax, one that features rates as high as 50-75% on the highest incomes (for billionaires).

We Democrats should be proposing that wealthy Americans pay for all of the government's expenses because (1) they can afford it, and (2) doing so would impose no material sacrifice whatsoever on them (see )
This guy's off his rocker. While I do believe in the basic concept of progressive taxation, skimming over 50% off the highest tax brackets is simply un-American, I'm sorry. Wealth inequality is an inherent aspect of capitalism, and trying to eliminate the former while keeping the latter is a fool's errand. Some redistribution is necessary and warranted, but 50-75% is just too much. So yeah, Neal, this guy's a moonbat--but everybody wasn't advocating that. Back to Boortz:
Furthermore, they're very upset that the impact of the death tax has been lessened. They don't like the idea that people can pass off their wealth to their children one little bit.
Oh come on, Neal, no one's making this argument. Do you really think the reason we oppose estate tax repeal is that we're irrationally opposed to the concept of inheritance? Get serious. I just happen to think it's a good way of raising gov't revenue without running roughshod over working families, and I grant that it could have used some major reforms.
Thus far I haven't seen a message on this board that accurately describes the impact that the FairTax would have on the poor ... that the poor would be completely relieved of the responsibility for paying any federal taxes whatsoever, and that includes Social Security and Medicare taxes.
A libertarian concerned about the poor?! Alert the media! But seriously, folks . . . let's rap for a second about another "accurate impact," namely, the massive black market that's gonna open up for every commodity. You thought income tax evasion was widespread? What's gonna happen when people start undercutting the FairTax by selling everything from diapers to donuts out of the trunks of their cars? Can you say "unenforceable"? And these are the people who claim to "get" human nature so well?
And what's the big deal about progressivity anyway. These people aren't concerned about the impact of tax policy on our economy. They aren't concerned about whether or not the FairTax would fund our government at its current levels.
Here's the crux of the issue, Neal: I'm sure you've done all sorts of economic projections and accounted for every imaginable scenario for your little scheme, but the fact remains that you have no empirical data to speak of. This plan has never been tried before. Anywhere. So by adopting it, we'd be taking an enormous gamble on our economy's well-being. And I do love you guys, but frankly, I just don't trust you that much. Our current system may not be perfect, but it's worked pretty well for 92 years and that's a sterling historical endorsement if you ask me.
They view the tax structure as a way to reward and punish behavior; and the behavior they most want to punish is individual excellence and achievement.
Liberals hate making money and love mediocrity and failure, you see; that's the origin of the term 'limousine liberal'. Oh, wait . . . Do you people even listen to yourselves? Don't you think there must be a more plausible explanation, like maybe we view progressive taxation as the least objectionable option among many? Contrary to popular belief on the right, we do not have a tax fetish; we just don't think the poor should used as chattel. And if it takes tax dollars and government regulation to ensure against that scenario, so be it. If the captains of industry would exercise a little self-control now and again, all that might not be necessary.

Well, it looks like Neal has pretty much gone off the deep end, so I'll end this rebuttal with the following quote:
These government-educated myrmidons
Would that it were so, Neal, would that it were so. If we truly were the conformist sheeple you paint us as, we'd be able to mount a much more formidable opposition! United in our quest to redistribute equally all of America's hard-earned cash, we would take on the right with a singlemindedness not seen since Invasion of the Body Snatchers! Yes, you really should consider yourself lucky that we are such squabbling free-thinkers, Neal; it's the only thing that's keeping us from taking over.

Whew, that was fun! Let's do this again sometime. But ease up on the personal attacks next time, kthxbyee! ~DÆN