January 11, 2008

Anti-Huckabee Quote of the Day

Jonathan Chait, talking about just how ridiculous the idea of the "Fairtax" is:

"Basically, trying to explain why the Fairtax is a bad idea is like trying to explain why having trained elephants perform open-heart surgery on every first-grader in America is a bad idea. The whole idea is one bit of lunacy stacked upon another, so when you focus on any one element of it, you let the other side suck you into into arguments about details--Maybe there could be benefits to preemptively fixing the hearts of six year olds! Perhaps elephants do have the potential intelligence to one day perform this task!!--that inadvertently make the plan sound semi-credible."

Posted by Stephen Silver at January 11, 2008 04:27 PM

Research findings would refute Mr. Chait's conclusions:

The FairTax rate of 23 percent on a total taxable consumption base of $11.244 trillion will generate $2.586 trillion dollars $358 billion more than the taxes it replaces. [BHKPT]

The FairTax has the broadest base and the lowest rate of any single-rate tax reform plan. [THBP]

Real wages are 10.3 percent, 9.5 percent, and 9.2 percent higher in years 1, 10, and 25, respectively than would otherwise be the case. [THBNP]

The economy as measured by GDP is 2.4 percent higher in the first year and 11.3 percent higher by the 10th year than it would otherwise be. [ALM]

Consumption benefits [ALM]:

Disposable personal income is higher than if the current tax system remains in place: 1.7 percent in year 1, 8.7 percent in year 5, and 11.8 percent in year 10.

Consumption increases by 2.4 percent more in the first year, which grows to 11.7 percent more by the tenth year than it would be if the current system were to remain in place.

The increase in consumption is fueled by the 1.7 percent increase in disposable (after-tax) personal income that accompanies the rise in incomes from capital and labor once the FairTax is enacted.

By the 10th year, consumption increases by 11.7 percent over what it would be if the current tax system remained in place, and disposable income is up by 11.8 percent.

Over time, the FairTax benefits all income groups. Of 42 household types (classified by income, marital status, age), all have lower average remaining lifetime tax rates under the FairTax than they would experience under the current tax system. [KR]

Implementing the FairTax at a 23 percent rate gives the poorest members of the generation born in 1990 a 13.5 percent improvement in economic well-being; their middle class and rich contemporaries experience a 5 percent and 2 percent improvement, respectively. [JK]

Based on standard measures of tax burden, the FairTax is more progressive than the individual income tax, payroll tax, and the corporate income tax. [THBPN]

Charitable giving increases by $2.1 billion (about 1 percent) in the first year over what it would be if the current system remained in place, by 2.4 percent in year 10, and by 5 percent in year 20. [THPDB]

On average, states could cut their sales tax rates by more than half, or 3.2 percentage points from 5.4 to 2.2 percent, if they conformed their state sales tax bases to the FairTax base. [TBJ]

The FairTax provides the equivalent of a supercharged mortgage interest deduction, reducing the true cost of buying a home by 19 percent. [WM]

Posted by: Ian from Ann Arbor at January 13, 2008 09:29 PM
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