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Rob Woodall’s misplaced optimism

Posted By Donald Koop, Monday, May 7, 2018

We interrupt this program…..

Recently Rep. Rob Woodall (GA-07), lead sponsor of H.R. 25, published, in FAIRtax USA, an assessment of the effect of the FAIRtax movement on last November’s tax “reform.”  In “The FairTax Continues to Shape Tax Reform in America, and with Every Step We Move Closer to Making It a Reality,” he speaks optimistically about what changes were influenced by “principles embodied in the FairTax.” 

I have a different take on Woodall’s outlook.  I greatly appreciate his work to advance the FAIRtax concepts, as I did that of his predecessor, John Linder.  He has a tough job to do in a caustic environment that occasionally throws him a crumb, as in consumption tax “hearings” a couple of years ago.

If his essay had come after four or five years of hard work, I might feel better.  After almost twenty years, the gains that might be attributable to FAIRtax principles seem like small potatoes: simplicity, transparency, acceptance that consumers – rather than businesses themselves – really pay the taxes.

Simplicity is not a word I would associate with the tax cut that is still horribly complex.  Neither is transparency, as tax writers are still working to iron out things that tax implementers can’t figure out.  Sophisticated taxpayers are anxious to squeeze through loopholes they’ve already discovered.  Reductions in business taxes likely had more to do with the effect, on competition, of being among the highest corporate tax regions on the planet than with pity on consumers.

We have so far to go to enact a consumption-based tax that getting excited over what we “accomplished” this time isn’t my reaction.  I see Rob’s piece more like a coach’s call to keep up the good work and we’ll win, where we need to be exhorted to be more “aggressive!”

As to Kevin Brady, I would ask why he retracted his co-sponsorship of H.R. 25 just when it needed his support the most.

The views expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Americans for Fair Taxation.

Tags:  FAIRtax  Tax cut 

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Mike Miller says...
Posted Tuesday, May 8, 2018
I'm new to this site and I'm very interested in you comments, I would like to read more, but when I click the "Read More" I get an error message.  If you don't mind please send your post to me personally.  Thanks.  Please pardon my learning of this site.
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