What is a Fair Tax?

What is a Fair Tax?
David Schlecht

Republicans have managed to rewire the meaning of tax to mean something other than what our founding fathers had in mind. America’s forefathers knew what it meant to be taxed into poverty and to be taxed as a penalty. But our forefathers didn’t see America’s taxes to be either of those.

As we can see in the constitution, the idea was that “we the people” would unite to pool our money into common services thereby avoiding greedy or unethical businesses. In other words, the military was a way for you and me to pool our money and create a system that protects us. The idea wasn’t to pool our money and give it to a greedy corporation to protect us. See the difference? A greedy corporation’s main goal is greed but our main need is security. So, it only makes sense that we pool our money to create our own military.

Since, according to the US constitution, the purpose of government is for we the people to provide for the welfare of each other, there are numerous purposes for we the people to unite to create programs that provide for our needs that avoids the pitfalls of greedy corporations. Any service that we decide is so important that we want to ensure its success we make a function of the government.

Let’s say for another example that the health of the nation cannot be ensured by greedy corporations. Greed runs counter to our needs for reliable health care. That is why all the leading countries in the world have ensured health care through the government. That is why America has finally passed health care reform.

The payment we are paying to the greedy corporate insurance companies can some day be shifted into a much smaller tax that we can pay to get better and more reliable health services.

In other words, what we, in a free country, pay is not a tax but an investment in ourselves. We decide to pay $100 in tax rather than $1000 to a greedy corporation that will probably decline our coverage when we need it most.

So, it’s not really a tax. It’s an investment.

Insurance is an easy example of something that you can not trust to a greedy corporation. Let’s say you pay $5,000 per year for all your assorted insurance needs. If you can get the greedy corporation profits out of the equation you could get by with a $2,000 tax increase to cover all your insurance needs and keep the $5,000.

Most of us don’t mind paying less money to have a public education system rather than paying for-profit corporations and hope they provide what we need. Most of us don’t mind paying less money to have police departments rather than private for-profit security companies and we like paying less for reliable fire departments that won’t let our house burn down because they say we didn’t pay or because they cut costs so much they don’t have the right equipment.

Most of us are glad we have taxes that allow all of us to live in a first class country. But there are always going to be freeloaders. There will always be those who want to collect unemployment rather than work, and there are those who want to live in a wonderful country and not pay their fair share of the costs.

This is exactly what our forefathers envisioned when they created a country of the people for the people.

So, what is a fair tax? It is whatever it is you want it to be. If you want to live in a third world country, zero taxes is in order. Our constitution allows for just that. However, if, like our forefathers, you want to live in a wonderful country, you will want to pay the costs to make it happen, and will thereby be saving yourself gobs of money by not paying for greedy corporations for your government services.

Okay, now admit it! Privatizing our government is a really stupid thing to do isn’t it?

There is limit to what we the people can pool our money to buy. We can decide to pool our money for whatever we darned well feel like and it’s exactly what our forefathers wanted. We the People!

I don’t want to pool our money to build cars or air planes. But if it’s important for a first class country, it should be guaranteed by the people, not by a greed-driven corporation.

I can easily think of dozens of services that I would prefer to pay for through fewer taxes than I”m paying for greedy corporations. If we could spend 50% of our income on taxes and get tens or hundreds of times more services for our money, it would be foolish to fear the idea brought by our forefathers, even though some try to scare you away by calling it a scary name like socialism.