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    Mitch Daniels Also Not Running – Open Thread

    Mitch Daniels Also Not Running – Open Thread

    Via L.A. Times (h/t reader James), Mitch Daniels will not run for President:

    Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said early Sunday that he won’t run for president because of family considerations, narrowing the field in the race for the GOP nomination.

    “In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one,” Daniels said, disclosing his decision in an e-mail to supporters. “The interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry.”

    So what does it mean?  Here are my random first thoughts, in no particular order and to be added to throughout the day:

    • Very, very good day for Pawlenty, the conservative who is acceptable to the Tea Party movement and the establishment, and who is launching his formal campaign tomorrow.
    • No real impact on Romney.
    • Increases likelihood that someone who has said “no I’ll never run” may change his mind.
    • Just as well, we need someone who wants it and is willing to fight like hell for it, and then take on the Chicago machine like it’s an “only one person leaves the ring standing” match, because that’s how the other side treats it.

    What do you think?

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    Jake308 (Part 2: Fairtax Discussion, Skip if not interested).

    Your "Fact 4" doesn't take into account the CURRENT INHERENT BURDEN of the Income, Corporate and FICA taxes ALREADY in the system, which adds (drum-roll please) a burden of 22% to the current cost of production. The FairTax proposal is SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to eliminate those burdens and replace them with a single collected tax of 23% at the END USER point of sale. Meaning that EVERY EARLIER transaction can be reduced by 22%. It IS a national sales tax, but it is calculated in an INCLUSIVE manner (i.e. INCLUDED in the price on the shelf, not tacked on at the register like the STATE sales taxes). It CAN'T be avoided, because if you are the END USER, you pay it IMMEDIATELY to the company selling you the good or service. You can't play games with something that is due upon delivery. Exactly HOW does the FairTax encourage "black markets?" The BUYER has no control over "collection" of the tax, and the SELLER HAS NO INCENTIVE to cheat. Also, as previously stated, only about 300K companies make up 98+% of the annual transactions. It becomes VERY easy to police the vast majority of transactions, and then you just have to sort through the little companies.

    Further, if you want to discuss increasing productivity and sales, the FairTax acts as a World Trade Organization (WTO) legal trade subsidy. Goods that are IMPORTED to the US are taxed at the extra inherent 23%. Goods EXPORTED FROM the United States LEAVE TAX FREE (and WTO countries are generally prohibited from imposing "import" taxes on those goods, giving the US goods a competitive advantage). Rep. Bill Archer, R-Tex did an informal survey when he was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The Fortune 500 companies were asked "What would you do in your long-term planning if the US eliminated all taxes on capital and labor and only taxed consumption?" Of the 500 companies asked, 400 indicated they would build their next plant in the US and the remaining 100 indicated they would relocate to the US entirely.

    As for a Flat Tax: We HAD a flat tax. You know what it got us? This lousy tax code we have currently (the first income tax of 1913 was a Flat Tax). But again, that falls victim to the fallacy that "income was earned, it must be taxed." They did a survey of H&R; Block's tax division, and a HUGE percentage of the tax staff said they would prefer to be helping clients CREATE wealth rather than "record historical transactions" (which is what tax staff does, they document LAST years transactions, rather than plan for NEXT year's goals).

    The FairTax is all about taxing CONSUMPTION (i.e. what you USE; your draw on society). If you want to get fully philosophical about it, if income is EARNED, but never SPENT, should it be taxed? (subtext: because the earner never received any "benefit" from earning it). A CONSUMPTION tax is appropriate because it taxes when the BENEFIT is conferred (not before, not after).

    So, in summary, I've shown that the FairTax is NOT regressive (in terms of total tax paid), is LESS intrusive, CUTS the IRS by roughly 90% (eliminating $400 BILLION in tax compliance cost in the process), provides a fair tax burden based on the BENEFIT conferred, and honestly CAN'T really be abused or circumvented. The SOLE AND ONLY criticism you have proposed I haven't addressed is that it doesn't control spending, and it doesn't because that's not its job. It's a revenue vehicle, not an anti-spending vehicle.

    Also, just for reader reference: My background is that I have a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, with a concentration in Tax Law and my final Tax Project was an analysis of the FairTax proposal that covered just about every criticism you brought up.

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