An opening big to drive a Presidential delivery truck through

This should go alot further than just Kerry bashing Bush in a California speech, imagine the ad playout, Kerry slams Bush over national sales tax idea:I'm not exactly sure how big the national sales tax is going to have to be, but it's kind of an interesting idea that we ought to explore seriously," Bush said Tuesday at a Florida campaign event, answering a question from the audience.... , the White House's shifting positions gave the Democrat an opening to ridicule Bush on two points the Republican campaign regards as strengths: Bush's tax-cutting record and his reputation for straight talk.
So, Bush calls the idea of raising our taxes by over 400% an interesting idea? No, it's way further, what Bush said was, I'm not exactly sure how big the national sales tax is going to have to be. Bush is saying that a national sales tax will occur, and that it's just a matter of how big the tax increase will be.

What more could Kerry possibly want for sparking a debate against Bush on the economy? The increased tax isn't just upon lower-income families, taxes would rise for the middle class, small business too, and basically, everyone but the very wealthy, or my base, as Bush likes to call the elite.  

Kerry said, a national sales tax would have to be "at least a 26% add-on" to the state and local sales taxes Americans now pay. These taxes average 6.2%. This whole Swift boat thing is a matter that most swing voters couldn't give a spit about; but start talking to them about their taxes being raised 400% by Bush, that'll get some attention.

Tags: Money (all tags)



No straw man necessary
I also think its a terrible idea, but I don't think we're understanding it properly here. The idea isn't simply to add an additional tax. It's to switch from the current income tax to a sales tax or vat. Thus, under their numbers, a 26% tax would be added to consumption, while our income tax would be eliminated. They assume that we could then entirely eliminate the IRS and save lots of money for everybody. This is clearly a regressive tax, but the people supporting the idea say that a refund could be provided to everyone under the poverty line or something like that.

Thus, its not, using their flawed numbers, a huge tax increase. Even under their numbers, however, it is a huge redistribution of taxes toward the poor and middle class and from the rich. Their numbers are clearly flawed as well, I've seen studies indicating the true amount would have to be from 56% to 100%.

Anyway, it's an easy enough position to directly knock down, we don't need a straw man here.

by dylanh 2004-08-17 05:55AM | 0 recs
Re: No straw man necessary
I understand that, but the idea is to let the Republicans defend it. Let them respond that they are going to balance it out with those other numbers--which will even further hook them to Bush's plan.

All they've done is announced the tax raise, so take it and run.

by Jerome Armstrong 2004-08-17 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: No straw man necessary
I understand the political impact, but will this post effectly accomplish that? If this post will lead to a large group of voters accepting the debate on those terms, than I'm all in favor. Otherwise, we need an accurate debate in weblogs like this one where truly dedicated political junkies congregate. If folks here misunderstand the terms of the debate and try to spread that misunderstanding unknowingly, won't they just shoot themselves in the foot when right wingers respond with the crap about the I.R.S. and the abolition of the income tax and they have no thought out response.
by dylanh 2004-08-17 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: No straw man necessary
Chris had a good post on the debate a few weeks ago here, Abolish the Sales Tax. I've not ventured out into the republican world online to see what their response is to it, I'd imagine that they are doing the same as the Bush handlers-- running away from it as fast as possible, as I think the political ramifications of it are too big for the GOP to handle. This is they type of issue that they would ram through in 2005, with a trifecta, screaming tax-reform, not the type of issue that they would run on.
by Jerome Armstrong 2004-08-17 07:39AM | 0 recs
Other problems with the VAT idea
...extremely high VAT taxes discourage spending, which is what fuels the economy.

...and tend to create a lot of black markets and grey markets where sales and barter are done (legally or illegally) in a manner to avoid taxes.

by clawed 2004-08-17 05:57AM | 0 recs
Re: An opening big to drive a Presidential deliver
I think the big concern is that most people would be willing to trade in the income tax for a sales tax, because even though all but the wealthy would pay much more, it'd be extracted from them a little bit at a time, so they wouldn't notice it as much as that huge deduction from their paycheck, or that huge number they have to write on their tax return every year.

So it's a crappy idea, that nevertheless sounds great to anyone who doesn't give it much thought. In other words, a great soundbite.

By the way, don't try to parse Bush too closely. That's a losing game. Sure, his first clause makes it sound as if a national sales tax is a fait accompli. But then he turns right around and says "'s kind of an interesting idea that we ought to explore seriously," which implies just the opposite.

by Mathwiz 2004-08-17 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: An opening big to drive a Presidential deliver
I think we've heard enough of Bush to know when he means something. Here, he says what he means and then realizes what he said, and backtracks. It's obvious he's mouthing off what he really thinks at first. This is on the GOP 2005 trifecta agenda.
by Jerome Armstrong 2004-08-17 03:05PM | 0 recs


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