Sunday, December 16, 2007


Mike Huckabee, a fundamentalist minister and Governor of the Presidential Launching Pad of Arkansas, is showing some leads in polls in early Republican Primaries and the Iowa Caucus.

Huckabee packs more luggage than the Howells did for there “Three-Hour” Tour to Gilligan’s Island. He is an evolution denier and believes in creationist mythology. He signed a document in 1998 supporting the Southern Baptist Manifesto that requires wives to “graciously” submit to the authority of their husbands.

He pardoned a rapist that later murdered another victim. The rapist was released because the victim was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton’s. The irrational right believed that the rapist did not get a “fair trial” because of the familial connections of the victim.

He supports the enactment of a disingenuously entitled “Fair Tax”, a national sales tax that is brutally regressive and will massively redistribute income to the wealthy. He wishes to round up and deport illegal immigrants within 120 days.

Oh, yeah, and his son is animal-killing sociopath. Newsweek will run a story this week entitled “A Son’s Past Comes Back to Bite Huckabee”.

Huckabee’s spawn, David, has quite an impressive record. He was arrested for carrying a loaded-weapon in a Little Rock Airport. Stupid oversight? Not likely. Sociopaths love flaunting authority.

The most dmaging conduct is the story about Huckabee, a Boy Scout Counselor, torturing and killing a stray dog in 1998.

Hullabaloo describes the incident:

Two boy scout counselors, 17 year old Clayton Frady and 18 year old David Huckabee, the son of Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, have admitted to catching a stray dog during their summer session at Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, AR, and hanging the dog by his neck, slitting his throat and stoning him to death.

Camp officials, who did not report the crime to law enforcement officials, have admitted that the act did occur and have fired the boys from their positions. However, no charges have been filed against the young men.

Newsweek reports that Huckabee shut down a police investigation of the event and retaliated against state employees interested in pursuing the investigation.

[THE KILLING OF THE DOG] also prompted the local prosecuting attorney— bombarded with complaints generated by a national animal-rights group—to write a letter to the Arkansas state police seeking help investigating whether David and another teenager had violated state animal-cruelty laws. The state police never granted the request, and no charges were ever filed. But John Bailey, then the director of Arkansas's state police, tells NEWSWEEK that Governor Huckabee's chief of staff and personal lawyer both leaned on him to write a letter officially denying the local prosecutor's request. Bailey, a career officer who had been appointed chief by Huckabee's Democratic predecessor, said he viewed the lawyer's intervention as improper and terminated the conversation. Seven months later, he was called into Huckabee's office and fired. "I've lost confidence in your ability to do your job," Bailey says Huckabee told him. One reason Huckabee cited was "I couldn't get you to help me with my son when I had that problem," according to Bailey. "Without question, [Huckabee] was making a conscious attempt to keep the state police from investigating his son," says I. C. Smith, the former FBI chief in Little Rock, who worked closely with Bailey and called him a "courageous" and "very solid" professional.

The Author believes that the Republican Party would not nominate an individual that is so completely removed from the mainstream of American politics. And who would retaliate against state officials for failing to assist the cover-up of the Governor’s sociopath son's crime.

But who knows.



At 9:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Economist Dale Jorgensen, Harvard University, was commissioned to find out what portion of current prices were represented by costs for complying with the federal income tax code (i.e., embedded tax costs). He concluded that 22% (average) of every retail dollar, spent by consumers, constituted a price-embedded tax. Thus, in addition to individual income tax and FICA withholding, individuals are unwittingly paying these unseen, embedded business tax costs with every purchase of a new product, or service.

Under FairTax, prices would fall, due to removal of embedded business tax-related costs. Concurrently, wages may rise due to a mix of factors, including reversion of withheld pay (or some portion thereof) to employees, advancement opportunities due to business expansion resulting from retained earnings, and/or increased demand for labor accompanying increased competition (from that expansion). Where profits (or wages) appear lucrative, competition will move into the market space, driving out excesses (immediately present after FairTax is enacted), arriving at new "market-adjusted" prices.

For FairTax to constitute 23% of new transaction cost (i.e., "market-adjusted" price plus FairTax), a mark-up of 29.9% (tax exclusive rate) on the new "market-adjusted" price is necessary. (Before balking, consider what we're paying now if income tax rates are converted to tax-exclusive sales tax rates on net income instead of percentage of gross income. The following figures can be compared to the 29.9% FairTax mark-up: Fifteen pct bracket = 17.6%, twenty-five pct bracket = 33.3%, twenty-eight pct bracket = 38.9% (! really), and thirty-five pct bracket = 53.8% (! that's how bad it is).

In order to make FairTax a progressive consumption tax (such as that recently called for by Warren Buffett), all citizen-families are simply sent a monthly consumption [tax] allowance, called a "prebate." This prebate is intended to reimburse taxes on necessities for every citizen family without need for record-keeping or reporting. Moreover, the direct payment bypasses the creation of a tax code specifying exempted products and services around which a lobbyist industry could grow. The amount is variable, based on family size, and is equal to the FairTax rate on poverty-level spending, as defined by the Dept. of Commerce. At present, a family of one would receive ~$200/month, a family of four, ~$500/month. Thus, the "effective" FairTax rate paid by citizens, will *never* equal the full 23%. Of course, U.S. visitors (legal, and illegal) will pay the full FairTax when they purchase anything new, at retail (used are not taxed again). Under FairTax, working families will have their whole paychecks (minus any state or local income tax withholding) plus their monthly family prebate.

Additionally, citizens will no longer have to spend the average 50 hours per year preparing their federal tax returns. Having more monthly income may result in using credit less, and saving more. Larger savings will make it easier to purchase a home, at a lower interest rate and monthly payment. (Thus, mortgage deductions are no longer applicable when income is not the basis for taxation).

But is FairTax actually "fairer"? To provide substantive answers, Prof.'s Kotlikoff and Rapson (10/06) have concluded,

"...the FairTax imposes much lower average taxes on working-age households than does the current system. The FairTax broadens the tax base from what is now primarily a system of labor income taxation to a system that taxes, albeit indirectly, both labor income and existing wealth. By including existing wealth in the effective tax base, much of which is owned by rich and middle-class elderly households, the FairTax is able to tax labor income at a lower effective rate and, thereby, lower the average lifetime tax rates facing working-age Americans.

"Consider, as an example, a single household age 30 earning $50,000. The household’s average tax rate under the current system is 21.1 percent. It’s 13.5 percent under the FairTax. Since the FairTax would preserve the purchasing power of Social Security benefits and also provide a tax rebate, older low-income workers who will live primarily or exclusively on Social Security would be better off. As an example, the average remaining lifetime tax rate for an age 60 married couple with $20,000 of earnings falls from its current value of 7.2 percent to -11.0 percent under the FairTax. As another example, compare the current 24.0 percent remaining lifetime average tax rate of a married age 45 couple with $100,000 in earnings to the 14.7 percent rate that arises under the FairTax."

Further, per Jokischa and Kotlikoff (2005) ...

"...once one moves to generations postdating the baby boomers there are positive welfare gains for all income groups in each cohort. Under a 23 percent FairTax policy, the poorest members of the generation born in 1990 enjoy a 13.5 percent welfare gain. Their middle-class and rich contemporaries experience 5 and 2 percent welfare gains, respectively. The welfare gains are largest for future generations. Take the cohort born in 2030. The poorest members of this cohort enjoy a huge 26 percent improvement in their well-being. For middle class members of this birth group, there's a 12 percent welfare gain. And for the richest members of the group, the gain is 5 percent."

The current income-based tax system is also more expensive to run, because of the manner in which the tax code is gamed by politicians and lobbyists. Politicians realize great power, and attract constituencies for support, by granting tax favors (i.e., credits, deductions, exemptions) through lobbyists. Fully, fifty-three percent of Washington lobbyists are there because of the tax code! The tax code is continually changing, making it more complex - more difficult to understand. And, the salaries and costs of tax lawyers and lobbyists end up in higher prices of the products and services we buy. Additionally, the time and money required to keep records, file returns, report for audits, retain accounting and legal help, pay IRS penalties and interest, is time and money lost for other productive, or recreational, activities. Depriving us of the use of withheld wages increases our expenses through zero-interest withholding, inflation, return preparation time, and interest paid on credit cards and loans that otherwise may not have been necessary. Summed up, the cost of tax compliance, nationally, has been estimated to range anywhere from $265 billion to twice that amount, depending on the extent to which tax-avoidance consultation is sought and utilized. These expenses constitute a substantial hidden tax which is incomprehensible to the average working American. And the FairTax gets rid of all of it for most Americans, and most of it for business owners.

We, as FairTax advocates, believe that government should serve We, the People, with a fair tax system that will not enable politicians to pit poor against rich (creating barriers to achieve wealth, adding tax penalty to the sacrifices made for personal success). Nor do we want politicians to continue using business as a tool to hide taxes from consumers, often villifying business, which discourages entrepreneuship, personal achievement, economic growth. Liberty and happiness depends on restoring the fruits of labor to those who produce them. We believe that the tax function should align with economic growth, not against it, that government should be paid for in the same manner as working Americans - when, and because, something is sold!

As things stand at present, the system primarily benefits politicans who cater to special interests through lobbyists who game the tax code. The politician seeks to capture them as constituent voting blocks, dependent on continued syphoning of taxpayer dollars to their members' benefit. This is increasingly repugnant to the average working American who often finds it difficult to meet the needs of his, or her, own family in an environment where federal and state business income taxes substantially contribute to trade inequities resulting in the loss of American jobs! Thus, the Sovereign are continually degraded by features of Congress's income tax policy. The most rapidly-growing needs-based "special interest" group has become the Citizens! You see? Congress has nearly all the power; and We, the People, have become We, the Serfs, robbed and enslaved. Getting the federal government's hands out of our family paychecks is the single most important reason to replace the income tax with a consumption tax, the FairTax.

Many of us have joined in order to build a national movement to free ourselves, our family pocketbooks, and our businesses from confiscation of income, and punishment of productivity. And this we say to our federal representatives,

"Either scrap the code and enact the FairTax, or we intend on replacing you with someone who will."

(May reproduce in whole or part. - Ian)

At 6:39 AM , Blogger Dutchman3 said...

My friend Ian, always long on words and short on facts, must be getting desperate in his defense of the Fairtax scheme. Through clever wording right up front, he would have you believe that the 22% in embedded costs of the income tax system is entirely attributable to business costs. He implies that employee income and payroll tax withholding are "in addition" to the 22%employer embedded costs.

This is absolutely false and he knows it! The 1997 Jorgenson study concluded that there was 22% on average in embedded tax costs in producer prices, but two thirds of those costs can be attributed to employee payroll and income tax withholding. Assuming that workers won't accept a massive pay cut from their current gross to their current net, then business costs can only be reduced about 10% (including compliance costs), and prices at the cash register will most likely rise by 17%

Ian would like everyone to compare the Fairtax rate to marginal income tax brackets, but that comparison is meaningless. The only fair comparison is to figure out effective tax rates under both systems and make up your own mind which is better in terms of taxes paid.

To claim that the prebate somehow makes the Fairtax progressive is disengenuous as a minimum. Sales taxes are, by rigid definition, regressive. The only thing the prebate does is to move the point of regressivity from zero to an income amount equal to the poverty level.

I don't know who is spending 50 hours on income tax prep, but I spend one hour per year. No big deal. My spouse also does volunteer tax preparation for AARP, and they do millions of returns annually for free with an average time of about one hour per client. I'm sure businesses and the wealthy spend more time and money preparing tax returns , but to say that everyone averages 50 hours in tax prep is very misleading.

Finally, yes, we will all have more monthly income, but savings rates won't necessarily increase because, prices are also going up. In other words, income is up, prices are up, and "real prices" will remain about the same. Your standard of living will be unchanged, and there will be no greater opportunities for saving than under current law.

At 11:20 AM , Blogger RickRussellTX said...

"Sociopaths love flaunting authority"

It may be true the sociopaths with authority love to flaunt (i.e., display) it, but I think you meant to say they love *flouting* (i.e., challenging) authority.

At 3:44 PM , Blogger FOXP2 said...


Thanks for your keen and peceptive eye.

Yes, I meant to say "fout."


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