Tax reform as easy as 1, 2, 3

posted at 2:41 pm on August 10, 2012 by Rob Bluey

Republicans have promised to finally overhaul America’s tax code next year. Reform is long overdue. Now it’s a matter of what direction lawmakers should take.

While some of the GOP’s pragmatists have already balked at being bold, now is exactly the time to take that message to the American people. They’re looking for solutions, not excuses. And there’s one plan that stands out: the New Flat Tax. It features one rate, two credits, three deductions. It’s that simple.

The plan is part of The Heritage Foundation’s comprehensive solution for fixing America’s debt problem and restoring prosperity. As a Heritage employee, I’m naturally biased. But my personal preference for the flat tax predates my tenure at the think tank. It was 16 years ago, as Steve Forbes pursued the presidency, when the flat tax first appeared on many people’s radar, including my own.

There are few chances to fundamentally transform policy in Washington. The last major tax reform came in 1986 under President Ronald Reagan. So if Republicans are serious about tackling the tax code, they need to start preparing Americans now. (Lest we forget about the botched attempt at Social Security reform in 2005.)

Before we get into the details of the New Flat Tax, it’s important to first understand why tax reform is necessary. Heritage’s J.D. Foster explains:

America’s federal tax code is complicated beyond imagining. The arrival of personal computers and tax software has permitted the creativity of policymakers in Washington to run amok, creating tax complexities far beyond what even tax professionals could manage unaided by electronics. There are a multitude of credits, exemptions, and deductions, many of which are subject to special rules and phase out over different levels of income. As if this was not bad enough, there is a parallel tax called the Alternative Minimum Tax, and yet another in the payroll tax that funds Social Security and part of Medicare. And, all of this complexity imposed on individual taxpayers is relatively minor compared to the tortuous rules and exceptions businesses great and small must suffer.

That complexity is something almost all lawmakers will acknowledge. Last week, as the House voted on a plan to make tax reform a priority in 2013, differences began to emerge about how to fix the broken system.

“If you were to distill down the single adjective that was to describe what members are looking for in tax reform, it would be bold,” Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) told Bloomberg Businessweek.

Yet the same story revealed that Republicans are already ruling out bold ideas. The GOP’s set of tax-reform principles would apparently make it impossible to implement a flat tax. Some of those principles include reducing the number of individual tax brackets from six to two, lowering the top rate of 35 percent to 25 percent and abolishing the problematic alternative minimum tax.

By contrast, the New Fair Tax creates a single rate that ensures individuals are taxed only once on their income. That rate, around 28 percent, applies to wages and salaries. Remember, the New Flat Tax abolishes payroll taxes, so this rate is much lower than the combined income and payroll tax rate the middle class pays today. And the rate would decline over time so the new tax code never raises more than the current code has raised on average historically. Importantly, savings would be taxed only when spent, encouraging more Americans to save money now rather than rely on the government later in life.

Simplicity is the selling point for a flat tax, and this plan honors that principle. There are just two credits: a $3,500 health insurance tax credit for low-income and middle-income families as well as the current Earned Income Credit.

The plan has three deductions: one that lets taxpayers deduct expenses for higher education, another that preserves deductions for charitable contributions, and a third that makes the home mortgage interest deduction optional.

Think for a moment what this truly means. No longer would your paycheck have separate line items for Medicare and Social Security. And the money you save is not taxed until you spend it.

There’s more detail in Foster’s paper, but here’s the whole plan explained in under two minutes:

Lawmakers will have a choice next year on tax reform. If they want to go bold and set America on a path to prosperity, they’ll make substantive changes like the New Flat Tax.

Rob Bluey directs the Center for Media and Public Policy, an investigative journalism operation at The Heritage Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @RobertBluey


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100 million and growing exponentially…on welfare. Good luck.

Schadenfreude on August 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

The political pigs in perpetuity doing something about taxes?

Why, how would they fund the Utopia that they’ve created, and lord over?

OhEssYouCowboys on August 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

fair tax please.

Lost in Jersey on August 10, 2012 at 2:45 PM

It would be even easier if anyone who makes over $100k were taxed at 99% and let them pay for everything. Also, union members would never pay taxes.

Bishop on August 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Schadenfreude on August 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

I’m beginning to think that far too many Conservatives don’t understand that the more equal Pigs in Congress – want to stay that way.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Flat tax is simple and fair, so of course it will NEVER freakin happen.

Next Thread.

jsunrise on August 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

So if Republicans are serious about tackling the tax code..

Your argument kind of fails at this point.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Before we get into the details of the New Flat Tax, it’s important to first understand why tax reform is necessary.

More so-called conservatives talking reform rather than elimination.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Flat tax is simple and fair, so of course it will NEVER freakin happen.

Next Thread.

jsunrise on August 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Taxation is inherently unfair. It is theft at the point of a gun.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

I completely support a flat tax for EVERYONE.

KMC1 on August 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

The plan is part of The Heritage Foundation’s comprehensive solution for fixing America’s debt problem and restoring prosperity. As a Heritage employee, I’m naturally biased.

Everyone can stop reading there.

inthemiddle on August 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

This is why it is so important to support and elect TEA Party members. This is a good start to solve America’s financial problems. What needs to follow adopting his tax reform act is a business regulatory reform act that does to the regulatory burden on business what this Flat Tax act will do to the citizens tax burden.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Flat tax is simple and fair, so of course it will NEVER freakin happen.

Next Thread.

jsunrise on August 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Taxation is inherently unfair. It is theft at the point of a gun.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

How would you pay for the military?
Border patrol?
SEC?
NASA?

Etc?

KMC1 on August 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

OT – the really bad people.

Schadenfreude on August 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Importantly, savings would be taxed only when spent, encouraging more Americans to save money now rather than rely on the government later in life.

So is it a sales tax? I can’t watch the video if it’s explained in there, but if it isn’t payroll deducted it must be a sales tax? Why then does it have brackets? I’m confused.

And how is savings taxed when spent if it isn’t a sales tax? And if I’ve already paid taxes on that savings when I earned it, why should I be taxed on it again when I spent it?

Either I’m not bright enough to understand, or this coulda been better explained.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

OT – in the meanwhile…

Schadenfreude on August 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

How would you pay for the military?
Border patrol?
SEC?
NASA?

Etc?

KMC1 on August 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

According to Dante, the imbecilic anarchist, those are all illegal and unnecessary.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Taxation is inherently unfair. It is theft at the point of a gun.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

So?

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

How would you pay for the military?
Border patrol?
SEC?
NASA?

Etc?

KMC1 on August 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Dante and others like him want there to be no government, which we conservatives would support IF our people were more moral and upright.

nobar on August 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Everyone can stop reading there.

inthemiddle on August 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Just because you have trouble with words containing more than three letters shouldn’t be cause for the rest of us to stop reading.

Bishop on August 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Think for a moment what this truly means. No longer would your paycheck have separate line items for Medicare and Social Security. And the money you save is not taxed until you spend it

.

I dont like this idea

Entitlemnet line items should stay, and people should be reminded of what they paid in over their lifetime

This makes the connection between donation, and benefit recovered exact

If a benefit is pulled out of the general fund, it becomes nebulous, and the motivation to remodel the benefit – upwards – becomes stronger

This is the problem with welfare entitlement. The folk pay nothing into a ‘welfare fund’ so they have no inhibitions against demanding unlimited increases for their pennies from heaven

They will exert pressure on their elected servants to give more, because there is always a need for more, and the well from which it comes is now the general fund which appears bottomless. Benefit increases are a smaller percentage of a general fund

This is how our local property taxes have skyrocketed, by ballot initiatives nickle and diming to pay somewhat for ambitious projects, and each tax is just a tiny percentage of the humungous whole

Pension funds destroy governments unless they are separately and accurately funded

entagor on August 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

According to Dante, the imbecilic anarchist, those are all illegal and unnecessary.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Unnecessary, yes. But you go ahead and pretend you’re a conservative while cheerleading a $2.5 billion dollar Mars rover.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Oh here we go with the “Fair Tax” nonsense again.

Sure, screw existing savers. What a grand idea.

Conservatives sound like Leftists most of all when they advocate a national sales tax. Far too many on the Right are buying into this koolaid nonsense.

ConservativeLA on August 10, 2012 at 2:58 PM

I like the idea of a fair flat tax.

Politricks on August 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Dante and his lipstick stained reflection want there to be no government but HIM! KNEEL BEFORE ZOD DANTE!!

nobar on August 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Gratis.

CurtZHP on August 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM

How would you pay for the military?
Border patrol?
SEC?
NASA?

Etc?

KMC1 on August 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I wouldn’t. The SEC’s existence negates a free market. NASA is unnecessary and a waste.

As to the Border Patrol and the military

Private defense agency

Anarcho-capitalist FAQ

And another FAQ

Anarchy in the Aachen

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Unnecessary, yes. But you go ahead and pretend you’re a conservative while cheerleading a $2.5 billion dollar Mars rover.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

You’re such an imbecile. Conservative does not mean Luddite. Federally funded projects that return a profit to the general population are a good thing.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

We need to dismantle about 70% of the federal govt. Federal taxes wouldn’t need to be anywhere near 25%, however collected.

Abolish all export taxes. Boom!

Capital gains: 5%. Boom!

Make the US a tax haven!

Ban Islam!

There are a lot of things we could do to restore the nation to asskickin greatness. These are just a few . Thanks for your time.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

You’re such an imbecile. Conservative does not mean Luddite. Federally funded projects that return a profit to the general population are a good thing.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

If you operated on any intellectual plane other than a base one of namecalling, then you would see how in your statement, you are arguing against conservatism.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:03 PM

There are a lot of things we could do to restore the nation to asskickin greatness. These are just a few . Thanks for your time.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Getting the federal and state jackboot’s off business would also be a really good idea.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

If you operated on any intellectual plane other than a base one of namecalling, then you would see how in your statement, you are arguing against conservatism.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Dante, calling you an imbecile is only an insult to imbeciles. Your definition of conservative, is well profoundly distorted.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

100 million and growing exponentially…on welfare. Good luck.

Schadenfreude on August 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Tax welfare and food stamps, too, at both the state and Federal levels. As I understand, income from any source, even if illegally, is taxable (as how they nailed Al Capone).

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM

How would you pay for the military?
Border patrol?
SEC?
NASA?

Etc?

KMC1 on August 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I’ve tried to answer this question twice, but apparently the filter here either doesn’t like a word that cannot be avoided, or it doesn’t like an idea.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM

flat tax with no minimum exemption. so to raise taxes on the “rich” or whatever raises taxes on everyone. it won’t get rid of class warfare but it makes it more difficult for demagogues to get away with it.

bannor on August 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Ban Islam!

There are a lot of things we could do to restore the nation to asskickin greatness. These are just a few . Thanks for your time.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Throwing in some religious bigotry for good measure, eh?

inthemiddle on August 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM

you are arguing against conservatism.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Anarchism isn’t conservative. It is much closer to communism in that they are both working towards a stateless society.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Ok, trying a third time for KMC1

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Link 4

Link 5

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

This still won’t tax the cash only crowd, usually immigrants. The only way to make everyone pay is through a sales tax although I suppose the cheaters would get around those, too.

bopbottle on August 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

I would take either the New Flat Tax or the Fair Tax over what we have now. There would be some short-term pain, but long-term gain.

ITguy on August 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Throwing in some religious bigotry for good measure, eh?

inthemiddle on August 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM

When they stop going BOOM we will stop considering them a threat.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Anarchism isn’t conservative. It is much closer to communism in that they are both working towards a stateless society.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM

The absence of NASA or an over-budget-$2.5 billion dollar spaceship is not anarchism.

And no, there isn’t anything REMOTELY similar between anarchism and communism.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Taxation is inherently unfair. It is theft at the point of a gun.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Taxes are a necessary evil, as is government. I don’t mind paying taxes to fund the military, pay politicians for their service in government, sustain the roads, etc.

The system breaks down when politicians decides taxes should pay for things no allowable under the Constitution of the United States, and according t the state constitutions.

Taxes themselves aren’t problem. Politicians and the people who elect the wrong candidates to office are the problem.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Anarchism isn’t conservative. It is much closer to communism in that they are both working towards a stateless society.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Additionlly, SWalker’s belief that federally funded departments or programs are returned at a profit to the “general population” (whatever that means) is inherently unconservative.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Hey let’s all call names!

Yes, beat down regulations and regulators!

Put huge excise taxes on the salaries paid to film actors, producers and directors. But not gaffers. Or best boys. Or key grips.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Get rid of the deductions.

Lower the rate according to the ‘feel good’ deductions that are enumerated, so that there are no questions about what, exactly, you pay taxes on. Clean out all the cobwebs, all the detritus, all the barnacles, all the hangers-on, any single thing that is in the code for a deduction, now, is a cause to lower the overall rate and extend it to all earned income. If you think the poor can’t pay it, put in a minimum $50 rate indexed to inflation so that everyone who earns money must pay into the system and has ‘skin in the game’.

Get all ‘nice things’ that politicians can use an excuse to put in more deductions out of the code. All of it. Put in a proviso that the Flat Tax is abolished the moment a deduction is passed and that any future Congress must develop a new code from scratch. Once passed it becomes untouchable and has a steep, heavy price to trying to play with it.

Ensure that people are never, ever left trying to figure out if their taxes will change in the future due to political whims. Anyone trying to must come up with something much, much better at the start so that future generations… or even just the following year… people are left trying to figure out what their taxes will look like.

ajacksonian on August 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

This is better than the other simplified form I heard about:
Line 1: How much did you make? ______
Line 2: Send it to us.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Taxes are a necessary evil, as is government. I don’t mind paying taxes to fund the military, pay politicians for their service in government, sustain the roads, etc.

The system breaks down when politicians decides taxes should pay for things no allowable under the Constitution of the United States, and according t the state constitutions.

Taxes themselves aren’t problem. Politicians and the people who elect the wrong candidates to office are the problem.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM

I disagree. Neither government nor taxation is necessary. Your willingness to turn over your property at the point of the gun neither supports nor refutes the point.

But to just take one of your examples, roads. Do you think roads wouldn’t exist without government?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Think about the cost savings that would come by streamlining the IRS, too.

djaymick on August 10, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Throwing in some religious bigotry for good measure, eh?
inthemiddle on August 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Mohammed was a pedophile, you know that right?

He advocated terrorizing non-Muslims into submission, you know that right?

He is the ideal man and is to be imitated in all things, like pedophilia, polygamy, and terrorism, you know that right?

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I would take either the New Flat Tax or the Fair Tax over what we have now. There would be some short-term pain, but long-term gain.

ITguy on August 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Short term pain mainly for freeloaders and tax dodgers.

somewhatconcerned on August 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Pension funds destroy governments unless they are separately and accurately funded

entagor on August 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Which was never the case for the payroll taxes. These were just a way to tax all. Sell a fairy tale that it was for you eventually. Then spend all the money right away.

It would have worked if women kept having 4 children but such was not the case and the people that started this also worked to lower the childbirth rate. They wanted a welfare state this was just how to sell it to Americans.

Steveangell on August 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM

A flat tax would also fix the ‘internet tax problem’.

GarandFan on August 10, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Get rid of the deductions…

ajacksonian on August 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I’m not entirely sure I can agree with that.

I would favor general deductions, like for children, of course until they reach age 16, when in most states they can legally get a job.

I would also allow a deduction of 50% of grocery and fuel bills for the home–the things people need to live. Since much can be considered ‘convenience’ in food and energy use, 50% seems about fair. We might quibble, of course, but I wouldn’t wish to go below a 35% deduction.

Just some ideas.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:19 PM

You guys are missing the point. No tax system will work until the majority of your tax dollars STAY in your community and only then with local control by locally elected officials. The State should get the next greatest amount followed by the Feds. Until we stop taxes going directly to Washington DC, nothing will change.

reddevil on August 10, 2012 at 3:20 PM

And no, there isn’t anything REMOTELY similar between anarchism and communism. Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Communism is achieved when there is no need for govt. Until then, we need socialism to wean people away from their habits of private property.

Anarchists want to jump right to that state w/o going through the socialist stage.

You obviously think you know everything, but apparently didn’t know that.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:20 PM

They keep the Earned Income Credit. That is one of the things that is responsible for keeping wages low. You can’t work in those jobs unless you qualify to get that too, and subsidized housing and food stamps.

Those companies that have a lot of employees getting these freebies are staying open at your expense. It props them up and keeps people from being upwardly mobile.

Now, if you start taxing the value of the subsidized housing and the food stamps and the other enhancements, then those people don’t qualify for the Earned Income credit. The way I see it, they can’t have both.

Fleuries on August 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM

I disagree. Neither government nor taxation is necessary. Your willingness to turn over your property at the point of the gun neither supports nor refutes the point.

But to just take one of your examples, roads. Do you think roads wouldn’t exist without government?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

If we followed your idea, what would replace a solid, coherent government of law, then?

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Flat tax, poverty floor, no deductions save mortgage interest and charitable (which would be phased out over decades), no credits whatsover, ever. The simplest long-term solution with the least short-term disruption. Done. Next problem.

ConservativeLA on August 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM

You obviously think you know everything, but apparently didn’t know that.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Dante isn’t the sharpest bowling ball in the lane, if ya get my drift.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Hmm… and still some links have been filtered out. I’ll try again.

Liam, the following is good reading material for you:

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Link 4

Mr. Bluey thinks taxation will lead to prosperity, when, in fact, taxation reduces production and impedes growth.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Never. Gonna. Happen.

Congress (both Dems and GOP) is only ever going to pay lip service to tax reform, and maybe make minor cosmetic changes to make it look like they are doing something. They will never implement a complete overhaul of the tax system to something simple like a Fair Tax or Flat Tax. The tax code, with all of it’s 72,000 pages of loopholes and deductions, is how they pay back their political backers.

Much like campaign finance reform (which will also never happen), why would the people who make the rules change those rules to their personal disadvantage?

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Neither government nor taxation is necessary.

Deserves no comment.

ConservativeLA on August 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Unnecessary, yes. But you go ahead and pretend you’re a conservative while cheerleading a $2.5 billion dollar Mars rover.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

I would gladly cheerlead that if we can do away with paying for people who refuse to work and pump out babies like they are on an assembly line, can do away with paying any sort of benefit (welfare, medicare, disability, tuition breaks, etc) who isn’t a legal citizen of the United States, stop paying for death row inmates and being immediate executions, and stop giving money to governments that hate us and we pull out of the UN.

Wolftech on August 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I disagree. Neither government nor taxation is necessary. Your willingness to turn over your property at the point of the gun neither supports nor refutes the point.
Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

What your first paragraph describes is called anarchy.
Definition of anarchy
noun [mass noun]
1 a state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems.
2 absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

If we followed your idea, what would replace a solid, coherent government of law, then?

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Nothing would, anarchist believe in a society dominated by the strongest and most ruthless. They envision themselves as the oil/gasoline raiders of the post-apocalypse Mad Max world they hope and pray to live in.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Taxable income is reduced by the net amount contributed to savings, and savings will be taxable only when spent. This eliminates the current-law bias against saving and ensures tax is paid only on what individuals withdraw from the economy—not on the savings they make available for investment by others.

If we are going to go this far on savings, then why not a full blown consumption tax? Make transportation, healthcare, food, shelter, and clothing up to certain values tax-exempt.

I have always been in favor of a consumption tax instead of income tax. The rich naturally consume more goods and services, I know the argument is that this is “regressive”. With carvouts for the true “needs” of society, then how can this be regressive?

weaselyone on August 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Nothing would, anarchist believe in a society dominated by the strongest and most ruthless. They envision themselves as the oil/gasoline raiders of the post-apocalypse Mad Max world they hope and pray to live in.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

In sum, as you and many of us surely and obviously know, the same thing OWS aimed for.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

If we followed your idea, what would replace a solid, coherent government of law, then?

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Private law. Private agencies. The free market. Freedom.

Still, I’d like you to answer my question, if you would: Do you think roads wouldn’t exist without government?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

And no, there isn’t anything REMOTELY similar between anarchism and communism.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Other than the fact that they are usually found arm in arm in every revolutionary movement? Mikhail Bakunin ring a bell? The First International was teeming with anarchists.

Anarchists participated actively in the establishment of the Paris Commune.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Territory

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_Communism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism#History

Anarchists participated alongside the Bolsheviks in both February and October revolutions, and were initially enthusiastic about the Bolshevik revolution.[96] However, following a political falling out with the Bolsheviks by the anarchists and other left-wing opposition, the conflict culminated in the 1921 Kronstadt rebellion, which the new government repressed.

The revolutionary wave of 1917–23 saw the active participation of anarchists in varying degrees of protagonism. In the German uprising known as the Bavarian Soviet Republic the anarchists Gustav Landauer, Silvio Gesell and Erich Mühsam had important leadership positions within the revolutionary councilist structures.

Much of Spain’s economy was put under worker control; in anarchist strongholds like Catalonia, the figure was as high as 75%, but lower in areas with heavy Communist Party of Spain influence, as the Soviet-allied party actively resisted attempts at collectivization enactment. Factories were run through worker committees, agrarian areas became collectivised and run as libertarian communes. Anarchist historian Sam Dolgoff estimated that about eight million people participated directly or at least indirectly in the Spanish Revolution,[113] which he claimed “came closer to realizing the ideal of the free stateless society on a vast scale than any other revolution in history.”

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:28 PM

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

In sum, as you and many of us surely and obviously know, the same thing OWS aimed for.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

People like Dante, who have never been confronted by genuinely brutal and ruthless people always mistakenly believe that they could and would dominate society. Like the OWS crowd, what they fail to grasp is that under the anarchist system they long and desire for, they would be the very first victims to loose their property, liberty and most likely their lives.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Nothing would, anarchist believe in a society dominated by the strongest and most ruthless. They envision themselves as the oil/gasoline raiders of the post-apocalypse Mad Max world they hope and pray to live in.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

You couldn’t be further from the truth.

If, again, you operated on an intellectual plane somewhere above namecalling and personal attacks, you’d see the anarcho-capitalist links I’ve provided. It is libertarian leaning in being based partly on the non-aggression principle. No one has the right to initiate force against another.

Anarchy means without ruler, not without rules.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Conservatism does not include anarcho-capitalism.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Other than the fact that they are usually found arm in arm in every revolutionary movement? Mikhail Bakunin ring a bell? The First International was teeming with anarchists.

Anarchists participated actively in the establishment of the Paris Commune.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Territory

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_Communism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism#History

Anarchists participated alongside the Bolsheviks in both

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Oh, so you’re going with Anarcho-Communism instead of Anarchist-Capitalism, which is what I am, and have been, discussing. So it’s ok for you to get specialized, but it’s not ok for me to have been specialized?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Not all idiots are anarchists, but all anarchists are idiots.

(also applies to liberals, so Dante doubly qualifies)

Wolftech on August 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Year Zero, baby–that’s what anarchists are selling, even if they don’t realize it.

ConservativeLA on August 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Simplicity is the selling point for a flat tax…

It would be the ideal solution. Unfortunately, there are some extremely powerful lobbying groups working to sabotage such a simple alternative to the current mind boggling nightmare of tax returns: Tax Attorneys, CPA’s, and Tax Preparers.

Those professions/businesses make dealing with the tax codes a very lucrative part of their billable hours, some to a larger percentile than others, but still lucrative nonetheless. Eliminate the volumes of forms that cause average folks to cringe, and you eliminate a prime source of income for those professions.

You can bet that they’ll throw hundreds of millions of lobbying dollars at it to try to destroy any chance of simplifying the tax codes.

Not to mention that any political party which makes that a part of their platform will automatically lose the votes of the 50% of Americans who currently pay no taxes at all, the bulk of whom probably would think it unfair for anyone to even suggest that perhaps they aren’t paying their “fair share” of taxes….

It will take a gutsy leader to make it a reality, for sure.

KendraWilder on August 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Private law. Private agencies. The free market. Freedom.
Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Sounds like La Cosa Nostra.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

The current tax code has personal exemptions, for which the first $3,800 per dependent is not taxed, then some income which is exonerated, and other brackets taxed at 10% and 15%, even for people who do not own homes.

If the payroll tax is eliminate, that would save low- and middle-income people about 10%, but if these people are hit with a 28% income tax, many millions of people earning less than about $70,000 or so would see huge net tax increases, especially if they live in rental housing.

If the Heritage Foundation plan results in large tax increases for tens of millions of low- and middle-income taxpayers, it will never pass Congress.

Steve Z on August 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Private law. Private agencies. The free market. Freedom.

Still, I’d like you to answer my question, if you would: Do you think roads wouldn’t exist without government?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

You are an imbecile cubed. Private law means whomever has the greatest capacity and ability for violence rules. That doesn’t even remotely approach freedom.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

“You say you’ll change the Constitution….”

ConservativeLA on August 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Conservatism does not include anarcho-capitalism.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

I didn’t say that it did.

I said:

The absence of NASA or an over-budget-$2.5 billion dollar spaceship is not anarchism, and a belief that federally funded departments or programs are returned at a profit to the “general population” is inherently unconservative.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

But to just take one of your examples, roads. Do you think roads wouldn’t exist without government?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

They would exist.

My gang now cuts that road at a bridge crossing and takes a cut of everything that goes through and a few of the pretty girls as well.

Who ya gonna call Mr Anarchist?

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Anarchy means without ruler, not without rules.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

No you imbecile, it means rules enforced by the most brutal and ruthless.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Sounds like La Cosa Nostra.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Not at all. La Cosa Nostra would be government, since both are inherently force.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

weaselyone on August 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM

That’s actually my personal preference – national sales tax – and eliminate all other federal level taxes – and the IRS.
How you make your money and how much you make are irrelevant. Tax what people spend and the revenues will likely skyrocket because we will actually get taxes from the drug dealers, mobsters, etc. And costs would likely go down because you eliminate all the tax withholdings at the corporate level.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Throwing in some religious bigotry for good measure, eh?

inthemiddle on August 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM

…says the person who argued against the Chick-fil-A owner because of his personally held Christian faith. Crow… its what’s for dinner!

dominigan on August 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Private law. Private agencies. The free market. Freedom.

Still, I’d like you to answer my question, if you would: Do you think roads wouldn’t exist without government?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

In earliest Rome, justice was meted out by the families offended by crime. Then the family against which retaliation was done went back for revenge.

This is called a feud.

Only later did Rome develop a coherent system of laws under a unified Code, which changed the concept of justice from tribalism to civilization.

To answer your question: Yes, there would be roads. But my follow-on question is: Would they be the best they could be?

While government is a necessary evil–largely because it runs the risk of becoming evil by the greedy within it running the show–representative government that draws its just powers from the consent of the governed is a sure sign of civilization, where all are equal before and according to the law.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

It is libertarian leaning in being based partly on the non-aggression principle. No one has the right to initiate force against another. Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Mmm hmmm. No one has a right to shoot up a movie theater or Sikh temple either.

Would everyone get his own Skittles pooping unicorn to make him as nice as possible?

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

They would exist.

My gang now cuts that road at a bridge crossing and takes a cut of everything that goes through and a few of the pretty girls as well.

Who ya gonna call Mr Anarchist?

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Same as in the frontier West: a group of private citizens. You wouldn’t last a day.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Mmm hmmm. No one has a right to shoot up a movie theater or Sikh temple either.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Who said they did have that right?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

You’re linking sites devoted to anarcho-capitalism to support your claim that anyone who disagrees with you is not conservative. Do the math.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 3:37 PM

…says the person who argued against the Chick-fil-A owner because of his personally held Christian faith. Crow… its what’s for dinner!

dominigan on August 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

With a side order of egg-on-the-face.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:37 PM

To answer your question: Yes, there would be roads. But my follow-on question is: Would they be the best they could be?

While government is a necessary evil–largely because it runs the risk of becoming evil by the greedy within it running the show–representative government that draws its just powers from the consent of the governed is a sure sign of civilization, where all are equal before and according to the law.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Why would they be the best they could be?

Glad you asked.

Because it would be in the owner’s best interest

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Same as in the frontier West: a group of private citizens. You wouldn’t last a day.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

The frontier west had a government. They had troops, police and judges.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I said:

The absence of NASA or an over-budget-$2.5 billion dollar spaceship is not anarchism, and a belief that federally funded departments or programs are returned at a profit to the “general population” is inherently unconservative.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Bull$hit, this is what you said clearly implying that support of federal agencies like NASA that return a profit to society is not a conservative position.

But you go ahead and pretend you’re a conservative while cheerleading a $2.5 billion dollar Mars rover.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Not at all. La Cosa Nostra would be government, since both are inherently force. Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

But your “private agencies” wouldn’t be built on force?

See my Skittles pooping unicorn remark above.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

You’re linking sites devoted to anarcho-capitalism to support your claim that anyone who disagrees with you is not conservative. Do the math.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 3:37 PM

No, I’m linking sites because someone asked how would we pay for the border patrol, military, NASA, etc., without taxation. The links had nothing to do with conservatism. Read the thread.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Same as in the frontier West: a group of private citizens. You wouldn’t last a day.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Clint Eastwood starred in a movie about this sort of thing.

Yep, those were good times.

Bishop on August 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM

I oppose Tax Credits for anything.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is the most fraudulently used credit.
Tax Credits are a welfare program hidden from taxpayers.
Simple system….Income x 0.10 = tax due.
This gives everyone skin in the game.
If you are low income, you submit your tax returm for proof of necessary welfare.
No more food stamp program, cell phone program, transportation program, housing program, etc.
Eliminate the Federal bureaucracy and let the people use their cash to purchase like everyone else.
You could eliminate 1/3 of Federal Government costs, easily.
You could eliminate 80% of the IRS.

The Fair Tax would get rid of the IRS, but would not deal with the Leviathan if Federal Government.

dirtengineer on August 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM

But your “private agencies” wouldn’t be built on force?

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

No. Why would they be?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM

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