The Fair Tax didn’t get a lot of support in two different presidential-primary cycles. Mike Huckabee tried to win the Republican nomination on the Fair Tax platform in 2008, and Herman Cain tried again in the 2012 cycle with a modified approach to it in his 9-9-9 plan. It didn’t have enough political juice to create momentum for either candidate — but that was before the exposure of political corruption at the IRS reaching all the way to its headquarters in Washington DC. Suddenly, any plan that eliminates the IRS looks better, and Americans for Fair Taxation strikes while the iron is hot:
The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake takes care to point out that AFT is headed by a 1%er:
A group advocating for a flat sales tax is going up with a new nationwide ad buy urging members of Congress to abolish the IRS.
Americans for Fair Taxation, a group headed by wealthy super PAC donor Leo Linbeck III, will launch the ads Monday. The ad buy is in the mid-six-figures, according to the group. …
Linbeck made a splash in the 2012 election by founding a super PAC devoted to unseating incumbents in primaries, called the Campaign for Primary Accountability.
How about we just debate it on the grounds that it might be, y’know, a good idea? Switching to a consumption tax has the potential to discourage consumption (taxation usually lowers the incidence of any activity), and passing a constitutional amendment to repeal the 16th Amendment would be a monumental effort. However, the payoff would be that the federal government would no longer need to know all of your income and financial transactions, and that tax collection would focus exclusively on commercial entities rather than private citizens.
After the recent revelations of political targeting by the IRS, that outcome sounds better and better.
Update: The original video link got pulled, but the new URL has been added in its place.