W. MacMeekin III
W. MacMeekin III, of Winter Haven, Fla., is an author with five
books to his credit, including “Lincoln Laughing.” (lincolnlaughing.com).
His latest book is “Destination Germany: The Combat Missions
of Lt. Col. Charles A. Felts (USAF) (Ret.), His Crew, the 787th
Bomb Squadron and Fellow Airmen.” A Korean War-era veteran
of the U.S. Air Force, MacMeekin is a former investment manager
and educator. He can be reached by e-mail at jameswmacmeekin
about replacing the 40,000-page U.S. tax code with a national sales
Feb. 7, 2012
JAMES W. MacMEEKIN III
to the start of commentary here
of all Americans do not pay income taxes. Lawyers are exempt from
certain taxes, as are other groups. Additionally, visitors from
other countries pay very little toward governmental costs. A Canadian
visitor can enter any emergency room and get free care. It’s the
law. However, an American in Montreal, Canada, must have cash, or
a credit card to receive medical attention.
apply to all, with consideration for those actually in need.
The income tax doesn’t meet the challenge, and must therefore be
set aside. What to do?
been periodic discussions promoting value-added taxes and/or substituting
sales taxes in lieu of income taxes — maybe a combination of the
latter two. A value-added tax requires a tax imposed upon a service
or a product at each stage between its initiation and its delivery
to the consumer. The problem with value-added taxation is the number
of times required to apply the tax. Six steps from start to finish?
Six taxes attached thereto. It’s six stages for something to go
wrong, or worse. No, a value-added tax is attractive only to the
A flat tax
is an improvement over a progressive income tax, but there remains
the problem of who will be exempt. No, a flat tax is another
bureaucrat’s afternoon delight. Why? Individuals change economic
hats from month to month, leading to the same problems incorporated
within the income tax.
a nationwide federal sales tax received a better reception? Well,
as one example, the union members employed by the IRS will
go absolutely berserk. Not all of them, because an IRS stable of
much smaller size would remain in place. But, those headquartered
in D.C. very likely will turn Washington into a midtown Detroit
after a Pistons NBA championship. (If we can save the Lincoln and
Washington memorials, along with the Smithsonian and Library of
Congress, would this be a fair exchange?)
the pros for a national sales tax?
sales tax has many advantages. It will, by definition, encompass
everything required for national inclusion. It impacts virtually
system is, in many respects, already in place. It needs only its
adaptation by products and services not now subject to a sales or
products and services are the sources of taxation, rather than specific
individuals, or their organizations, such products and services
can be assigned different tax rates, or no tax at all to fit the
circumstances of those in need. Little or no taxes on pharmaceuticals,
medical and hospital services. Little or no taxes on basic food
items. Variable sales taxes on products or services with price differentials.
For example, a small car with great mileage, and few luxuries, logically
would carry a much lower tax than Barack Obama’s limousines.
would encompass our tourists and, like automobiles, Motel 6 would
carry a lower tax rate than the Waldorf Astoria.
of recommended changes in America’s tax structure — the move to
a national sales tax — will lead to annual increases in federal
revenues approximating 25 percent.
the cons to a national sales tax?
reasonable objection introduced to squelch a national sales tax
is the tax itself. It would require, objectors remind us, sales
taxes as high as 25 percent. So? Think it through. First, we have
death taxes, capital gains taxes and income tax rates of 35 percent.
Those taxes will vanish. But, we are adding 150 million individuals
to the taxpaying rolls. In addition, the United States leads
all countries in tourism receipts. About 55 million international
visitors arrive each year.
President Obama is successful in “… the fundamental transformation
of the United States of America,” he and his handlers have,
in print and voice, already said that income taxes of 100 percent
are to be levied upon the wealthiest.
a patriot, as well as an optimist, I believe in America’s ability
to overcome its greatest challenge. Nevertheless, Obama has many
weapons available to bend our collective will. Nov. 6 might reform
the House and Senate, but Obama would retain a veto power if re-elected.
Given that a few Democrats still cherish our constitutional freedoms,
an override of his veto is a distinct possibility. Unfortunately,
in that event, it will become clear the $200 billion remaining in
the economic “stimulus” bill is Obama’s to spend. And spend it he
Spend it on
what? The further entrenchment of universal health care and every
other program designed to “… fundamentally transform the United
States of America.” Doubt me? If so, you are either in denial, or
you haven’t been doing your homework.