The FairTax: What it Is and Why It Will Work

An interesting article on what the FairTax is, and what it isn't, and why it will work.  If you are unfamiliar with the FairTax, this will answer a lot of questions.  - Brian

Why the FairTax Will Work

Tuesday, January 15, 2008
By: Laurence J. Kotlikoff

Bartlett's Unfair Attack on the FairTax

In his December 24, 2007 Tax Notes article, “Why the FairTax Won’t Work,” Bruce Bartlett purports to critique the FairTax, a proposal to replace almost all federal taxes with a retail sales tax plus a rebate. In fact, Barlett’s article has little to say about the FairTax and even less to say that’s accurate. Instead, most of his article misstates research on the FairTax, criticizes unnamed proponents of the FairTax, lambasts unattributed views of the FairTax, and engages in political punditry. This paper takes a close look at Bartlett’s “analysis,” exposing his repeated use of straw men for what it is rhetoric disguised as economics. (1)

The FairTax was proposed over a decade ago. It now has hundreds of thousands, if not millions of supporters. The vast majority of these supporters are not economists. Some are radio talk show hosts, some are Congressman, some are painters, salesmen, investment bankers, homemakers -- you name it. Many FairTax supporters are wildly enthusiastic about the plan, and some have certainly made fantastic claims in its name that have no economic merit. Some of these claims, no doubt, have even found their way onto the FairTax.org website, which is manned, in the main, by volunteers, not economic PhDs.


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