Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Long co-sponsor H.R. 25; Good job, Bill Phelps!

Bill Phelps ought to be mighty glad that Congressman "Just call me Billy" Long skipped the reading of the U.S. Constitution on the floor of the House of Representatives on opening day of the session and made the decision to visit with Phelps instead.

Frequent bus riders will remember reading this post and this earlier post where we questioned where Long was during the reading.

We now know, by virtue of Billy's self admission on Twitter, that Long was visiting with Fair Tax Lobbyist Bill Phelps.

Now, comes this news that Congressman Billy Long is one of the sponsors of H.R. 25-- the fair tax bill.

Looks like Phelps'lobbying Long has paid of for him and his cronies because (and this is from the American Independent Party website)

On Wednesday, January 5, 2011, Congressman Rob Woodall (GA-07) introduced H.R. 25, the FairTax. The FairTax legislation eliminates the current income tax paradigm and replaces it with a system of taxation based on consumption. The bill was introduced on Wednesday with 47 original co-sponsors—the most original co-sponsors the bill has ever had for its initial introduction.
Replace the income tax with a system of taxation based on consumption. That's a national sales tax.

Billy's a big man. I'm a big man, too. I'll bet that Billy and I can match each other bite for bite in our consumption of edibles. (I won't contest him in a drinking contest because he likes scotch and I don't-- so he wins that by default.)

Comparing our grocery bills, I'll wager that Billy and I buy and eat the same amount of food. Billy may have a bit of an advantage over me in this wager because he's a gambling man and knows about point spread and fading and all the other gambling talk and I don't

Anyhow, I'm saying that our grocery bills would be about the same based on the amount of food we buy and consume. He may buy more scotch than I but I probably buy more beer than him. So, all this equalized, we probably spent the same amount of money on consumables.

Where am I going with this? Billy's salary, as our representative in congress, is in excess of $174,000.00 a year -- that is public record. I'm on pension and while I'm not going to share my pension information (it's in the low five figures) with you bus riders, you can be dang tootin' it ain't nowhere near $174,000.00 a year.

So, for the sake of arguement, let's say I get a yearly check of $17,400.00 a year. Billy gets a yearly check of $174,000.00 a year.

Billy and I both eat the same amount of food we purchase at the grocery store, let's say we both spend $1,740.00 a year on food and beverage from the grocery store.

Billy makes $174,000.00 a year and spends $1,740.00 a year on consumables. You still with me? That's about 1% of his income.

Your friendly bus driver makes $17,400.00 a year and spends $1,740.00 (the same amount as Billy) on consumables. That's about 10% of his income.

Billy pays a 'fair tax' on $1,740, the bus driver pays a 'fair tax' on $1,740. Who pays more tax?

What's fair about that?

MMmmm, it smells like a rose! (Don't worry, it's just a little prick.)


Anonymous said...

You understand the concept fully, Bus. Most rich folks have already accumulated their wealth, toys, goods and services and see the fair tax as a way to reduce their expenditures for....taxes.

This on top of the facts that they have already used income tax deductions on many goods and services to accumulate stuff or simply avoid tax payments.

Let's use a small business as an example. Any business will work but lets use a farmer as the small businessman. He writes off every cost he encounters including rapid depreciation schedules for purchases; fuel for all vehicles driven to social, shopping, farming functions; basically everything until the state and federal tax liability is zero. All the time accumulating land and other assets that now the farmer (through Farm Bureau) wants to exempt from extate taxes for farmers and ranchers.

We got too many people wanting to ride in the wagon and not enough people to pull the wagon.

The only FAIR tax is a tax where EVERYONE pays something. This is not to say that taxes should go up but the current tax system with less loopholes may be a much better approach. Even a graded, flat-tax with many fewer exemptions has merit over the current Fair Tax proposal.

President Obama's proposal of the $250,000 threshhold does not upset me, but it has some of my riche friends really po'ed.

Does Billy understand this? Yes he does but he is like the farmer. He's got his and he doesn't want to give any of it away as income or inheritance taxes.

Anonymous said...

Here's another way.
You and Billy both like to go downstream and wet your whistle.

Billy's F150 with Bozo the Clown on the dashboard burns $1,740.00 a year in fuel heading downstream.

The Bus's Suburban, with nothing on the dashboard, burns $1740.00 a year in fuel heading downstream.

Long makes $174,000.00 a year.
Bus makes $17,400.00 a year.

They both pay tax on $1740.00. Who pays more tax?

Anonymous said...

"You left out that Billy Long Auction Company or the Long for Congress Committee paid for the $1,740.00 that Bozo was burning in his F150 heading downstream," said 1:21 p.m. "If the first paid, deducted a a legitimate business expense thus reducing the taxable income to Bozo. If the second, spending contributions from other Bozos who supported Big Bozo."

"Poor ole Bus paid for his fuel by spending the kid's inheritance."

Jackie Melton said...

You don't know the FairTax, Jim.

Certain things are exempt by way of a "pre-bate" check. Meaning everyone would get a check to cover the basic necessities of life so, Long, if he is consuming the same amount in basic necessities as you, would pay no less or no more in taxes than you on those necessities.

Now, Long, having more expendable income than you, would likely buy more in luxury items than you, and therefore pay more in taxes than you under the FairTax system.

Great to see you blogging again so regularly. :) I wasn't necessarily a supporter of Billy Long but have, in the past, been a supporter of the National FairTax.

Jeremy D. Young said...

I suggest you read a little further on the Fair Tax. It's clear that you're just basing your comments on the fact that it involves a consumption tax. There's more to it.

From Jackie's comment there are a few things to clarify:

One of the things that is more fair about the Fair Tax proposal is that there are no exemptions. So the prebate doesn't un-tax items, it more approximately un-taxes income. It is progressive in a way that only requires compliance with the Census. You get the taxes back that you would have paid on the poverty level's worth of income, whether you spent more or less than that.

In the same vein, the only reason a term luxury matters is that those would be expensive items and incur tax.. The percentage would be the same on all goods and services.

The progressive nature of the taxation would be achieved without the need for government reporting and tracking of every individual's income.

Busplunge said...

Hey Jackie, good to see you again!

I do not like "the fair tax". period.
Nor do I like Sinquefield's idea of doing away with the MO income tax.

As much as I don't like paying taxes, I believe it is the opportunity cost of living in America.

I want good roads, good schools, good healthcare and a strong national defense.

I prefer a fair tax--- as Anonymous 1:21 mentions-- where everyone pays the same percent.

And yes, Jeremy D. Young, I have read quite a bit about the so-called fair tax. It is a regressive tax.

Anonymous said...

"The progressive nature of the taxation would be achieved without the need for government reporting and tracking of every individual's income."

you would sell us out just so you don't have to tell the gov't how much money you make?

What are you? A librarian?

Jeremy D. Young said...

Actually the Fair Tax is quite progressive due to the prebate.

The Fair Tax eliminates all payroll based taxes, including Social Security and Medicare with holdings that everyone pays.

Under the Fair Tax proposal, everyone keeps all of their income. If they choose to spend none of it on new goods and services, they pay negative taxes, the government sends them money based upon the idea that they spent exactly the poverty level's worth of income on new goods and services.

If the poverty line was determined by the Federal Government to be $30,000, and the tax rate was 23%, they would get a check for $575 each month that all they had to do was register with the census for.

They would pay -$575 / month in federal taxes. I would say that's very progressive.

Now in the more normal scenario, say they spend their $30,000 on new goods and services (as opposed to saving money on USED goods), they would still get the $575 check each month (because it goes to everyone regardless of their income), but they would have spent $575 worth of their income on their groceries (and other things) and were charged taxes on that. In the end, they paid zero taxes on those groceries because it was prebated back to them at the beginning of the month.

Further, for someone that makes $240,000 per year, if they are living it up, buying new houses and new cars, new TVs, etc, they pay taxes on all these things.. If they spend their entire $240,000 income on new goods and services, they will end up paying (out of their 20,000 monthly income) $4,600 in taxes each month, but still receive the $575 check, because it goes to everyone regardless of income, for a net of $4,025 per month in Federal Taxes.

Finally, if they are someone that already has money, and has no taxable income currently, they will pay taxes on everything they purchase. So, someone with illegal income may go purchase their new Cadillac Escalade, and would pay taxes on that. They would pay taxes on all their purchases of new goods and services, and it would no longer matter if they failed to report that income to the Federal Government.

The entire cost of the IRS would be eliminated. The cost for all individuals and United States firms to comply with Federal Income Tax laws which exceed 40,000 pages of rules and regulations would be eliminated.

This would eliminate the ability for the Federal Government to meddle in peoples lives in a number of areas, such as Marriage, Home Ownership, Energy Consumption, etc.

How many poor people do you know who can take advantage of the Hybrid vehicle tax credits? How many subsidies and tax credits do you disagree with? Eliminated.

Anonymous, how would the Fair Tax proposal be a sell out of anyone?

Anonymous said...


In your opinion, is Obama a muslim?
Was he born in the United States?

Anonymous said...

Jeremy-- you said: "The progressive nature of the taxation would be achieved without the need for government reporting and tracking of every individual's income."

Then you said: "If the poverty line was determined by the Federal Government to be $30,000, and the tax rate was 23%, they would get a check for $575 each month that all they had to do was register with the census for."

Which sounds to me like the gov't is still tracking your income.

"The Fair Tax" is a scam by the rich to keep poor smucks like you under their thumb by preying on your fear of the gov't. Rex made his millions and wants to keep them, he don't care about you and if you got to suffer so he can keep his money, well that's just tough cookies for you.

Wise up Boy, you're being sold down the river and don't even know it.

Under this 'fair tax' will you get a $575 check each month?

Jackie Melton said...

Aww, I been checkin' on you pretty regular, Jim - just haven't said much.

I knew I wouldn't "sell you" or likely any of your regular readers on the FairTax, so I didn't spend a lot of time getting into the details beyond trying to explain why your hypothetical would rarely happen in practice (unless Long is a terrible spend-thrift, I've known a few of those and they ARE the ones who have money simply because they don't spend it, good for them!)

The only way you'd spend more in taxes than Long would be if you spend more money than Long, period. Surely we can recognize that would not be likely to happen because you simply have less expendable income than he so, bottom line, Long would pay more in taxes than you.

Jeremy, good job sharing the finer details of the FairTax. I enjoyed reading it if no one else did. ;)

Busplunge said...

good to see you still around Jackie.

I much rather prefer a simple tax, where everyone pays a % of their income to the gov't.

Like a tithe to a church.

no deductions, just a flat % of income.

A sales / consumption tax is a regressive tax.

Jeremy D. Young said...

Oh, and on a side note, I'm not just a Fair Tax sniper coming to invade your blog. I read most of your posts, and merely choose to comment on the ones I feel more passionately about.

I haven't commented on most of your Billy Long mockery, because I am not particularly a Billy Long fan.

Let's just say there are people out there that participate under a generally Republican banner that do not toe the party line.

Jeremy D. Young said...

Sorry if my long post shows up multiple times, I actually still don't see it, though I got an email twice about it.

Busplunge said...

I got three emails with the post in it.

You're probably not going to change any of my riders' minds, most of them --with the exception of the group who visits quite frequently from seem to be progressives.

"I haven't commented on most of your Billy Long mockery, because I am not particularly a Billy Long fan."

Gee, I never thought of it as 'mockery', I always thought of it it as cutting edge satire and rapier sharp wit.


Jeremy D. Young said...

I generally try to talk to anyone and listen to anyone. Though I do lack a little patience for anonymous people.

I don't know that I expect to change anyone's mind per se, but I do like to practice talking with people that I disagree with. There's not much value in only talking to people that have the same ideas and values all the time.

I appreciate when civil discussion can occur without degenerating into name calling.

I actually agree that it was foolish of Representative Long to miss the reading of the Constitution. Symbolically foolish, but foolish nonetheless.

Maybe you should mix things up a little and do stories on Blunt, Dixon, or others that hold public office around here? Do you live in the 138th? Maybe some positive stories on how awesome State Representative Lampe is? Work in some stuff about your rep if not?

Anonymous said...

I don't know about you but this sounds like a repeal of corporate taxes. I guess I could incorporate myself? No taxes WOOHOO! This from the Thomas website (actual bill HR 25).


`(a) In General- For purposes of this subtitle--

`(1) BUSINESS AND EXPORT PURPOSES- No tax shall be imposed under section 101 on any taxable property or service purchased for a business purpose in a trade or business.

`(2) INVESTMENT PURPOSE- No tax shall be imposed under section 101 on any taxable property or service purchased for an investment purpose and held exclusively for an investment purpose.

Jeremy D. Young said...

Corporations don't currently pay taxes, their customers do, and it's a hidden tax. The Fair Tax simplifies and makes those taxes very visible.

When corporate taxes exist, the corporations have two options to stay competitive:

1) Avoid / minimize the taxed item or behavior
2) Pass along the cost of the tax to their customers.

They will not simply pay the tax with no affect on the rest of their business.

Busplunge said...

Missouri lawmakers set their sights Wednesday on eliminating a tax that businesses pay on their assets.

franchise tax