[See Second article below also.]
[From a Keyes email loop. Keyes is right on target. Bravo! A super lesson in what the Founding Fathers meant by "limited government". Print this article out and spread it around. E. Fox.]
Subject: Keyes: More on the national sales tax X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
The Alan Keyes Show October 1, 1997
A national sales tax would put us back in control. It would also mean that the government would be out of the business of probing into, and involving itself with our private affairs and property -- which they oughtn't to get involved with. And the payment of the tax would also be automatic. Once we had made our decision as to what to buy, we would pay that tax automatically as part of a PUBLIC transaction, right? That would require none of this apparatus that destroys and invades our privacy, and essentially, I think, creates an environment in which we are so intimidated that it borders on the enslavement of our people.
Joe: It's incredible. And, as you say, if you had it by categories, people could make decisions. If you wanted to buy a luxury boat, for the sake of argument, that would obviously be higher than, say, prescription drugs.
Keyes: And you could also, of course, create a category of what I think of as kind of generic staples, right? which would be free of tax. And then, surely, enterprising entrepreneurs would then put together stores that had nothing in them except tax-free goods. And so people would be able to say, "I'll go to the tax-free store, and I'll settle for generic goods and other things that I just need for necessity, because I want to spend this part of my life saving money."
Joe: I agree. I think Steve Forbes is getting close to it with the flat tax. But it ought to have a better name, called "scrap tax."
Keyes: Well, see, the sad thing is that I don't think Forbes is close to it. I've got to tell you, that the more I think about what Steven Forbes is doing, the more I think Steven Forbes is out there as a lightning rod, to absorb the energy that is being developed in this country that WOULD tend to abolish the income tax. He is being put out there as somebody who is supposed to soak up that interest, so that we will stop calling for abolition, and settle for something that leaves an illegitimate power in their hands. His suggestion is not only not good; the more I think about it, the more I think that it is intended as a distraction from what ought to be our real goal, which is to get rid of this illegitimate tax.
Joe: I agree with you, but certainly his proposal is better than anything we have on the table at the moment.
Keyes: Well, no. No. See. Joe. Joe. We have the abolition of the income tax on the table! Bill Archer and others have put it on the table. The flat tax is not out there by itself. We have people, in the Congress, right now, seriously pushing to get us out from under this slavery. And we have Forbes, and others, distracting the attention of Americans so they won't pay attention to what is being promoted. It's a bad thing, I think, that he is doing. The more I have observed it, the more it seems to me that this is a case where they are hoping that they will be able to distract us long enough that the momentum that is building against this awful tax will go away.
And I don't think we should let ourselves be distracted. Our motto ought to be: "Abolish the Income Tax! Settle for nothing less!"
Caller: Well, I agree with that. And I'm glad you have the pulpit, and hope you continue your good work. And thanks for taking my call.
Keyes: Thank you, Joe. Really appreciate it. Let's go to Rose in Brookings, Oregon. Rose, welcome to the Alan Keyes Show.
Rose: Hi, Alan. And thank God for NET. What I think, on the income tax, is more subversive and harmful, in my mind, is the withholding aspect of the income tax system. The bulk of the income tax collected in this country is collected through withholding. People have been trained to take home less money than they earned. The workers, in this country, are mesmerized because they don't know how much the government is taking, because they take a net check home.
Now, Dick Armey -- one of the things he has said, in his flat tax propaganda, he says what would the people do if they had to sit down, once month, and make out a check to the government for the income taxes, and all the withholdings, and the FICA taxes, and all of that, if they had to actually sit down and write a check -- then they would really know how much the government is taking from them.
Now, when I was working, I was taking home seven out of ten dollars, from all the withholdings. There was at least three out of the ten dollars that I earned that never got to my pocket. And I feel that the withholding aspect of the system is really very subversive, because people don't realize how much is actually being taken.
Keyes: That's right. And I think it illustrates what I think to be one of the main objections to the income tax: that you go out; you earn the money; and for that money that is withheld -- right? those three dollars, four dollars, whatever it may be -- those guys get to decide how to spend it before you have any say in it. Why is it fair that they should be able to decide how to spend money you have earned, before you say word one about what happens to it?
Rose: And then they've got us used to the fact that we don't even miss it! We don't miss the money they take from us.
Keyes: That's right. But this is part of the pernicious truth about the income tax. It is an illegitimate tax. It involves a destructive invasion of our privacy, in which we provide information to government agents that is none of the governments business. And yet, because of habit and all of this, we're actually sitting here, acting like this is acceptable, legitimate, something we should take for granted -- it's a stink we've gotten used to; we can't even smell it any more.
Rose: It's right. We are slaves. And you are right: we've become slaves to the income tax.
Keyes: Yes. And I think we've got to get rid of it. Abolish the slave tax, right now! That's my opinion.
Rose: I'm with you.
Keyes: Rose, thank you very much for your call.
We're talking to Jim, in Blackshear, Georgia. And let me kick off the second part of our conversation, Jim. As I understand what you are saying, we've got this 21% . . . now, I'm not disagreeing with you, by the way. When I was at Citizens Against Government Waste, other places, I talked about what a bad problem it is when the government takes too much of a share of our GNP. But the key thing, Jim -- once we've agreed, as we do, that they take too much, government's too big, and so forth -- what is the key for cutting them down to size? That's the question. What is the key?
Jim: What is the key to cutting them down to size?
Keyes: That's right. We agree on the problem. What is the solution?
Jim: Okay, finding politicians of principle.
Keyes: Nah. That's not the solution.
Jim: That's not the solution?
Keyes: No, it's not. Because you are telling me that I am going to be able to trust THEM to make the right decision. And Jim, this is crazy. And I think that the last couple of years ought to absolutely, finally, convince us of this. You will never find politicians who will put your interest above their own ambition. You will never do so. We should have listened to our Founders; they told us this.
Jim: You mean if I voted for Alan Keyes for President, it wouldn't have made a difference . .
Keyes: Don't trust me any more than anybody else.
Jim: . . . other than Bill Clinton, right?
Keyes: That's absolutely right. Don't trust politicians, Jim. Don't trust anybody. The Founders were clear on this. Don't put your trust in these princes. They learned from the Bible: "Put not your faith in princes." Don't do it.
What you are saying is the same thing that Tom DeLay (member of the Republican Leadership in the House) came on and said the other day. Somebody called in and asked him a question about this data base that they are going to be developing that will track where everybody in America works, right? They will know, right down to the last detail, where everybody works. And every time you go out and get a new job, they will find out about it and they will track it at the national level. And people were calling in and saying "that sounds dangerous, totalitarian, big-brotherism" -- and what did Tom DeLay say? "Oh yeah, it might be dangerous. But you just have to elect good people, and they'll make sure it doesn't abuse you." That is exactly what the Founders told us not to do. Don't trust that good people will take care of you. Trust in good arrangements, that will control the tendency ALL people have to abuse power.
Jim: Okay, Alan. And you are saying your sales tax will stop politicians from abusing power?
Keyes: No, it won't stop them from abusing power; it'll just put the power back in our hands. And if it is going to be abused . . . . Let me show you how. Can I describe to you how?
Keyes: Present system: I go out and I earn $100, right? Before I have anything to say about it -- as a matter of fact, before I even get the check, now -- somebody will take the government's share out of that and turn it over to them to use, right?
Jim: Not necessarily.
Keyes: Yes it is; that's called "withholding," and it has to be done by everybody, pretty much, in the country. And if you don't do it . . . .
Jim: Weeeeelll . . . .
Keyes: You can make excuses, Jim; I'm just talking the facts here. Everybody knows these facts.
Jim: All right.
Keyes: They take our money, and before we can do or say anything with the money we have earned, they take it and spend it the way they want. And we have to trust to "electing good people" in order to keep them from abusing us.
And that's the present system: I earn $100; I control, if I'm lucky, maybe sixty or seventy of that hundred. And then I'm supposed to be happy.
The way the sales tax system would work is this: I earn $100. I take that $100 home. It's mine. I put it in the bank. When it's in the bank, it earns interest; that interest is not taxed, because that is my money. And when the government is looking for its share, it doesn't come and ask me how much I earned; it doesn't get to pry into my private affairs; it doesn't get to know what I spent my money on, who I spent it on; who I gave it to -- because it is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.
Instead, the government gets its money when I, sitting there, having surveyed the scene, decide that I want to save this much, and I want to put that much aside in a little trust fund for my children, and I want to put this, and that, and then I'm going to go out and spend thus and such. And when I make that decision as to what I want to spend, in the marketplace, in open transactions, as I follow through on that decision, the government gets its share of my money. Not until then. I make the judgment. I control it.
And if I reach a point, by the way, where I decide, "You know, right now, it's a time in my life that I can't afford to pay so much in taxes; I just can't keep giving all this money to the government" -- what do I do? Well, I decide to put more money in savings, and less money in spending. Or if the tax thing has been structured properly, as I have proposed, there will be a track of goods out there that I can also buy to sustain my life -- basic goods that I need -- that will not be taxed. And I'll be able to say "I will avoid the luxury items; I'll avoid the extra stuff; I'll concentrate for awhile just on the necessities. And that way I won't have to give the government so much of my money."
I just gave myself a tax cut, Jim! And I didn't have to trust a single politician to do it. I just had to trust my own planning, and my own good sense. That's the proposal that I'm putting on the table, and that's the way we curtail the abuse of power -- don't give them the power in the first place.
Subject: Keyes: The Sales Tax is about Control X-Priority: 3 (Normal) X-MIME-Autoconverted: from 8bit to quoted-printable by mail-gw.pacbell.net id IAA11537
The Alan Keyes Show January 15, 1998
I had a talk yesterday with one of my colleagues here. He was telling me about a group that is promoting the switch away from the income tax -- the abolition of the income tax -- and the move back to the original Constitution, to excise taxes
-- that is, sales taxes -- as the way of funding the federal government. And he said that they were promoting the idea of calling the approach "A Fair Tax." And he asked what I thought of that word in order to describe a sales tax system.
My reaction to that was not necessarily favorable. I certainly think that taxation needs to be fair. But the obsession with fairness is actually a liberal obsession, because the obsession with fairness puts you in the mode of looking around suspiciously, trying to see if somebody is getting away with anything. "Is everybody being treated the same?" and so forth and so on. It puts us in a "let's you and him fight" mode, where we're trying to make sure that "nobody is paying more," and "I'm not being burdened more," and all this sort of stuff. The politicians love it when we are in that mode, when we in the mode of trying to figure out whether the burden is being distributed equally.
Why do they love it? Because when you are in the mode of trying to figure out whether the burden is being distributed equally, you forget about the key question: who decides how heavy the burden is? Is it you, or somebody else? So the issue of CONTROL is put in the background, and the "let's you and him fight" issues of distribution come to the foreground. And they LOVE this.
I do not love it, because I think it puts us in a position where we are letting them get away with the fundamental good -- and that good is control, or power. And that should be our concern where these issues of money are coming up now. We shouldn't let them get us into this mentality where we are focused on the distributional issues of fairness, and who is getting what, and who is doing what . . . No. We need to focus on the fundamental issue of control: how do we get back control over our money.
And as I have pointed out quite often: as long as we have an income tax, we are handing off a preemptive claim to a certain percentage of our money to others, so they get to decide how to use that money -- we don't. They get a preemptive claim. Before we have ANYTHING to say about it, they reach into our earnings and they take out the money.
Now, what they want us to argue about is how much money they get to take out. Do they get to take out 25%, as Mr. Gingrich is now talking about? Do they get to take out 15%, a nice, flat figure? Do they get to take it out of some people's pockets and not others? This is what we are to argue about.
I think that's wrong. I think we are being duped, if we get into that argument. That's the wrong argument to have. The question ought to be: should we give a preemptive claim to our money at all? Or should WE keep the claim to spend, to have the decision as to first use, of every last one of the dollars that we make?
I think that that is the situation. We ought to be looking to reclaim control of all our money, and we oughtn't to give preemptive control over any of our dollars to anybody else. And the only way to achieve that result is to abolish the income tax, because as long as the income tax exists in any form, we are handing off a preemptive claim to our dollars to the politicians and the bureaucrats and the others -- they get to decide how to use it before we do. As a matter of fact, they take it away and they use it, and we don't have any claim over it at all. Unless, of course, they dribble back a little to us. And they say, "well, we'll give you a tax credit, or a tax break, or a tax this and a tax that." And what that is actually about, is giving you back a little control of your own money. "We'll give you back control over a little bit of your money."
And what we ought to be saying is "No; it's our money; we earned it; we get the first use of all of it. And only after we decide how to use it, should you be able to reach in and get a little something that will help to run the government."
And that's not an impractical proposal; it's not a revolutionary or radical proposal; no. It's simply a desire to return to the wisdom of the people who founded this nation. Because the system that I propose is the system that was there in the original Constitution of the United States, when the country was founded. So the proposal I am making is not some radical new departure, no. It's an effort to get us back to the sound foundations on which the nation was originally based.
And it is these kinds of things that we need to be talking about now. Not all of these little piece-meal, "let's you and him fight" proposals that BOTH parties are now putting in front of us. Because the aim of those proposals is to distract us from the fundamental issue of who is controlling those dollars in the first place: the people who work for them? No! We are handing off control to others. And that is wrong; we shouldn't be doing it.
And if you put us back in a position where we control all that money, then folks who are in a position where they need more day care, and things like this, they would be able to re-order their lives in such a way that instead of spending money on this and that and the other thing, they could concentrate their efforts on organizing life so that they can provide that day care. THEY could make those decisions. They wouldn't have to sit around, waiting for Bill Clinton to say "We need 21 billion dollars more on day care; We need this; We need that." And then claiming credit: "Yes, give us the credit; we are your masters. Worship us in an appropriate way; show us your gratitude at the polls." This is wrong.
We are being manipulated -- being manipulated, I believe, by a bunch of phonies, now, whose main aim is not to help us, but to help themselves to more and more power over us. We've got to break that cycle. And one of the ways we break it, is to abolish the income tax.
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