Why can’t Johnny read?

You might recognize the play on words from the old school fix-up initiative: “Why Johnny Can’t Read.” I have my own opinions as to why Johnny can’t, but that’s a subject for another column.

For the purposes of this column, the little Johnny in question is our Johnny, as in Salazar. Although I must admit when he dons his hat, he’s less small. So after hearing another ad about the so-called 23 percent tax hike his opponent endorses, and added to the ad the fact that little Johnny indeed did approve of this last message, I felt it’s time to answer the lies being spread by the Democrats and their supporters. More to my infinite amusement, I get a chance to address the man who never seems to address all of us on the West Slope.

This is a simple argument; so naturally, I’ll go slowly for Salazar. Let’s start with the basics of why Johnny can’t find the time read about what should be appropriately titled in the ads as the “Fair Tax” (taken from the title of book by Congressman John Linder and Neil Boortz). Perhaps our congressman hasn’t had time to get to the bookstore because he’s been busy with several new hat fittings for his latest “I Wanna be a Cowboy” advertisement. He has also avoided a casual glimpse over what would be known in Congress-speak as H.R. 25: The Fair Tax Bill of 2009. Oh that’s right, he doesn’t read bills, especially the ones he won’t vote for.

I’m just saying that between hat fittings and ignoring us, one would think he could find the time to actually read a 180-page book or a 75-page bill to actually understand what’s in it, thereby not attaching his name to the falsehoods and misinformation in these ads. I would think all of us would like to believe that Salazar must understand that it’s just as much of a lie when one leaves out factual information from a misleading statement.

Since I’m positive that Johnny will not stop by my office to borrow my copy of “The Fair Tax Book” because there isn’t a photo op, with no questions allowed, scheduled for Western Colorado (Heck, I bet I could even get a chamber volunteer to tutor him while reading it), I’ll instead do my best to help him along with Craigy’s Cliff Notes.

The Fair Tax involves doing several great things for this country:

First and foremost, it pretty much eliminates the IRS and repeals the 16th Amendment.

The 23 percent tax removes all other federal tax responsibility for taxpayers including all payroll, Medicare, Social Security, death and capital gains taxes — along with the never ending litany of taxes in the more than 67,000 pages of tax code.

It will eliminate the nearly $400 billion spent every year on conforming to our country’s out-of-control tax code, putting that time, money and investment back into our economy.
For Americans, we will be paying our tax bill as we buy new goods and services through a system that’s already in place and in a way we’re already used to doing every day. The Fair Tax will also tax the over $1 trillion underground economy. Plus, there are no taxes on used goods.

Since savings and investment income would be non-taxable, American citizens and corporations can bring back into our economy the unknown trillions held offshore to be invested and used.

The built-in rebate for the taxes on basic goods and services needed by American families would actually eliminate any taxes on those citizens at or below the poverty level and lower effective tax rates on lower end and middle income families.

I will address two specific misleading statements in the ads people are hearing all over the country. Yes, folks will lose their home mortgage deduction, simply because there will be no federal income tax to file. But better yet, since they will be paying their entire mortgage in pretax dollars, homeowners will actually come out much further ahead at the end of their mortgage. Secondly, to address the lie the tax adds 23 percent on to everything we buy, the Fair Tax eliminates the hidden costs of compliance and tax costs built into every product — which is about 20 percent of the cost (do the math). This also includes ending the myth of “taxing corporations” because we all know companies don’t pay taxes, they simply transfer the costs to the consumer, cut costs (usually employees) or decrease dividends (which hurts retiree pensions).

There are tons more benefits to this piece of common sense legislation and all of them can be found at www.FairTax.org.

I know Johnny has read the part of the Constitution that gives the government the power to tax. I’m just as sure he skipped the part that states that taxes are only to fund the legitimate operations of our government. Anyone with a basic understanding of how the Constitution limits the role of the federal government knows that horse is way out of the barn.

Salazar’s campaign signs read “Send a Farmer to Congress”. Well Johnny, we already did and he’s busy spreading fertilizer. I’d much rather send a bunch of FRAMERS to Congress. Like the ones who wrote the Constitution. The silly hat is optional.

Craig Hall is owner and publisher of the Business Times. Reach him at 424-5133 or publisher@thebusinesstimes.com.