Archived Story

Country needs to scrap tax law and start over

Published 10:08am Monday, December 10, 2012 Updated 12:12pm Monday, December 10, 2012

Here is a letter that I am sending to the Member of Congress from my District and the two Senators from Minnesota.

If you or your readers think this concept has merit, I ask you to clip it out and mail it, or copy it and forward it to yours: I am sick and tired of the endless discussions of how to ‘ding’ around with the current, many thousand pages of Tax-Law.

Here are eight points that seem desirable to me, as a citizen. It requires totally scrapping the existing and confusing U.S. Tax-Code. That would be replaced by a simple to understand National Sales Tax, or NST.

1. This is a ‘pay as you go tax’. If I buy something, I pay the tax. It’s a done deal. No follow up or IRS agent to intrude in my life.

2. It reflects the real state of the economy. As economic conditions improve in the USA so will the government tax collections.

3. Everybody pays; it invites citizen participation and support of our national life and goals; corporations too. Deductions and loopholes don’t apply. Everyone who buys, pays: Tourists and visitors, including the more than seven million illegal immigrants in the USA, will help support the land they live in.

4. There are no exceptions or exemptions. All sales and

services; in fact all transactions are covered. This means retail sales; but also includes groceries, medical services, funeral services and ‘Pot’ where legal. Luxury sport cars and limousines as well as multimillion dollar homes and properties, too — everything.

5. Congress will be more responsible with our money. For instance; if it is decided on 5 percent as the tax rate for this all inclusive National Sales Tax, I’ll bet you “a dollar, to the hole in a doughnut” that politicians will be very reluctant to sponsor an amendment to raise that nickel on the dollar, to 8 or 12 or 20 percent soon.

6. All Savings Accounts are now tax-free. Interest rates will likely return to meaningful figures, once the Federal Reserve no longer has to just print more dollar bills.

7. NST will vastly increase voter turnout in the USA — you’ve got their money; you’ve got their attention too.

8. Reduce the National Debt. It’s a simple matter to add an extra 1 percent that is legally dedicated for this purpose; then maybe we’ll get our representatives in government to do what we sent them to do for us in our stead.

And to top it off, there’s no Federal Income Tax forms



Kirby Greene


  • Swede

    This tax policy also encourages savings.

    You are not taxed on money earned, so there is not a “tax bracket” disincentive toward increasing earnings or the need for “loopholes”, as we have now.

  • Richard Olson

    It is not progressive, which has been a hallmark of our tax policy thus far. Therefore the billionaire pays the same amount of tax for a loaf of bread as a very poor person. Put another way, the poor person pays a higher percentage of his income as the billionaire to eat. Which is something both must do.

    This plan is a great idea for millionaires and billionaires and slow witted people. Also for the ownership class….because they will keep more of their income, the net effect is that such a plan enforces a permanent ownership class where income (untaxed) will flow untaxed to daddy’s junior little boy by means of untaxed inheritance for ever and ever, generation after generation until all wealth is effectively in the hands of the few at the top. This plan sounds like something the seven Walton heirs came up with.

    • J. Anderson

      Mr. Olson, you really need to think about what you are saying before sticking your foot in your mouth. You are correct in one thing, and only one. The millionaire will pay the same for the loaf of bread and therefore paying less of his income for that loaf of bread, true. But what you are failing to realize is that that millionaire will also pay that 5% tax on the 2 million dollar house he just purchased/built. They will pay that 5% tax on the new million dollar yacht and the 8 million dollar plane that they purchased. Now who is paying more tax on their income. Think before you spew the democrat talking points. You also have to realize that the so called poor that don’t make enough will get some, if not all, of the tax they pay back because they are more than likely going to be on some government assistance program whether it be food stamps, fuel assistance, rent assistance, etc. So tell me how it’s not progressive. Lets hear the democratic spin you can put on that.

      • Richard Olson

        Mr. Anderson, if you wish to dispute what I wrote, then you should at least read what I wrote rather than what you think I wrote.
        My point, clearly made, is that such a tax forces a poor person to pay a greater share of his/her income than a millionaire or billionaire does, FOR THE SAME ESSENTIALS. That’s why it’s not progressive.

        I did not state that a millionaire or billionaire would not pay more (comparative) dollars in tax in any given year. That is the millionaires choice. Not many poor people buy 2 million dollar homes or luxury yachts, therefore your example is nothing more than a conservative red herring dragged across this page to divert attention from the many holes in your specious argument.

        I won’t even dignify the last two arrogant sentences of your comment, other than to say it is nothing less than the contemptuous attitude I would expect from someone advocating additional handouts for the wealthy.

    • Swede

      Richard, is the expressed goal of a socialist to have those that play more, pay more, or is it to punish the successful?

      The “rich” guy will buy expensive bread, and be less frugal with what he does not want to eat. His wonton waste will generate greater tax revenue than the frugal consumer will.

      If the slow witted socialist’s goal is punish, then our current tax code is desirable to him.

      • Richard Olson

        Mike Van Horn, if you think I’m going to waste my time and effort trying to explain the goals of Socialism to a group of ill-read paranoid chicken little’s whose parochial world view is shaped by Fox noise, you can forget it. The way you phrase your question (as if those were the only choices) proves me correct. But thanks for asking, doing so indicates that even you do not agree with Jerome Mullins sophomoric view of Socialism. Additionally, when you write that “those that play more, pay more” and intimate some connection with Socialism, I have to laugh since that is the very basis of original letter to the editor, the system you endorsed.

        Your second sentence is nothing more than lipstick of the pig of “trickle down economics” which history proves absolutely does not work. If it did the Bush years would have been much different.

        Your last sentence equates “progressive” with “punishment”. This is the result when people are not taught the social reasons for a progressive income tax and an inheritance tax. They grow up with an attitude that says “Look out for number one”, “the individual is greater than the sum of society” and manifests itself in pompous and arrogant statements like “I built that”. While demanding OTHERS adhere to the philosophy of “I’m my brother keeper”.

        • Swede

          Is your goal to raise tax revenue or is your goal to punish a segment of society based on wealth?

          • Richard Olson

            My goal is to have a progressive income tax. If that’s not clear enough after all this time, I can’t help you.

          • Swede

            With increased revenue you have more money to fund government programs.

            This is a very simple question: is your goal to increase revenues or equalize wealth?

          • Richard Olson

            You can ask naive questions until you turn blue. I’ve answered your question already. As long ask you ask questions with only YOUR choice as the answer you’ll get nothing further from me. I’m not going to be limited to answers posed by you ahead of time.

            As a matter of fact, other than Larry, I’m about the only person who answers questions put to me. I have yet to see any answer on any point I’ve made and any question I’ve ever put to one of you conservatives. You guys run in here throw out an asinine comment then retreat to your hole in the wall, suck on your thumb and act as if you had cast some enlightened comment to the world and we should be grateful for you sharing your enormous intellect. But when questioned, you act as if your hearing aid battery fell out.

          • Swede

            Ok, Mr. Question Answerer. I will pose an extremely simple question this time.

            Would you like to increase tax revenues?

  • Walt Henry

    5% sales tax on a finished house. Ok maybe that’s not so bad but in the cost of the house is a 5% tax on the cost of the lot, a 5% tax on the water and sewer line, 5% tax on each 2X4 and each light fixture sold to the builder which he bought from a lumber yard with another 5% tax, which were made by some manufacturer at 5% tax each. And people are complaining the tax on the upper 2% might go up a few percentage points?

    • J Mullins

      Curly and Larry, of course you will obfuscate against any plan which inhibits your Marxist goals of confiscating all money, assets and property from everyone, not just those you deem “rich”. And, since you cannot use economic formulae to prove your specious arguments you play the role of “poverty pimp” and attack the person presenting the plan rather than deal with the logic and details of his plan. Typical Democrat socialist baloney!

      • Richard Olson

        Gee Jerome, you add so much to the conversation. Your arguments are overpowering and very persuasive.
        I especially like how you debunked each and every point I made with cogent counter arguments when some others may have resorted to personal attacks and conservative talking points which were trashed in the last election.

        • Richard Olson

          Hey Jerome, I’ve read just about everything Karl Marx has written (certainly more than you) and I can’t find the place where he says that the goal of Marxism is to “confiscate all money, assets and property from everyone”. Sometime when you’re not to busy counting conspiracies to defraud you of all your earthly goods, could you tell the rest of us in which book Karl Marx said that. And if you could the page number and paragraph would be helpful.

          As a side note, if it’s not too much trouble, would you explain what earthy good would accrue to the person who “confiscated all money, assets and property from everyone”.

          If you can’t do those things, I’ll just assume you were puffing more gas from that vast reservoir you obviously possess.

  • Walt Henry

    Compound interest (that’s interest charged on interest) is good for banks but kind of hard on consumers. The letter writer is suggesting a product is taxed every time it is sold. So for a dairy farmer costs of production go up 5%. Then the hauler pays the farmer an extra 5%. The dairy (often a remarketer) pays the hauler 5% extra. The manufacturer pays 5%. The dairy/grocery wholesaler 5% and finally the comusmer 5%. This is how conservatives would starve the government or haven’t people thought this through? This is coumpound taxation.

    • Swede

      Is income tax charged at every level of production not “compound taxation” ?

      • Walt Henry

        You do know, Mike, income tax is charged on the profit in the sale of a product or service and not on the raw materials, labor or other costs that go into making the product or service. The letter writer suggests taxing all of the cost of a product without regard to costs of production. Does that help?

        • Swede

          “income tax is charged on the profit in the sale of a product”

          Is this a mistake? Please clarify.

          • Walt Henry

            Careful Mike, If we expand this discussion beyond income tax and acknowledge the government is funded via other taxes as well, the popular but mistaken belief 47% only take but don’t pay will be exposed for the divisive fantasy it is. Better keep it simple. Best to consider if compund taxes on a product at every point of sale or resale is really a good idea and keep it at that.

          • Swede

            Let’s expand the discussion.

            “income tax is charged on the profit in the sale of a product”

            Is this a mistake? Please clarify.

  • Richard Olson

    Hey Jerome, I’m still waiting for that citation from the works of Karl Marx. If you’re having difficulty and need more time, just ask.

    • Swede

      “Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.”

      “Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.”

      “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.”

      “Abolition of all rights of inheritance.”

      Take your pick, Richard, these are from the Commie Manifesto. Socialists read Marx, capitalists understand Marx. More here:

  • Richard Olson

    Mike you seemed confused, in your comment at 7:27 you ask Larry Erickson “Is income tax charged at every level of production not “compound taxation” ?
    Had you bothered to read Larry’s comment you would no doubt have read the last four words of his comment…”This is coumpound taxation.” Larry answered your question before you thought it was clever to ask it.

    As to your last comment…you did no better reading your own citation than you did reading Larry’s comment. In any case it doesn’t matter, I prefer to get my interpretation from the author rather than have it filtered by someone with an agenda.

    Now that you think you’ve mastered comic book Socialism, you might just want to think about some republican logic.

    Republican Logic

    Right to Work laws make unions stronger.
    Privatizing Medicare will protect seniors.
    Cutting taxes on the wealthy produces more revenue.
    Making it harder for people to vote promotes democracy.
    Abstinence only education will mean fewer unplanned pregnancies.

    George Orwell would blush.

  • Kirby

    I’m not in favor of a PROGRESSIVE tax of any kind… If our generous politicans feel that it’s time to give the poor more in higher welfare programs, let them vote for it, but as a separate, stand-alone bill.

    A big part of the problen, as I see it, is the linkage of tax-law to everything under the sun!


Editor's Picks

Father suing city, police for missing birth of child

Man alleges police wrongfully detained him A Battle Lake man is suing the city of Fergus Falls, the Fergus Falls Police Department and two police ... Read more

Nornes: Shutdown unlikely [UPDATED]

‘It all came down to the K-12 education bill’ Rep. Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls, sees an end in sight for the special session the state ... Read more

Composer writing folk song about 1919 tornado

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a 10-part series about the first 10 Springboard for the Arts’ Hinge Arts artists-in-residency, where artists live in ... Read more