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Stop the Presses

Earlier today Drudge had a tease that there was going be a big announcement on the centerpiece of Bush's campaign. The tease as been replaced with the (politcally) unfathomable.



A domestic centerpiece of the Bush/GOP agenda for a second Bush term is getting rid of the Internal Revenue Service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

The Speaker of the House will push for replacing the nation's current tax system with a national sales tax or a value added tax, Hill sources tell DRUDGE.

Assuming this is true -and Drudge's detractors aside, he is probably more accurate than most news steams- this is unbelievable.

I've long held that the only way would would get a flat tax or a consumption tax is if a Presidential candidate made it the centerpiece of the campaign. If that person wins, Congress would have no choice.

If Bush does this, it would obviously be the biggest domestic news event in decades. The whole campaign would be about this... Kerry would be irrelevant- He would serve only as a no vote to this proposal. Even the war on terror would take second place.

It is in keeping with Bush's style. Love him or hate him, you can't call him timid. And he is a gambler- He'll gamble his whole reelection on this one card.


Updated thoughts in extended entry

It took me a minute to notice something- It is the GOP agenda pushed by Hastert. The seems very much to be an "all the marbles" kind of thing.

(assuming Bush really pushes for this) It would seem near a forgone conclusion that the Whitehouse, the House and the Senate would all be in the hands of the same political party come November. Which party- I can't tell ya, but if they make it a party wide agenda it would seem that all 3 of them would go together.

I dunno- leave me comments or links to your posts, I find this fascinating.

Update: 'Knight of the Mind' (trackback) has the first peek of various alternative tax proposals. I was going to do a piece on this as I have studied it greatly but I'm sure dozens of bloggers will be all over it in the next few days. I really hope this turns into a real debate.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Stop the Presses:

» InTheBullpen.com linked with Bush Considers Eliminating IRS

» Knight of The Mind linked with How Should Americans Be Taxed?

» Apropos of Something linked with 'Cause I'm the taxman

» Evilwhiteguy's Blog linked with Bush To Push For End Of IRS

» Outside The Beltway linked with Dumping the Income Tax?

» Brain Shavings linked with Goodbye, IRS?

» Squidly.com linked with Good Economic News

» murdoc online linked with I'm all for it, in principle

» DiggersRealm : Digger Speaks linked with Abolish The IRS?

Comments (12)

Wow. If this is true Bush ... (Below threshold)

Wow. If this is true Bush 70 to Kerry 25.

All I can say is - get read... (Below threshold)

All I can say is - get ready for the demagougery (I hope I spelled that right).

Not so fast Chad- Think of ... (Below threshold)

Not so fast Chad- Think of all the IRS folks, CPA's and even printers that would be opposed to this. Add that to the "hate Bush" crowd and it might surprise you.

I could see it failing.

Mark, no, but I am sufferin... (Below threshold)
capt joe:

Mark, no, but I am suffering from gougery (at the hands of the IRD) at the moment so I am ok with it

I wrote about it in somewha... (Below threshold)

I wrote about it in somewhat greater depth at my blog, but the whole idea seems a bit far-fetched considering it's a significant amount of risk for the GOP with the promise of uncertain rewards. A relatively radical agenda for an incumbent president just doesn't seem worth it to me -- especially when domestic issues will likely be secondary this November.

In 2000, Bush's other big i... (Below threshold)

In 2000, Bush's other big idea (besides the tax cuts) was partial Social Security privatization. That's gotten no where and the President never fought for it. Even if he runs on this, I'm skeptical it will even get voted on in the Congress. There are too many interests (special and not so special) that will long for reform except for their particular exception.

I've been aching for yea... (Below threshold)
John from Detroit:

I've been aching for years to see something like this happen. As far as all the CPAs and IRS people, screw em, let them find something that's more productive than leeching off of our hard earned money. No more audits, no more yearly hassle, no more cringng when I look at my pay-stub.

However, I can see the class warfare coming from a mile away, and that's the saddest part, even though us lower uneducated lifeforms will benefit from something like this.

Capt. Joe,I think ... (Below threshold)

Capt. Joe,

I think there would be demogougery by flat tax/consumption tax opponents. They sure did during Steve Forbes' campaigns.

As an aside, I do not know how you just up and end the IRS. Someone needs to collect the taxes, whether it be a sales tax, flat tax, or whatever. Perhaps Bush would be better off if he announced a tax overhaul plan with one result being a drastically reduced IRS - or something to that effect.

I don't agree with the flat... (Below threshold)

I don't agree with the flat tax. It is the most fair system, but it would never pass because it is a regressive taxation method.

A National Sales Tax is fair and is still a prograssive tax. You could easily exclude items such as food and basic rent allowances so that lower income people aren't burdened by trying to stay alive (as well as you an I not paying them either), and those who buy more, pay more taxes.

I think it can be marketed to liberals because it is a fair system that helps the lower income while not being unfair to those who earn their money.

www.fairtax.org - good site for all that kind of info. This would be a dream come true for me. Just add up all the taxes you spend both from income and purchases and see how much you're NOT keeping of your money!

I don't see it.Bus... (Below threshold)

I don't see it.

Bush is doing fine and doesn't need to take this big a gamble.

Also, considering that we are a *consumer* nation, I've always wondered if it makes sense to tax consumption (which is essentially what a sales tax is). Seems like it would grind the economy to a halt as people curb their buying habits, increase their investing, and increase their hours of work. Suddenly there would be an enormous surplus of money on the supply side of things and a deficiency on the demand side.

Furthermore, it would hurt the average American family. Right now, the average family of 4 is making 40k, owns a 130k home, and is not paying ONE RED CENT to the federal government in taxes. Between exemptions and credits for children as well as deductions for home loans and health care and investments, I pay more for state taxes (3%) or Soc. Sec. (7+%) than for federal taxes (0%).

The sales tax discourages purchasing while the income tax discourages working. I dunno which is better...

Lets not forget though, a V... (Below threshold)

Lets not forget though, a VAT or Sales Tax would mean we could tax tourists to the states which would add millions/billions to tax revenues.

As for the regressive tax issue with respect to low wage earners, that issue can easily be fixed by sending everyone a $500 check a month as a form of tax refund or whatever.

Point is that the specifics of a tax system can be tweaked just as easily as the current system so we won't be fixing all the problems, or even removing the debate by switching tax systems.

On the radio this morning, I heard something like 'It costs as much to file taxes each year as it costs to make every car in the country' I'm assuming they are talking purely about the labor costs involved in building the cars.

IRS would still exist in some form, and CPA's do more than just tax returns. There will be some impact on the industry, but it will not be wiped out.

This is what this country n... (Below threshold)

This is what this country needs. I know someone posted the fairtax.org website and all who are uninformed need to visit this site and educate yourselves.

For the reocord CPAs are in favor of this, again they make there money from other things not doing our taxes every year.

If you search through fairtax.org almost every Senator/Congressman on record as being opposed to this idea are Democrats. I believe there are one or two Republicans are opposed. What does that tell you?

The Dems want this country to be Socialist... just aski Hillary.

We need this Consumer Tax... bad.






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