Nothing Fair about the so-called “Fair Tax”

Nothing Fair about the so-called “Fair Tax”
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Nothing Fair about the so-called “Fair Tax”

When you have to label something as “Fair,” it usually means that it is lacking that quality. There is nothing “fair” about the Fair Tax. Have you ever known government to end a “temporary” tax, or return tax money that has been collected for special time-length projects like the Tollway? Once government has the power to tax more, they do. And the Fair Tax may provide some temporary relief but it gives the politicians the ability to raise your taxes more than they can currently

By Ray Hanania

When have you ever remembered government claiming to raise a tax “temporarily” and then living up to their promise to roll it back?

Never. It doesn’t happen. There is a reason for that. Once government has the money in hand and they are taxing you, they believe that you, the taxpayers, are fickle and will forget about it or get used to it.

In other words, government never rescinds a tax once it is imposed willingly. That’s the biggest problem with the so-called “Fair Tax.” It gives the impression that the new system will put the burden on the wealthy and reduce the tax on the rest of us earning under $250,000.

Illinois Tollway roadway courtesy of the Illinois Tollway Authority

Illinois Tollway roadway courtesy of the Illinois Tollway Authority

But that’s not true at all. The real purpose of the Fair Tax legislation is to give government an easier process by which to raise taxes on the rest of us. They don’t need to come to us and ask for our support, if this passes. They can just do it later on.

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And that’s a big risk because honestly, when it comes to taxes, government never lives by their promises.

The idea that government imposes taxes to cover temporary things is a myth. But that’s not the only problem here, although it is a big reason why you can’t trust government or give government officials carte blanche to raise taxes whenever they want, which is what they will do a few years from now. They will use this law to impose taxes without asking you to approve the hikes.

Connecticut passed a similar “fair” tax in 1996 promising to make the system fair and leading taxpayers and voters to believe that they wouldn’t increase taxes. Of course, Connecticut lied and several years later increased the tax on the “middle class’ by 13 percent, and increased property taxes by 35 percent.

Look at Illinois government’s history.

When I was young, it was the toll, a tax, that government imposed to build the Chicago Skyway. We lived a few blocks away from it and I remember my dad complaining about how they promised to remove it once the tollway construction was paid off.

Illinois imposed tolls, a clear form of taxes on motorists for using certain roadways, was imposed in 1953 to help build new roadways in Illinois and was to be repealed 20 years later once the costs of the road construction was covered. The lie was championed by the phrase “Toll free in 73.”

Sounded catchy, but it was a lie, of course, Not only do we continue to pay tolls, the roads suck and are in poor condition, repaired regularly to give the big government road contractor donors big money contracts and jobs.

There was the tax Illinois imposed on people who played the Illinois lottery when they passed it in 1974. The money was supposed to be split, 50 percent to the winner and 50 percent to the State divided three ways (schools, infrastructure improvements, and special causes). In 1985, they decided to put the money in the Common School Fund, mainly because Chicago’s public schools were going down the tubes. Eventually, the proceeds went to cover state government general fund expenses and schools were left on their own, although Chicago’s pathetic school system relies on stealing money from the suburbs.

There were temporary income tax hikes imposed in 1989 and again in 2011, that were never temporary and the we still pay till this day.

The worst part of the income and sales taxes in Illinois is the lie that the rich, middle class and poor all pay the same amount of taxes. Of course, those taxes are a percentage which means the poor pay far less than the middle class who pay far less than the rich. Income taxes on everyone went up a few years back and have never looked back.

Sales taxes are insufferable in Cook County and compounded by local municipal sales taxes.

When government has to describe something as “fair,” it usually means it is not really fair at all.

Don’t let government take more money out of our wallets and vote No against the “Fair Tax” on November 3. Given Illinois’ history on taxes, things have never been fair or even honest.

(Originally published in the Southwest News Newspaper group including the Des Plaines Valley News and the The Regional Newspaper. For more of Ray Hanania’s columns, podcasts and radio shows visit www.Hanania.com.)

Ray Hanania

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2 comments on “Nothing Fair about the so-called “Fair Tax”
  1. Matt says:

    I agree with you 100% The lies that our state government has been telling us doesn’t work anymore. People are waking up and finally seeing Illinois for what it really is. That is why a lot of people are moving out of this state. I also agree with you on tolls that have been collected over the years and we still do not have money for our roads. I remember a couple of years ago when wwe voted on keeping the road fund for roads. I wonder if there is any truth in that one. I liked the article Ray. I hope to see more on this soon.

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