Libertarian party calls for a full refund for all Americans of their federal income taxes

For Immediate Release
April 18, 2017

Contact: Carla Howell, media [at] LP [dot] org or (202) 333-0008 x 222

Currently, the average American family pays $13,758 in federal income taxes.

This is enough money to buy a quality pre-owned car. This is enough money to pay tuition for one year at many in-state universities. This is enough money for a down-payment on a nice house.

In short, the amount of money the average American family pays in income taxes is enough money to substantially improve their quality of living.

Libertarians believe that Americans have the right to use their hard-earned money as they see fit. The Libertarian Party calls for a full refund for all Americans and complete abolishment of the income tax.

Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark says, “Every dollar that the federal government takes from Americans every year is a dollar they can’t use to make a better life for themselves and their families. Instead, it is used by politicians to benefit their special interest cronies. The best thing the government could do is to stop stealing money from hard-working people and that’s why we are calling for a 100% tax refund to every American.”

Source: Congressional Budget Office, Budget and Economic Outlook 2017 to 2026; U.S. Census Bureau.

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45 thoughts on “Libertarian party calls for a full refund for all Americans of their federal income taxes

  1. Tony From Long Island

    ” . . . .Currently, the average American family pays $13,758 in federal income taxes. . . . ”

    Any cite for that skewed fact? How much does someone making the average income pay?

    For 40 years the LP has been screaming about the income tax and it doesn’t move anyone. That’s because (1) the income tax is legal . . . . . (2) revenue is actually necessary to run thing [please don’t point out that we existed for 150 years without an income tax . . . this isn’t the 1880’s anymore]

    We are all in this life together. We lift each other up and help each other out. I was glad to pay about 10% of my meager $18,000 salary this year. I might disagree with where our tax money goes, but that’s why we elect representatives.

    I look forward to your skewering 🙂

  2. Stephen Kent Gray

    Math in the form of mean, median, and mode is how people use to get averages.

    What tax reform proposals are there? Automated payment transaction tax, 9–9–9, Competitive Tax Plan, Efficient Taxation of Income, FairTax, Flat tax, Hall–Rabushka flat tax, Kemp Commission, Taxpayer Choice Act, USA Tax, Value added tax, Border-adjustment tax, etc.

    1. The Automated Payment Transaction (APT) tax is a proposal to replace all United States taxes with a single tax (using a low rate) on every transaction in the economy. The system was developed by University of Wisconsin–Madison Professor of Economics Dr. Edgar L. Feige.

    The foundations of the APT tax proposal—a small, uniform tax on all economic transactions—involve simplification, base broadening, reductions in marginal tax rates, the elimination of tax and information returns and the automatic collection of tax revenues at the payment source. The APT approach would extend the tax base from income, consumption and wealth to all transactions. Proponents regard it as a revenue neutral transactions tax, whose tax base is primarily made up of financial transactions. The APT tax extends the tax reform ideas of John Maynard Keynes, James Tobin, and Lawrence Summers, to their logical conclusion, namely to tax the broadest possible tax base at the lowest possible tax rate. The goal to significantly improve economic efficiency, enhance stability in financial markets, and reduce to a minimum the costs of tax administration (assessment, collection,and compliance costs). There is disagreement over whether the tax is progressive, with the debate primarily centered on whether the volume of taxed transactions rise disproportionately with a person’s income and net worth. Simulations of the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances demonstrate that high income and wealthy individuals undertake a disproportionate volume of transactions since they own a disproportionate share of financial assets that have relatively high turnover rates. However, since the APT tax has not yet been adopted, some argue that one can not predict whether the tax will be progressive or not.

    Daniel Akst, writing in the New York Times, wrote “the Automated Payment Transaction tax offers fairness, simplicity, and efficiency. It may not be a free lunch. But it sure smells better than the one we eat now.” On April 28, 2005, the APT proposal was presented to the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform in Washington, DC.

    2. The 9–9–9 Plan, a centerpiece of Herman Cain’s 2012 campaign for the Republican Party’s nomination for president of the United States, was introduced in August 2011. The 9–9–9 Plan would replace all current taxes (including the payroll tax, capital gains tax, and the estate tax) with 9% business transaction tax, 9% personal income tax, and a 9% federal sales tax.

    5. The FairTax is a proposal to reform the federal tax code of the United States. It would replace all federal income taxes (including the alternative minimum tax, corporate income taxes, and capital gains taxes), payroll taxes (including Social Security and Medicare taxes), gift taxes, and estate taxes with a single broad national consumption tax on retail sales. The Fair Tax Act (H.R. 25/S. 18) would apply a tax, once, at the point of purchase on all new goods and services for personal consumption. The proposal also calls for a monthly payment to all family households of lawful U.S. residents as an advance rebate, or “prebate”, of tax on purchases up to the poverty level. First introduced into the United States Congress in 1999, a number of congressional committees have heard testimony on the bill; however, it has not moved from committee and has yet to have any effect on the tax system. In recent years, a tax reform movement has formed behind the FairTax proposal. Attention increased after talk radio personality Neal Boortz and Georgia Congressman John Linder published The FairTax Book in 2005 and additional visibility was gained in the 2008 presidential campaign.

    As defined in the proposed legislation, the tax rate is 23% for the first year. This percentage is based on the total amount paid including the tax ($23 out of every $100 spent in total). This would be equivalent to a 30% traditional U.S. sales tax ($23 on top of every $77 spent—$100 total). The rate would automatically adjust annually based on federal receipts in the previous fiscal year. With the rebate taken into consideration, the FairTax would be progressive on consumption, but would also be regressive on income at higher income levels (as consumption falls as a percentage of income). Opponents argue this would accordingly decrease the tax burden on high-income earners and increase it on the middle class. Supporters contend that the plan would effectively tax wealth, increase purchasing power and decrease tax burdens by broadening the tax base.

    The plan’s supporters state that a consumption tax would increase savings and investment, ease tax compliance and increase economic growth, increase incentives for international business to locate in the US and increase US competitiveness in international trade. The plan is intended to increase cost transparency for funding the federal government. Supporters believe it would increase civil liberties, benefit the environment and effectively tax illegal activity and undocumented immigrants. Opponents contend that a consumption tax of this size would be extremely difficult to collect, and would lead to pervasive tax evasion. They also argue that the proposed sales tax rate would raise less revenue than the current tax system, leading to an increased budget deficit. Other concerns include the proposed repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, removal of tax deduction incentives, transition effects on after-tax savings, incentives on credit use and the loss of tax advantages to state and local bonds.

    Saying the status quo is better than any of the 12 above tax reform proposals because the current status quo with regards is tax law is the law and is thus legally in force now and raises revenue ignores that if we changed the law any of the twelves proposals would do just that. I personally prefer the FairTax aka proposal 5 out of the 12 on my above listing of them. In fact there are still countries around the world that around the world still don’t have income taxes. The appeal to history or appeal to progress fallacy says that since America didn’t have an income tax before 1913 and had one ever since, that having an income tax must be better than not having one. Taxes have always varied in the percentages of what sources revenue was made of. When the country was founded taxes all came from tariffs due to the protectionist fallacy common back then. Even during the Civil War and during the early implementation phases of income tax, tariffs were most of revenue. Then we realized free trade was better than protection and gradually phased out tariffs. Now we have an income based tax system. Obviously, we can create a FairTax based consumption based third age of taxation, not based on tariffs or income tax.

    I cut content due to it being longer otherwise, so I only explained three of the proposals, but listed all twelve by name, so you can look any and all of them up as well.

  3. Andrew McCarrick

    Sorry, Tony but we’re not “all in this together”. I owe you nothing and you owe me nothing. This “all in it together” attitude is exactly how people lose a sense of self worth and self-esteem. Lacking a sense of the individual is psychologically damaging.

    In fact, it’s also one of the key factors that lead to nationalism.

  4. Andy

    End the income tax and replace it with nothing. Reduce government spending, and get rid of the Federal Reserve System and fiat currency. Repeal legal tender law and allow for currency competition.

  5. Tony From Long Island

    Thanks Harry Browne. Same old unrealistic line for the last 40 years.

  6. Tony From Long Island

    Though I do agree on reducing government spending and I actually think you and I would agree on many of the places that can be reduced . . . . but not ALL.

  7. Stephen Kent Gray

    Responding to tone fallacy: criticizing the tone of writing without attacking the substance of an argument. Somewhere on the lower rungs of the argument pyramid.

    Argument Pyramid
    1. Refuting the central point: Explicity refutes the central point
    2. Refutation: Finds the mistake and explains why it’s mistaken; uses quotes
    3. Counterargument: Contradicts and back up contradiction with reasoning and supporting evidence
    4. Contradiction: States the opposing case with no supporting evidence
    5. Responding to tone: Criticizes the tone writing without attacking the substance of an argument
    6. Ad hominem: Attacks the characteristics or authority of the writer without addressing the substance of the argument
    7. Name calling: Looks/sounds something like this; [insert person here] is an asshat

    Apparently the alleged tone of one sentence allows you to ignore full paragraphs of substantive argument. So claiming that simple math is skewed and needs citations because alleging a point doesn’t have reasoning or supporting evidence without actual evidence or reasoning in the cirituque isn’t condescending, but pointing out its simple math is? That is call shifting the burden of proof. It basically questioning the reasoning and proof of an argument by alleging there is reasoning and evidence countering it, but requiring the other side to show their evidence, before you show your evidence.

    11. A value-added tax (VAT), known in some countries as a goods and services tax (GST), is a type of general consumption tax that is collected incrementally, based on the surplus value, added to the price on the work at each stage of production, which is usually implemented as a destination-based tax, where the tax rate is based on the location of the customer. VATs raise about a fifth of total tax revenues both worldwide and among the members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As of 2014, 160 of the world’s approximately 193 countries employ a VAT, including all OECD members except the United States.

    There are two main methods of calculating VAT: the credit-invoice or invoice-based method and the subtraction or accounts-based method. Using the credit-invoice method, sales transactions are taxed, with the customer informed of the VAT on the transaction, and businesses may receive a credit for VAT paid on input materials and services. The credit-invoice method is the most widely employed method, used by all national VATs except for Japan. Using the subtraction method, at the end of a reporting period, a business calculates the value of all taxable sales then subtracts the sum of all taxable purchases and the VAT rate is applied to the difference. The subtraction method VAT is currently only used by Japan, although subtraction method VATs, often using the name “flat tax”, have been part of many recent tax reform proposals by US politicians. With both methods, there are exceptions in the calculation method for certain goods and transactions, created for either pragmatic collection reasons or to counter tax fraud and avoidance.

    I forgot to include VAT in my previous list of federal tax reform proposals. I already included 999 and the FairTax, so overlooked VAT. I also included APT, but it’s the one I like least of the ones I included. I like it better than all the other ones I listed without explaining in detail.

  8. Tony From Long Island

    It’s all crackles, static and pops on my end, SKG.

    This is not a seminar. Try to be just a bit concise. We already have one endless Poster. We don’t need another Andy.

  9. Stephen Kent Gray

    Yet another argument to avoid refuting the points I raised. TLDR isn’t a leigimitate argument for ignoring what someone wrote. Saying you want facts, figures, stats, reasoning, and evidence on one hand, but will use tone, length, etc as argument for not reading when someone does give it is contradictory.

    Concise argument, which is what you wanted, but will still somehow complain about something to ignore the actual points raised: Accountants and the tax preparation industry is a huge problem because income taxation requires tax failing. Tax filing requires skilled accountant and tax preparers to do safely. Even if you do that, you may still be audited. My father in law, despite being poor, is audited fairly often. Also, tax preparers are hard to deal with. None of these issues would exist if we had the FairTax.

    I could have done way better than giving this watered down argument, but someone with an extremely short attention span keeps going TLDR.

  10. Tony From Long Island

    If I had time at work to read your manifestos, there would probably be some things we agree on and some we don’t.

  11. ATBAFT

    ” I was glad to pay about 10% of my meager $18,000 salary this year. ”
    Tony, you better look into finding a better tax preparer. A single guy, using standard deduction would pay tax of $768 on after deductions on adjusted income of $18,000.

  12. DJ

    Godvernment will never approve anything less than what we have, it would render our employees (read servants) irrelevant with no lobbying money to skew the tax code for. And the federal reserve, being the richest lobbiest, would nip it in the bud since income tax is its collateral on the loans it makes our servants in our names.

    As for how and how much we’re taxed, IMO, it should be no more than 10% federal sales tax, capped, and never exceeded without direct voter approval, or congressional declaration of war. (Authorization of military force doesn’t count). Along with that EVERY agency should have to make at least a 5% cut per year in budget (real, not DC style) with NO pay raises until the debt is paid down and deficit spending matches actual budget (real, not DC style) requirements. It could begin by totally eliminating the alphabets that are not constitutional or relevant to individual liberty enhancement which pretty much covers all the BS war(s) budgets (terror, drugs and poverty).

  13. Just Some Random Guy

    It’s silly things like this that make people not take the Libertarian Party seriously. Is the government going to give a refund to everyone and abolish the income tax? No. That’s not plausible at all. And calling for it isn’t going to make it happen either. Maybe far, far down the line that could happen, but asking for it now is asking for something that’s not going to happen. So it just makes the Libertarian Party look clueless.

    Maybe this is supposed to just be a mention of the platform (after all, something being in the platform doesn’t mean you expect it to happen immediately, just that it’s a goal), but the specific language make it seem like it’s an outright request right now. Which makes it silly.

    Why not try to suggest something more plausible in your “call,” like a simplifying or a lowering of the income tax? Perhaps even specific suggestions on how to accomplish that?

  14. Starchild

    There are plenty of groups content to simply play inside the little sandbox known as the Overton Window and raise their “plausible” proposals in the hopes of being “taken seriously” as players in the establishment’s game. Somebody needs to be willing to get outside that paradigm and talk about what really should happen, not just what’s realistic according to the dominant political consensus. According to the political consensus, Donald Trump wasn’t supposed to get elected either. That statement is not an invitation to debate the relative odds of Trump winning versus income taxes being refunded, simply a reminder that what’s plausible changes all the time and allowing your agenda to be dictated by that fallible consensus is a mistake.

    Each of us faces a simple ongoing choice whenever we get into an online discussion – whether to argue for freedom, or against freedom. A good rule of thumb for libertarians is that if you find yourself arguing against freedom (for instance if you’re a minarchist or limited government advocate in a discussion with anarchists), disengage and go find a forum or issue where you can argue in good conscience for freedom. The more we can discipline ourselves to follow this approach, the more impetus the goal of advancing freedom will have behind it, and the less we will undermine our own movement.

  15. Tony From Long Island

    Here is what I would like to see – and remember, I am a democrat. I want a “flatter” tax. Three or four brackets. Almost zero deductions. I would keep Mortgage Interest, Student Loan Interest and charitable giving (capped at, say, 1 million).

    What income those brackets would be is to be determined by compromise.

    This would ensure that everyone pays SOMETHING and that the super rich do not utilize a thousand loopholes to pay a smaller percent (or nothing) than the poor.

  16. Tony From Long Island

    ATBAFT:

    ” . . . .Tony, you better look into finding a better tax preparer. A single guy, using standard deduction would pay tax of $768 on after deductions on adjusted income of $18,000. . . . . ”

    This was just off the top of my head, I’ll have to check what it exactly was when I get home. I know that I did get a large deduction for student loan interest. I had been making payments that didn’t even cover the interest from each month, so I took a huge chunk and paid all the interest, so now I can actually pay SOMETHING from the principle.

  17. wolfefan

    I was wondering where the number came from as well. I apologize if I missed a source someplace. Here is a Motley Fool paragraph on federal income taxes from 2015, which gives a two numbers, depending on whether you include the EITC or not.
    “According to the IRS, Americans filed more than 150.6 million tax returns in 2015. During that year they also earned $10.17 trillion in adjusted gross income and had a total tax liability of $1.45 trillion. Some quick division means that the average gross income per return was $67,564 while the average federal tax hit was $9,655. That gives the average American family a federal tax rate of 14.3%.

    However, the above figures above can be a bit misleading. Many low-income Americans actually have a negative federal tax bill thanks to the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you remove those returns from the equation then you are left with 99 million Americans who recorded an average federal tax hit of $14,654.”

  18. paulie Post author

    The release says “Source: Congressional Budget Office, Budget and Economic Outlook 2017 to 2026; U.S. Census Bureau.”

  19. wolfefan

    D’oh! Thanks, Paulie. Sadly, there appears to be no such publication. There’s one for 2016 – 2026 or 2017 to 2027, so it’s obviously one of those…

  20. dL

    We are all in this life together. We lift each other up and help each other out.

    The obvious rejoinder to that statement would be the implied obvious redundancy of taxation. I mean if the government is just us, if we are all on the same page, then there should be no need for taxation. Certainly no need of a punitive agency to enforce the collection of taxation.

    I might disagree with where our tax money goes, but that’s why we elect representatives.

    This statement reaffirms my point. No one agrees on what it means to “help each other out.” Certainly not on the preference ordering of the “helping each other out” ToDo list. And representative government doesn’t resolve this problem. Indeed, the ostensible purpose of representative government is to represent your own interests. Representative government is supposed to help you out, not we.

    I look forward to your skewering

    From a libertarian perspective, you should expect to be skewered. Libertarianism is quite thin in regards to impersonal duties, or duties owed to no one. That means there is no duty to “help each other out.” In practice, this means opposition to any mandatory scheme or law “in the name of.” In terms of the political economy of taxation, taxation bolsters some while penalizing or dragging down others. Rarely does it exceed the best case scenario of merely being a zero sum game.

  21. dL

    There are plenty of groups content to simply play inside the little sandbox known as the Overton Window and raise their “plausible” proposals in the hopes of being “taken seriously” as players in the establishment’s game. Somebody needs to be willing to get outside that paradigm and talk about what really should happen, not just what’s realistic according to the dominant political consensus. According to the political consensus, Donald Trump wasn’t supposed to get elected either. That statement is not an invitation to debate the relative odds of Trump winning versus income taxes being refunded, simply a reminder that what’s plausible changes all the time and allowing your agenda to be dictated by that fallible consensus is a mistake.

    +1

  22. Tony From Long Island

    dL – I am OK with the skewering. As many on here know, I am a former longtime member of the LP (whether Andy wants to believe it or not), but I stopped drinking the Kool-ade about 7 or 8 years ago and went back to my original home.

    I still hold many libertarian positions, but not on “taxation is theft.” It’s a happy little slogan that has not advanced libertarianism an inch in the 40 years it has been spouted.

  23. Stephen Kent Gray

    “Here is what I would like to see – and remember, I am a democrat. I want a “flatter” tax. Three or four brackets. Almost zero deductions. I would keep Mortgage Interest, Student Loan Interest and charitable giving (capped at, say, 1 million). What income those brackets would be is to be determined by compromise. This would ensure that everyone pays SOMETHING and that the super rich do not utilize a thousand loopholes to pay a smaller percent (or nothing) than the poor.”

    Democrat? Sounds like Tony should realize the Republican Party is more likely to favor his tax plan among the two major parties. There are articles for lowercase l libertarian Democrats (Democratic Freedom Caucus) and lower case l libertarian Republicans (Republican Freedom and Liberty Caucuses).

    Take for instance a Harding/Coolidge based tax plan where you have two brackets (15% and 25%, I can’t remember the income barrier between them) and no deductions beside the standard deduction. You can possibly get rid of the standard deduction too, but I’m against itemized deductions more than deductions period. Maybe, $100,000 can be the cuttoff with $0-100k being 15% and above being 25%. Basically it would replace all tax forms with just the 1040 EZ for everyone.

    The Republican Party overall is more interested in any tax reform at all. All the Democratic Presidential candidates in the 2016 election wanted to make taxes even “less flat”. They wanted to increase the complexity of the tax code, not simplify it.

    I’m still a Libertarian, despite the Tea Party Revolution and subsequent years tempting me to join the Republican Party, as well as the Paul presidential runs (both Ron and Rand).

  24. dL

    It’s a happy little slogan that has not advanced libertarianism an inch in the 40 years it has been spouted.

    The objection to taxation is a bit older than 40 years…

  25. dL

    The Republican Party overall is more interested in any tax reform at all.

    Yeah, reform like increased tariffs to pay for border walls…

  26. George Dance

    Andy – “End the income tax and replace it with nothing. Reduce government spending, and get rid of the Federal Reserve System and fiat currency. Repeal legal tender law and allow for currency competition.”

    Andy: This has come up before, and you haven’t answered one question, so I’ll repeat it:

    “In your arguments for closing the border, you that the ‘taxpayers’ cannot afford open borders and a welfare state, and that the welfare state is a ‘given’; that given the welfare state, we can’t have open borders. So, by the same token: given the welfare state, how can it be financed by “nothing”?

  27. Stephen Kent Gray

    “What tax reform proposals are there? Automated payment transaction tax, 9–9–9, Competitive Tax Plan, Efficient Taxation of Income, FairTax, Flat tax, Hall–Rabushka flat tax, Kemp Commission, Taxpayer Choice Act, USA Tax, Value added tax, Border-adjustment tax, etc.”

    I mentioned earlier the twelve tax reform proposals America has as options for federal tax reform. The border adjustment tax isn’t the only proposal Republicans have supported. Any and all reforms have Republican support, Libertarian support, but no Democrat support or almost none. Mike Gravel, Democrat Senator who became Libertarian in 2008, supports the FairTax. Most legislative FairTax supporters are currently Republican, if not all of them.

  28. George Dance

    Stephen: Of all the tax proposals, I’d prefer the APT (I’ve read of something like it before, called the FTT). The Fair Tax is good, too, but the rate is way too high. With the APT, it would be possible to get a single digit rate; and hopefully (with a Ron Paul-style reform of the federal government) one below 10%; and (with full reform, ie reduction to a Hospers/Nozick style minimal state) down to well under 5%. 1-2% would be the goal.

    The rate is important because, the lower the rate, the less incentive for people to evade/avoid it, and therefore the less reason for the government to use coerce people into paying it. The desideratum would be to have a rate that’s low enough that no coercion is necessary.

  29. paulie Post author

    “In your arguments for closing the border, you that the ‘taxpayers’ cannot afford open borders and a welfare state, and that the welfare state is a ‘given’; that given the welfare state, we can’t have open borders. So, by the same token: given the welfare state, how can it be financed by “nothing”?

    I disagree with Andy about borders. However, like Andy my ultimate goal is to get rid of the welfare/warfare state. I likewise acknowledge that is not likely to happen very soon. My preference is that it take place over the course of several years rather than as a collapse, although either could happen.

    It’s worth noting that income tax is not the only federal tax, and that completely getting rid of the income tax would only reduce federal revenues to the level of a very few years ago, I believe the Obama years or at the very earliest the Duhbya years. And a lot of what is called “welfare” is state and local spending.

    The other major sources of federal revenue are payroll/FICA taxes and corporate taxes. Personally, I would advocate getting rid of the regressive payroll/FICA tax even before the income tax and winding down SS along the lines proposed by Harry Browne (selling federal assets to pay off older people who have come to rely on the money or have spent too many years paying into the system to switch tracks; cutting younger people off).

    If we got rid of all of those three major sources of federal revenue there is still iirc 5-10% of federal revenue from other sources such as tariffs. I believe Andy intends to decrease government by that much, and that it would still be enough to pay for a border garrison state even if it does hardly anything else. And just to be fair to Andy, I think his belief is that if the government was really cut by that much he is much less insistent on enforcing nation of origin or other immigration quotas. Unfortunately, he relies on a bunch of bigoted sources who twist statistics in service to their belief that the white race must be kept “pure” and in control of the country and that other religions and ethnicities post an existential crisis for the US, Europe and other so called “white countries.” Such an analysis does not lend itself to ever getting rid of migration restrictions even if government was reduced to 5% of its present size or less.

  30. paulie Post author

    My proposal for winding down taxes would be to start by getting rid of the FICA tax. Next step would be to increase the personal exemption of the income tax, say to 100k/year/individual. After that I would get rid of the income tax altogether, or by stages of increasing the personal exemption further. The death tax is completely unnecessary and raises little revenue while playing havoc with the lives of small business owning families, so I would get rid of that completely. Taxes which are closer to user fees such as gasoline road taxes, park entrance fees and so on could stick around longer. Government gives corporations limited noncontractual liability and personhood, among other things, so as long as that remains the case the corporate tax can stay, although it should be less onerous in the long term.

    I am against any new taxes. It’s a lot easier to add a new tax than to get rid of an old one, so regardless of the stated intentions of “fair” tax proponents we would be most likely to add up with the “fair” tax on top of, rather than instead of, current taxes, creating something more like the European tax system where they have both an income tax and a value added (sales) tax or VAT. I’m also against getting most of the country used to getting a government “prebate” check every month, among many other reasons explained in past threads why I am against this tax proposal or anything else that introduces a new tax.

    Simplification of the existing tax system would be good, though. Anything that gets rid of kafkaesque bureaucracy and endlessly tangled mounds of red tape would be good.

    And yes, taxation is theft, or more accurately extortion back by armed robbery. Charity is a good thing, but the vast majority of tax revenue does not go to anything even remotely resembling charity, the means contradict the autonomy of the individual, and even the small portion of federal spending that is anything like charity is grossly inefficient with most of the money ending up in the pockets of well off bureaucrats rather than the poor people it is supposedly meant to help; and what little does end up helping poor people is structured and incentivized in such a way as to dehumanize people and trap them in poverty rather than lift them out of it. Historically, before the massive growth of government forced “charity,” civic organizations, fraternal societies, workers associations, community groups, churches, synagogues and extended families did a much better job of helping the poor than they are doing now or than the government is doing now.

    The government’s supposed charity is just a PR campaign by gangsters. Mobsters and drug cartels have likewise been known to give out charity to the communities they shake down at the same time. Guess who comes out ahead?

  31. Tony From Long Island

    Paulie: “. . . .getting rid of the FICA tax. . . . ”

    Paulie, this is one of the ways Libertarians rightfully are labeled as being completely out of touch with reality. Let’s just dispense with Social Security and Medicare. Let the elderly fend for themselves. Please, PLEASE don’t tell me that charities will take care of them. That fantasy gets more unrealistic with each passing day. I respectfully disagree.

    Instead of capping FICA on the first $118,000 of income, it should be on every single cent of income so that those who are more fortunate than you and I can pay into the system each week, like most Americans do.

    If that was done, Social Security would be solvent for decades and the monthly amount could likely double – more money for people to spend, spurring the economy . . .

  32. Tony From Long Island

    dL : The objection to taxation is a bit older than 40 years…

    But the Libertarian Party isn’t. I should have been more specific. Each time you object, I simply reply that the Income Tax is legal and morally just.

    You can keep trying to create a libertarian country and repeal that lovely amendment, but I would set my sights on something realistic.

    I think my flatter tax idea from above is a bit more realistic and would make the tax more libertarian in nature, but not eliminate it (since that will NEVER happen).

    Also, Mr. Gray, I realize my tax idea is not as liberal as most Dems. I told you I am a former Libertarian, but my emphasis was always on the social issues rather than the fiscal.

  33. paulie Post author

    Let’s just dispense with Social Security and Medicare. Let the elderly fend for themselves.

    In the short term, as I already said, I would fulfill the obligations to those already retired or getting relatively close to it through the sale or lease of federal assets. In the long run, yes, personal savings plans, family, community and charities can and will absolutely take care of people a lot better than government will, and it’s becoming less and less likely that it would be otherwise as society becomes wealthier. You should read the historical record of how the growth of government “charity” reduced voluntary civic society.

    Instead of capping FICA on the first $118,000 of income, it should be on every single cent of income so that those who are more fortunate than you and I can pay into the system each week, like most Americans do.

    I’m for floors, not caps. That is, if anything, the first 118k of income should be exempt from the tax.

    more money for people to spend, spurring the economy

    What happens to the money if it is not tax-extorted? It may be spent, which also spurs the economy. It may be saved, which gives banks and other financial institutions more money for loans and investments to help businesses get started and expand, also spurring the economy. It can be invested directly.

    It’s a mistake to believe that central planning and redistribution spurs the economy.

  34. paulie Post author

    I simply reply that the Income Tax is legal and morally just.

    Leaving the question of whether it is “legal” aside (which goes to the question of what is legal in general), it is certainly not morally just. Even you acknowledge that much of the money goes for things which are immoral, and as to the rest, the ends don’t justify the means.

    You can keep trying to create a libertarian country and repeal that lovely amendment, but I would set my sights on something realistic.

    You may end up being surprised as to what is realistic and what is not.

    If that was done, Social Security would be solvent for decades

    That’s dubious at best.

  35. Tony From Long Island

    Paulie

    ” . . . Instead of capping FICA on the first $118,000 of income, it should be on every single cent of income so that those who are more fortunate than you and I can pay into the system each week, like most Americans do.

    I’m for floors, not caps. That is, if anything, the first 118k of income should be exempt from the tax. . . . ”

    Wow . . . so ONLY the prosperous pay into Social Security? How very liberal of you Paulie 🙂

  36. Andy

    George Dance: “In your arguments for closing the border, you that the ‘taxpayers’ cannot afford open borders and a welfare state, and that the welfare state is a ‘given’; that given the welfare state, we can’t have open borders. So, by the same token: given the welfare state, how can it be financed by ‘nothing’?”

    I favor phasing out the welfare state.

    The only way that so called “open borders”, which from a purist libertarian perspective is actually PRIVATE PROPERTY BORDERS, is if an anarcho-capitalist society were set up. The anarcho-capitalist society would have no welfare state, and all of the land would be in private hands, and since there’d be no coercive government, there’d be no elections, unless they were elections internal to voluntary associations (as in the results of which would only apply to those who voluntarily consented to part of the organization having the election).

    Things have to be done in transitional steps in order to avoid disasters.

    Now if you don’t mind disasters taking place, you might as well advocate in favor of armed revolution. I think that there is certainly moral justification for this, but if you are going to take part in electoral politics, you ought to advocate policy issues that provide transitional steps to a free society that cause the least amount of damage and which offer as smooth a transition as possible.

    Now as this relates to the income tax, if the government followed the Constitution there’d be no need for an income tax. The federal government already collects lots of “revenue” from tariffs, duties, and excise taxes, plus the government has who knows how much in assets, for most of which there is no constitutional basis. The government is filled with waste and lots of cuts could be made without disrupting the lives of most Americans.

    I do agree that something would have to be done about all of those dependent on Social Security, and for pensions to government employees. I suggest paying these people off by purchasing private accounts for them. This could be financed by selling off government assets, and cutting government waste, but it is possible that it may be necessary to keep collecting some of these taxes for a limited time until these people are paid off if it was not possible to complete this process through the sale of government assets and by cutting waste in other programs.

    The truth of the matter is that there is no easy way out of this mess.

  37. paulie Post author

    Anyone who is not wealthy should be the first ones exempted from any kind of tax. The income tax was originally “sold” as a tax on the super-rich. It did not become a tax on regular working people ie blue collar or pink collar workers, and was not withheld from paychecks, until WWII. Likewise with FICA/SS tax. They can be wound down the same way they were wound up. And the trillions of dollars spent on the “war on poverty” have not even reduced poverty; on the contrary, they ended the rate of poverty reduction that was already happening before that.

  38. dL

    But the Libertarian Party isn’t. I should have been more specific. Each time you object, I simply reply that the Income Tax is legal and morally just.

    Legal, maybe. But mere legality does not imply “morally just.” Taxation is social control.

    To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place[d] under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.

    You can keep trying to create a libertarian country and repeal that lovely amendment, but I would set my sights on something realistic.

    I suffer no delusions RE: libertarian country or repealing the 16th amendment. Of course, I also suffer no delusions RE: “realistic libertarianism.” In fact, I think that term was favorite phrase of Bob Barr. So, every time s/o chirps “realistic libertarianism,” I think of Bob Barr.

  39. Just Some Random Guy

    @ Starchild

    There are plenty of groups content to simply play inside the little sandbox known as the Overton Window and raise their “plausible” proposals in the hopes of being “taken seriously” as players in the establishment’s game. Somebody needs to be willing to get outside that paradigm and talk about what really should happen, not just what’s realistic according to the dominant political consensus. According to the political consensus, Donald Trump wasn’t supposed to get elected either. That statement is not an invitation to debate the relative odds of Trump winning versus income taxes being refunded, simply a reminder that what’s plausible changes all the time and allowing your agenda to be dictated by that fallible consensus is a mistake.

    That’s not what the post asked for. It’s not just saying that the income tax should be removed; it’s looking like it wants it done on the spot. It’s also asking for a refund on everyone, which is even goofier–removing the tax might happen at some point, but good luck on that refund rather than just a removal of the tax.

    Sure, if you want to say that the income tax should be removed, fine. But if you’re going to use words like “calling” on the government, make it a plausible request in the present.

  40. Tony From Long Island

    dL ” . . . . .RE: “realistic libertarianism.” In fact, I think that term was favorite phrase of Bob Barr. So, every time s/o chirps “realistic libertarianism,” I think of Bob Barr. . . . . ”

    YUCK! If I had remembered that I would not have used it! 🙂 Bob Barr was the only LP POTUS nominee I would not have voted for under ANY circumstances.

  41. Stephen Kent Gray

    While the FairTax has been supported by individual libertarians and individual conservatives, the only party to officially adopt the idea as part of it’s platform is the Christian Heritage Party of Canada.

    FairTax Math
    General Revenue 14.91%
    OSADI (Social Security) 6.31%
    Hospital Insurance (Medicare and Medicaid) 1.45%
    Total 22.67%
    Not included in the above math: the prebate (universal basic income guarantee) built into it which affects the math, so I would reccomend everyone to go to the Americans For Fair Taxation website to calculate how much taxes they pay under the current system versus under the FairTax.

    Note this is the first year rates of the FairTax. The government can raise or lower any of the three rates or all of them. VAT tax ranges for general venue across the world range from 15-30%, so whoever said the FairTax was too high to work obviously isn’t familiar with how VAT works.

    Also, on an unrelated note, getting rid of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid FICA taxation doesn’t get rid of those programs, it just makes them draw from general revenue. This will change them from mandatory spending to discretionary spending like all things which draw from general revenue. This doesn’t change much, except whenever there is a new government shutdown which affect prioritizing which gets managed during the shutdown period.

    Speaking of 2008, despite not being tax related, if I were a delegate, I would have voted Mary Ruwart, Steve Kubby, Mike Gravel, George Phillies, and/or Christine Smith for the first round and subsequent rounds until someone won for President and Vice President. Mary Ruwart and Steve Kubby would have made a great ticket back in 2008, but I would support any ticket nominated. The Outright Libertarians endorsed George Phillies because Mary Ruwart wasn’t running yet as being only a draft campaign at the time, Steve Kubby was seen as too pro Ron Paul, Mike Gravel was still running as a Democrat at the time, and Christine Smith wasn’t a big candidate like all the others. I can’t remember who supported a flat tax versus the FairTax, but Gary Johnson supported it in 2012 and 2016. I even remember the Michael Badnarik 2004 campaign, but other third parties were more in focus during the Harry Browne 1996 and 2000 runs. In 2016, I don’t remember what the Austin Petersen and John McAfee tax plans were.

  42. Pingback: Libertarian Party Press Release: Refund ALL Income Taxes for Working Americans

  43. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth Starchild:

    —–
    There are plenty of groups content to simply play inside the little sandbox known as the Overton Window and raise their “plausible” proposals in the hopes of being “taken seriously” as players in the establishment’s game. Somebody needs to be willing to get outside that paradigm and talk about what really should happen, not just what’s realistic according to the dominant political consensus.
    —-

    Best thing I’ve read in ages. Quoted with attribution at the top of my blog.

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