February 7, 2023

“FAIR TAX” FUMBLE: Why The Wall Street Journal is blasting the GOP’s new tax plan as “masochistic”

"FAIR TAX" FUMBLE: Why The Wall Street Journal is blasting the GOP's new tax plan as "masochistic"

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The Wall Street Journal editorial board just slammed House Republicans double digit national sales tax proposal for what the Rupert Murdoch-owned media outlet says is a “gift” to Democrats.

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Though the GOP’s federal sales tax proposal is not expected to be able to make it past the Senate, that may not matter to voters in 2024.

“Rule No. 1 in the legislative handbook is to make your opponent take the tough votes,” The Wall Street Journal wrote, “but House Republicans may be reading it backwards.”

The Fair Tax plan — as the proposal was misleadingly named — was introduced by Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) and would add a 23% tax on the purchase price and any other sales taxes paid – including state sales taxes. This will push the actual rate paid closer to 30%.

Food, healthcare, travel, medicine, gas, and everyday items families need to live and function will come with a hefty tax that will further burden working Americans already crushed by crippling inflation.

“A 30% tax on food and healthcare–really?” the editorial board wrote.

“It would raise taxes on the middle class by taxing thousands of everyday items, from groceries to gas,” President Joe Biden commented last week.

The Fair Tax bill would eliminate the federal income tax, payroll and estate taxes in exchange for an across the board national sales tax.

The IRS would be replaced with a newly formed Sales Tax Bureau and Excise Tax Bureau.

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It’s surprising that Congressman Carter would introduce such a seemingly doomed bill, since previous Republican attempts to introduce a federal sales tax didn’t go so well.

In 2010, when Tea Party candidates campaigned on the issue, Democrats had a field day and used the issue to attack Republicans to voters in copious political ads.

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But recently elected Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) apparently made a deal with Freedom Caucus members to bring the bill to the floor for a vote in exchange for their vote for his speakership.

That is a decision that could backfire on both the House leader and the GOP in what the WSJ editorial board called a “masochistic vote.”

After 14 losing rounds in his bid for Speaker, masochism is apparently Rep. McCarthy’s jam.

Original reporting by the Editorial Board at The Wall Street Journal.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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