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“The Fair Tax Fantasy”

Sunday, April 19, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

This is a new book that I have co-authored with Hank Adler, a professor at Chapman University’s business school, a post he took up after retirement from a long and successful career as a partner with Deloitte.

Fair Tax Fantasy

Hank and I undertook this project because we had –independent of each other and for different reasons– arrived at the same conclusion: That the “Fair Tax” proposal put forward by my radio tal show host Neal Boortz and Congressman John Linder is a disastrous mirage that far too many Republicans have been drawn too, and for all the wrong reasons. “The Fair Tax” is a hopelessly flawed fantasy, but one with a surface appeal of simplicity that attracts especially politicians in need of energetic volunteers and quick headlines. But if the “Fair Tax” becomes the “Kemp-Roth” of the next few years, the GOP will be rightly punished at the polls as the details of the plan make it to the desks of serious political and economic analysts and from there to large numbers of voters who will examine the plan carefully and reject it almost immediately upon doing so. In short, not only should Republicans and conservatives not endorse the Fair Tax, they ought to affirmatively disavow the plan and press instead for serious and thoroughgoing tax reform, including lower and flatter tax rates.

Fair Tax enthusiasts often call my show and demand that I “read the book,” by which they mean one or both of Neal’s books. We have, and they do nothing to persuade serious readers of the plans merits, but much to camouflage the scheme’s many deeply embedded flaws. Henceforth I’ll be able to respond “Yes, but have you read the book that exposes the Fair tax as a destructive fantasy it is?”

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