'Huge present' to Democrats: Conservative critic slams GOP's new federal tax plan
Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

Conservative analyst Steve Forbes tore into Republicans on Thursday over their plan to vote on a radical redesign of the entire federal tax system — one of the key concessions House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made as part of a deal with roughly 20 far-right lawmakers who spent a week blocking the votes for him to take office.

The plan, known as Fair Tax, has been kicking around the fringes of the GOP and libertarian communities for decades, and has been introduced in Congress several times, albeit without any serious backing. It calls for completely abolishing the federal tax system and replacing it with a 30 percent sales tax on every good and service in the United States.

"Payroll taxes, which finance Social Security and Medicare, would also get axed," explained Forbes. "The IRS would go. States would collect the sales levy and remit proceeds to Washington."

However, wrote Forbes, the idea is unworkable — and so politically toxic it would be a "huge but belated Christmas present" to Democrats for Republicans to even hold a public vote on the matter.

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"Right out of the gate, the big one is political. How, particularly in these inflationary times, are voters going to react to paying a 30% sales tax on what they buy? A typical new house would cost an additional $125,000, not to mention the thousands of extra dollars people would pay for food, fuel, electricity and countless other items," wrote Forbes. "Proponents say incomes would go up because Federal levies on earnings would disappear, but since that wouldn’t make most people whole, the Fair Tax would pay a rebate each month to every household to help pay for necessities. That idea poses challenges."

"The GOP is playing with fire here — both politically and administratively," warned Forbes.