On July 29, 1997, the incumbents of both major political parties reached an accord for balancing the budget in the year 2002. At the same time, they will give tax breaks to families with children and people with investments. The capital gains tax will drop from 29 percent to 20 percent. As a third party (libertarian) candidate for the U.S. Senate from Georgia, I know the children from Georgia need help because 60 percent of them are now born under Medicaid. A $500 tax rebate or a $500 welfare payment are one and the same. The children of Georgia can use this, no matter what it is called.
But what of the tax break to investors with money? In this time of the widening gap between the rich and the poor, why give the tax breaks to only those with money? Why not give a tax break to those who would like to start saving? I support the plan of the Americans for Fair Taxation (AFT). It calls for a national sales tax. With this, working families would get all the money they make. For many working families, the income tax, payroll taxes, and job-based benefits equal their take home pay. I believe that they should get all that they earn. This would allow them to save for the future needs of their children.
The sales tax rate needed to equal current government revenues is 23 percent. This allows the benefits of Social Security to stay as they are. I believe the effect is to double the take home pay while cutting taxes in half. This includes honoring our commitment to retirees. I believe this plan could be implemented in a matter of months because the collecting apparatus is already in place. Most states already have a sales tax.
The recent congressional hearings on the IRS are frightening. This rogue Washington agency invades the privacy of Georgians and then terrorizes them to collect the direct tax on their incomes. A National Sales Tax will tax the economy, not the people. It will stop Washington deception by assuring that Georgian workers get all of their pay. It will stop Washington terrorism by putting Georgia tax collectors in charge.
Senator Paul Coverdell has had five years in Washington and done nothing of substance [to stop this abuse]. I challenge the Democratic contender Michael Coles to propose his taxation plan, or better yet, join me in support of the National Sales Tax.
Bert Loftman, MD
AAPS member and Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate from Georgia in 1998
Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1998;3(1):1. Copyright © 1998 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).