Making April 15th ‘Just Another Day’

By Doug Patton

Doug PattonAs I wrote another hefty check to my CPA and dropped my federal income tax return into the mail this week, my mind drifted off, as it does every April 15th, to Fair Tax Land.

In Fair Tax Land, tax lawyers have to find real jobs because it is none of the federal government’s business how much money I make.

In Fair Tax Land, Congress has abolished the IRS and replaced it with a simple system for collecting taxes on what I consume rather than what I produce.

In Fair Tax Land, a one-time federal retail sales tax at the point of final purchase on new consumable items has replaced the withholding tax for federal income taxes, Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes.

Americans are ready to go to Fair Tax Land. A growing percentage of taxpayers are fed up with watching government take more than its share before any of it can be used to buy food, clothing, shelter, transportation or entertainment. And God forbid we should actually have something left over to save for our own retirement or give to the charity of our choice.

The federal income tax system is broken. It cannot be fixed. Since its inception with the passage of the 16th Amendment in 1913, federal corruption and control have turned it into a Frankenstein monster that torments the people and serves the special interests.

A tax on a person’s income is a tax on production. As the Gipper once said, “Whatever you tax, you get less of.”

We all understand that corporations do not pay taxes. They simply pass them along to us, the consumers, in the form of higher prices. In fact, fully 22 percent of the price of everything we buy is a direct result of federal corporate income taxes. Repeal the tax, the cost of doing business decreases, and competition drives prices down. That is good for our balance of trade with other countries. It also is good for consumers. And it will act as a magnet for what John Kerry calls “Benedict Arnold corporations,” many of which have fled the country for more profitable and more tax-friendly environs.

Because the poor are forced to spend a disproportionate percentage of their resources to cover the tax on necessities, the Fair Tax hits them the hardest. That issue is addressed by simply issuing a “prebate” check each month to every household in the country. Unlike disingenuous tax credits, deductions, exemptions and other loopholes in the current income tax code, a prebate check is an honest method of covering the sales tax on food, clothing and other basic items—up to the poverty level.

Beyond that, we would all pay the sales tax on the items we consume. If I want to drive a new car, I will pay the tax. If I want to avoid the tax, I will drive a used car. But think of how much more you would spend—and save—if you could keep your whole paycheck. That would be a boost to the economy.

Not to mention the billions of dollar that flow untaxed through our economy today: drug dealers, prostitutes, the pornography industry, tourists. Imagine how much revenue could be raised simply by taxing the things those people consume.

Over $50 billion would be saved just by closing down the IRS and replacing it with a simple Federal Department of Revenue, the whole purpose of which would be to receive the sales tax receipts collected across the country.

There would be no more audits, no more justifying deductions and no more April 15th. It would be just another day.

(Note: To find out more about this growing movement, go to


Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a speechwriter and policy advisor for federal, state and local candidates, elected officials and public policy organizations. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country, and on selected Internet web sites, including, where he serves as the Nebraska Editor. He also writes for Talon News Service ( Readers can e-mail him at