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National sales tax pushed by Republicans a bad idea

Linda Sharp
OPINION: This ‘fair tax’ bill introduced by congressional Republicans would further degrade the American middle class. So-called 'conservatives’ who support abolishing the IRS, like Alaska Republican candidates for Senate Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller are really supporting the super rich. Creative Commons image

Republican candidates for Congress are pushing for eliminating the IRS, replacing income tax with a national sales tax. They say the IRS is fraught with inequities and fraudulent employees.

76 Republican sponsors in the U.S. House and nine in the Senate have sponsored the current “Fair Tax” bill. Here in Alaska, Republican Senate candidates Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller support this proposed elimination of the IRS, substituting it with a 30 percent sales tax that conservatives say will more fairly tax everyone. Treadwell, in a debate in Homer in July discussed his support. He wants to repeal the 16th Amendment, authorizing the government to collect an income tax.

Vocal critics in Congress, opposing the current administration and majority in the Senate, have acted foolishly since January 2009.

They have failed to do their job, which is to make laws and provide oversight of government operations. Watch C-SPAN live to see exactly who is grandstanding, speaking rudely to those who disagree with them, and putting political gain over the good of our nation.

The same group of "conservatives" believes it is unpatriotic to admit the U.S. is behind most of the modern world in student test scores, universal health care, and incentives that keep a strong middle class healthy. Any country that has a growing super-wealthy class and people falling into poverty is putting its own survival at risk. This began decades ago and almost took the U.S. over the brink in 2008, by conservatives who allowed Wall Street and the financial institutions to take trillions in profit while cheating the middle class out of their homes. Now, they think decades of corruption and taking us to the brink of disaster can be cured in five years. First, they should look in the mirror.

This "fair tax" bill introduced by congressional Republicans will further exasperate a struggling middle class, casting more into poverty. Consumers who are in the middle and lower classes spend most of their income on ‘fair tax’ items, which will result in close to a 30 percent tax on everything they consume from utilities to clothing to rent to home purchases. The ‘fair tax’ also eliminates the mortgage interest deduction. The super-rich don’t have mortgages. These ‘conservatives’ are really supporters of the super-rich, hoping to gain and keep favor with the gigantic advertising dollars to get them re-elected to Congress.

Sen. Mark Begich stands opposed to the tax, and has been endorsed by the Alaska Association of Realtors as well as the National Association. Watch Sen. Begich live C-SPAN. He is on task, present, respectful and eloquent at all times. Don’t wait for millionaires paying for expensive ads or some or the ‘news clowns’ to tell you how to vote. Dig in and see it for yourself.

For a long time, I voted mostly Republican -- Hickel and Palin for governor, and Ted Stevens in all but his last Senate run. Now, I wonder if I’ll ever vote for another Republican. I’ve been an independent all my life and now am embarrassed by Republicans’ behavior, putting their elections and political agendas ahead of the good of the country.

Linda Sharp is an Associate Real Estate Broker in Alaska, and a broker in Arizona. Sharp moved to Anchorage 40 years ago and has been involved in real estate in property development, sales of land, investment property and home sales, as well as an investor.

The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, e-mail commentary(at)alaskadispatch.com.