And that's why the FAIR TAX has gone nowhere so far. Neither Democrats nor Republicans want YOU to kill the golden goose.
But now we have the very likeable Herman Cain, who advocates the consumption tax, the tax the Founders advocated. Even Alexander Hamilton, to whom we owe our strong central government, advocated for it in Federalist 21:
It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption, that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit; which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end proposed, that is, an extension of the revenue. When applied to this object, the saying is as just as it is witty, that, "in political arithmetic, two and two do not always make four." If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. This forms a complete barrier against any material oppression of the citizens by taxes of this class, and is itself a natural limitation of the power of imposing them.
Two important commentators at Forbes are coalescing around the perfections associated with a consumption tax, Lawrence Hunter and John Tamny, but Hunter is clearly the constitutional originalist in this matter.
John Tamny, who has argued for a gross receipts tax on corporate business if there must be a corporate tax, however, has caught the spirit here:
As Larry Hunter, another fellow Forbes contributor has noted recently, the beauty of a consumption tax is its limiting nature. Quite unlike taxes on income that are paid no matter what, with a consumption tax individuals would be able to limit the amount of money handed to the government by virtue of spending less.
This is particularly important during times of economic hardship. While with income taxes we pay regardless, if a consumption tax were implemented Americans could put the federal government on a diet at the same time that economic uncertainty is forcing them to tighten their own belts.
At present, and as evidenced by the boomtown that Washington, D.C. currently is, the government industrial complex is gorging at the same time that most Americans are reducing expenditure. This is wrong on so many levels, and as it’s true that during downturns individuals tend to spend less (their savings once again an economic stimulant), so should Washington be forced to.