Libertarian for President; Former Democratic Senator (AK)
Eliminate income tax so the wealthy can’t “game” the system
Gravel has another controversial proposal: to eliminate the income tax and fund the government solely through sales taxes. While appealing, again, to libertarians, the proposal is bound to alienate liberals who might otherwise sympathize with the
ex-senator: Sales taxes are considered “regressive,” meaning they take proportionately more from those with lower incomes than from the better-off.
But Gravel maintains that since the present tax system has become corrupted by “wealthy people gaming the system,” his fix would provide a solution; to help the poor, he’d provide a guaranteed
minimum income, distributed through Social Security. Getting rid of the income tax was until fairly recently a topic relegated to the far right wing.
The tax code stands that high and there’s not a human being alive that understands it. Do you think it’s accident that all of a sudden we wake up & the wealthy aren’t paying a fair share? The only way they’re going to pay a fair share is wipe out the
income tax--it is corrupt, it’s corrupting our society--and begin to put in place a tax that everybody will know what everybody’s paying, and that’s a retail sales tax. You can make it progressive. A tax where everybody will know what everybody is paying
Source: 2007 Democratic Primary Debate at Howard University
Jun 28, 2007
Wipe out the income tax! -- it’s regressive
We ought to wipe out the income tax, wipe it out! It’s the most regressive, unfair system of taxation in the world, and it’s what’s causing us to lose our jobs. It brought about the Rust Belt.
Now, what kind of a tax should we have? The most important
thing a government can do is raise revenue. Now, if it raises unfairly -- which is what we’re doing -- the people intuitively know in their gut that the government’s going to be unfair in all of the programs that deals with the people.
Now, what kind
of a tax should we do? I’m for the Fair Tax. You’ll hear liberals say, “Well, that’s a sales tax, that’s regressive.” That is not regressive. Both systems of taxation, that is the income tax and the sales tax, are both progressive. Whatever you make, you
pay a tax on. If you make more, you pay more tax. With respect to consumption, sales tax, whatever you spend, if you spend more, you pay more tax. So now they’re both the same. The income tax has been gamed by the wealthy people with 30,000 lobbyists.
National sales tax; no exceptions; prebates for essentials
The income tax has been gamed by the wealthy people. I for the Fair Tax [national sales tax]. The essentials of life that we have -- food, lodging, medicine, what have you -- we can deal with that. We can’t provide an exception.
When you go to the grocery store, you’ll pay the tax on it. Because if you start giving an exception, then Katy bar the door, the wealthy will game the system again. But what we can do is create a prebate.
Determine what the average cost of essential is to average American, and then turn it around and multiply that by the tax, take the amount of tax, divide it by 12, and send every single registered American a check at the beginning of the month to
cover what he would pay in the way of taxes on the essentials of life. Now that creates a cash flow, and then you go get your paycheck, and there’s no tax deductions at the federal level.
Gravel’s campaign is based primarily on his ardent support for direct democracy (the National Initiative), but also emphasizes his support for a national sales tax and abolition of the IRS,
immediate withdrawal from the war in Iraq, a single-payer national health care system, and term limits during his campaign.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, “Mike Gravel”
Jan 1, 2007
Repeal the income tax and close down the IRS
The Gravel Agenda: When elected President by the American people, I will:
Repeal the income tax and closing down the IRS replacing it with a Fair Tax (a national sales tax with a pre-bate for necessities)
that will reverse the flight of jobs and capital abroad while balancing the budget;
Fund education as the top priority it must be in a democracy.
Source: Campaign website, www.gravel2008.us, “Issues”
Dec 25, 2006
Tax system unfairness only superceded by incomprehensibility
The Fair Tax: Describing the current tax system as one whose “unfairness is only superceded by its incomprehensibility” the senator promised
to place before the people “a straightforward national sales tax with proper consideration for the necessities of life through a pre-bate.”
Source: Press release “Announces Run for President”
Apr 17, 2006
Less regressive tax on poor; more capital gains on rich
The inequities of today’s tax system rob the lower & middle income citizens, while favoring the rich & supporting huge corporations, whose owners are taxed at only a fraction of what they should pay. People with annual earnings below $2,000 pay about 40%
of their income in taxes of all kinds. People earning below $50,000 pay about 30%. Only for persons earning over $50,000 does the effective tax rate begin to rise, but even then only to 45%. We find the burden of taxes falling just as heavily on the poor
as on the well-to-do, partly because everybody has to pay state, local & federal taxes that tend to be highly regressive--sales, gasoline, personal property, real estate, & social security taxes--and partly because of the loopholes built into the present
federal income tax system.
The largest loophole is the break given the rich who have capital gains income. Today such income is taxed at a much lower rate than earned income. Capital gains should be treated as ordinary income & taxed accordingly.