Can a Tax Be “Fair”?

Several Republican Tea Party favorites support the Fair Tax, a national sales tax that they hope would take the place of the income tax. Here’s a brief libertarian take on the issue. As for me (Josh), I agree with economist Murray Rothbard’s argument in his article “Strategies for a Libertarian Victory”:

[I]f libertarians should ever call for reducing or abolishing taxes in some particular area, that call must never be accompanied by advocating the increase of taxation in some other area. Thus, we might well conclude that the most tyrannical and destructive tax in the modern world is the income tax, and therefore that first priority should be given to abolishing that form of tax. But the call for drastic reduction or abolition of the income tax must never be coupled with advocating a higher tax in some other area (e.g., a sales tax), for that indeed would be employing a means contradictory to the ultimate goal of tax abolition. Libertarians must, in short, hack away at the state wherever and whenever they can, rolling back or eliminating state activity in whatever area possible.

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