Society - National Sales Tax


      In March 1996, a bill was first introduced in the U.S. Congress to implement the National Retail Sales Tax as the replacement for the income tax and IRS (H.R. 3039).

      This historic legislation was known as the Schaefer-Tauzin National Retail Sales Tax Act of 1996 and named after its primary authors, Congressmen Schaefer and Tauzin.

      As Schaefer summarized it, “Imagine just for a moment that April 15th was just another spring day. What if our tax system required no Internal Revenue Service, had no loopholes for the rich, increased Americans’ paltry personal savings rate, encouraged economic investment, and weakened special interests’ hold on Congress? What if it also lowered our trade deficit, made foreign corporations pay U.S. taxes and slowed job flight overseas? This is not some kind of fantastic utopia I am describing. It could be reality if America eliminated the personal and corporate income tax system and replaced it with a national sales tax.”

      Prominent members of Congress immediately voiced their support for the Schaefer-Tauzin National Retail Sales Tax plan. Among the bill’s co-sponsors are Congressmen John Linder (R-Ga.), Ralph Hall (D-Texas) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).

      The 105th Congress began with amplified interest in the National Retail Sales Tax. On April 14, 1997, H.R. 2001 was introduced, covering the same ground as H.R. 3039, but in even clearer language. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) has indicated that he is interested in seeing similar legislation introduced into the U.S. Senate.

      “The first factor in choosing an effective tax system is its simplicity,” Senator Lugar stated. “Under a National Sales Tax, the burden of complying with the income tax code would be lifted. There would be no records to keep or audits to fear. The money a person makes is his or her own. You don’t have to report it. You don’t have to hide it. You may decide if you want to save it, invest it, or give it to your children. It is only when you buy something that you pay a tax.”

Strong Contender for Reform

      There is increasingly broad and visible agreement among national leaders that a detailed and meaningful debate on real tax reform is needed and the NRST has been explicitly included as a contender for consideration.

      Indeed, there is now a broader consensus than ever before that we must see a fundamental overhaul of our tax system:


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