This is the question I’ve been kicking around, particularly as Herman Cain appeared to rise in the polls. (Though now it seems that 9-9-9 for him also meant that he got nine tries to get with an uninterested woman, and was nine – or more- times rebuffed before seeing his nine political lives all expended…)
I’ve listened to Neal Boortz preach the flat tax for years and have always thought it to be an enticingly simple and fair idea, but what would it mean for me and other military family members in reality?
I will not even attempt to answer this question. For the record, I failed Algebra 1 four times in high school and never passed Algebra 2, a failure that led to me holding the dubious distinction of being the only person in the history of my university to be admitted on both academic scholarship (for high SAT & ACT scores) and academic probation (because Algebra 2 was an admission requirement). I have always believed that paying someone to do my taxes for me was money well spent and I’ve been known to use a calculator to help my first grader with his math homework. All of that is to say:
You. Do. Not. Want. Me. To. Crunch. These. Numbers. For. You.
Sadly, nobody else seems to want to crunch them, either. I’ve been scouring the internet and can’t find any articles or blog posts that do a good job of explaining what effect a flat tax could have on military families.
Cash Money Life.com (which is tied to the The Military Wallet) has this prediction about the fate of flat tax proposals. (Spoiler: They say it’s unlikely to ever happen because lobbyists and their legislator pals will never part with the lucrative loopholes.)
And there are umpteen billion posts, columns and articles arguing for and against a flat tax, but I can’t find a good analysis anywhere. Post a link here if you know of any.
So, you’ll have to resort to my guesswork. I think military families will end up paying more under a flat tax system. Here’s why: Troops in combat zones are exempt from paying income taxes. If there were no more income taxes, that exemption would go away. Their families, however, will keep on paying for goods and services throughout a combat deployment, though, so the families will still be paying sales tax — and sales taxes will almost certainly increase if we have a flat tax system. I suppose some procedure could be created where you could save all your receipts and turn them in with a copy of the active duty members orders to get a tax refund, but (judging by the wad of receipts in my purse and in my car) many of us would never do that.
So that’s my, ahem, 2 cents on the issue. And don’t ask me to count any higher.