Recently, I read an article on CNN.com titled “Can Taxing Pimps and Prostitutes save Social Security?” Considering its remarkably engaging name, the content of the article was a little mundane. The article focuses on Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, who is proposing a federal consumption tax instead of a federal income tax. Basically, what this means is that a tax would be incurred when an individual makes a purchase, rather than directly from his or her payroll. The logic behind this method is that everyone- even those who currently avoid income taxes- have to make purchases, and thus would have to contribute to the tax base. This group includes prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, and illegal immigrants. With this system, as the author points out, the tax base in the economy would be the entire population because everyone has to make at least some purchases in order to survive. However, as the article points out, a consumption tax cannot possibly be progressive, so the poor man pays the same percentage in taxes as the rich man. The author of the article furthers the logos of her argument by incorporating a statistic that clearly shows that absurdity of this tax method. “Americans for Fair Taxation says the rate would be 23%,” states the writer (Luhby). She also calls upon expert testimony, which indicates that such a tax collection system would actually decrease total tax revenue. In addition, the increased price of goods could lead to a sizable decrease in consumption; this could be very bad for the short-term economy. So- for all the pimps, hookers, and drug dealers out there- it looks like you won’t have to pay taxes for a little while longer.
Luhby, Tami. “Can Taxing Pimps and Prostitutes save Social Security?” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 07 Aug. 2015.