Thursday, July 16, 2009

Have I Mentioned Yet How Stupid Dennis Prager Is?

I would regret it if I didn't take this opportunity with a soapbox to crib from my own recent archives and point out how stupid Dennis Prager is. Here's the quick background.

I listen to a rightwing podcast that is often just an hour of Prager's radio show. He's a big "Fair Tax" proponent, big enough that you would assume he's actualy figured out what it is. So Hugh Hewitt was on his show, and well, Dennis Prager makes him look like Marie Curie.
Hewitt: Let's cover this 23, 30% divide Dennis. If we can. If I want a dollar for a pencil at the end of the transaction, I make a pencil I want to have a dollar in my pocket, I'm going to have to charge $1.30 under the Fair Tax plan. Do you call that a 23% tax or a 30$ tax?

Prager: Ok. I have mulled this thing over, and over, and over, and I don't know of much in life where truly the way one phrases the question gives you a different response. That's one way of stating the statement. The other is I charge a dollar for a pencil and you pay me 23%, therefore you are in fact going to pay $1.23 for the pencil. That is 23%.

Hewitt: But the Fair Tax would operate this way. They would charge you $1.30 for that pencil. Under both my approach and their approach it's $1.30. They say that 30 cents is 23% of $1.30, and therefore it's a 23% tax. I say that America and the 45 states that apply sales taxes all calculate and find sales tax based upon the percent applied to get to the final number.

Therefore, if we're looking for clarity in the public space, if we want the public to understand what is being proposed, we should call it a 30% sales tax because that's how American's talk about sales taxes.
I think even Joe the Plumber has got that part figured out...