John Adams for example wrote, "I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth." In sum the writings of Adams, Washington, Madison and others makes it clear they felt themselves to be a part of what Jake and Elwood would later describe as "a mission from God."
As far back as Washington's Farewell Address, he was warning of "entangling alliances" in military terms, but left the door wide open for mutually advantageous trade. Indeed the march of world GDP in constant dollars (2010) has gone on unabated since that time and accelerated rapidly since 1960 from 10 to 75 Trillion. One might say the greenback dollar has been our best ambassador over the years, gunboats, not so much.
Against that backdrop, say hello to the FAIRtax. The FAIRtax has so many advantages compared to the Income Tax, but for the purposes of this article, let's isolate its advantages with respect to international trade.
- The FAIRtax removes all impediment to business:
- No tax on business inputs
- No corporate income tax
- No tax on capital gains
- Permanent holiday for repatriation of overseas profits
It is the last point that relates to Manifest Destiny. Imagine what happens when on January 1st whenever the FAIRtax is passed, when all strictures on business and production go away. While we do not know with any precision, how many dollars are hiding out in overseas accounts, it has been estimated that anywhere between $2 and $10 trillion would come flooding back to the United States in short order.
In the mid-nineties, then Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Bill Archer liked to recount his conversation with an international money manager. The money manager asked some of his international clients, “What would you do if the U.S. replaced the current income tax with a national consumption tax?” Several of the largest said they would immediately move their international offices to the U.S. Others said that they would start moving as much of their operations to the U.S. as they could.
If that scenario became reality, think what that would mean to the flow of international investment. That sucking sound you would hear would be world-wide capital investment flowing one way. If the nation that is already the big dog on the block begins to welcome capital to that extent, wouldn't other nations have to follow suit with similar national consumption taxes out of self defense?
So the relation to Manifest Destiny goes like this - Leading the way on a national consumption tax would be the fiscal equivalent to the "shining light on the hill" that our founding fathers envisioned as they drafted the Constitution.
From my vantage point as moderator and editor of a couple of FAIRtax related social media pages, I see membership inquires coming in from India and South America and The Peoples Republic of China. I have accepted those people because I believe a national consumption tax such as the FAIRtax would advantage every living person regardless of ethnic background and nationality. Hopefully Americans, who, after all, carry the innovation gene, will be the first to see the light of not merely tax reform, but outright tax replacement.
About the author
Hoosier by birth, went to Wabash College, worked 20 years for Sears as a repair technician with a specialty in home entertainment (TVs and audio systems). Since retirement in 2005, I have been active behind the scenes in politics and for The FAIRtax. Currently serving as Minnesota 1st District Director, and as a member of the AFFT Marketing and Communication Committee. Co-editor at our Facebook Official Page and moderator/administrator at FAIRtax 2017.