Wednesday, March 28, 2007

TAXING A NATIONAL SYMBOL

Whenever we go off island, one of the many things that symbolize our national pride is the Vailima beer. Not the Tausala, the Bud Light, the Miller, or the Heineken. When we think of Samoa, we think of Vailima. The Senate might as well impose a 500% excise tax on Manu Samoa.

This is what happens when government is in the business of picking winners and losers. The ASG says it needs revenue, but the Senate has decided that only a few should bear the burden for the rest by making various targets out of their tax increases. What this says to those who want to do business in our territory is that you had better have connections in government in order to be spared the whip of taxation.

A flat tax rate, on the other hand, ensures fairness because everyone bears the burden equally. A flat tax rate ensures transparency because there would be no one to bribe to obtain a more favorable tax rate. A flat tax rate assists with people's future planning because businesses wouldn't have to worry about new taxes being imposed on their enterprises after they've established themselves.

With all the fraud, waste and abuse going on, we know revenue is not the problem. It's the failure of our leaders to control spending by accounting for and prioritizing our money.

While Senator Fa'ivae's support for this excise tax doesn't prove intentional discrimination against a competing business, we need to recognize that our tax policies are corrupt simply for its unfairness. Too bad they've decided to make this clear with Samoa's Very Own Beer.

1 Comments:

At 7:06 PM , Blogger Stuart K. Hayashi said...

A "flat" proportional tax is fair because it means the government steals from everybody at the same rate?

:-(...

The only fair tax is no tax.

 

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