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Burns: Supports A Sales Tax for All Americans

Once I get some classwork done tonight, I am going to come back to the other half-truths and lies offered by our junior Senator this evening, but I think one of the most telling moments in the debate came when Jon Tester asked Senator Burns to explain his support for a national sales tax.

Burns seemed completely unprepared for the question–and dodged it, knowing that Montanans do not favor this most regressive form of taxation. Burns offered a non-sensical response, suggesting that “something eles in the survey” caught his eye. Whether it did or not, Burns did indicate on the survey that he would support both:

[ ] A national retail sales tax that provides reasonable protection for low-income people, with a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to abolish and prohibit all federal income taxes after a transition period.

[ ] A single, low, flat-rate income tax with a large exemption for each taxpayer and dependent, with a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to prohibit more than one income tax rate.

Three thoughts.

1) Senator Burns either lied when he filled out the survey or when he spoke in the debate. I suspect it was the latter, but either way, he was fundamentally dishonest with the people of Montana tonight.

2) It’s telling that Burns was either so unaware of what he said in the survey or so dismissive of Montanas that he thought he could lie about it.

3) A national sales tax would be devastating to Montanans. There is a reason that the people of Montana have repeatedly rejected local efforts by the Montana GOP to impose a sales tax: we believe in fair taxes, for families and workers.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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