Archive for April, 2012

RECIPROCATED RESPECT

This week, on May 1st the country will observe Loyalty Day. This little noted holiday was signed into law and proclaimed first by President Eisenhower. Its stated purpose is to be a special day that Americans can reaffirm their loyalty to the United States and to recognize their heritage of American freedom. It is a worthwhile goal and a lofty purpose to be sure. It is imperative in a republic for the people to remain loyal to their government; otherwise it would hold no legitimacy. However, it is equally important for the government itself to remain loyal not only to its own heritage but its own people as well. This loyalty day provides a perfect opportunity to examine this relationship between the government and its people and our attachment to our heritage.

It is easy to argue that our current government is a far cry from the one created at our founding. To find the precise reasons as to why, it is important to examine the history of current government policies. And while it is tempting to decry the whole assignment  as pointless and to lament about our inability to return to those founding principles we should take note that the goal will be unreachable without work and examining where we went wrong will help direct our efforts. There are plenty of substantive discussions in this manner revolving around the jurisprudence of the commerce clause, the expansive powers of federal executive agencies, and the diminishing powers of the states. Our concentrations should, rightly, surround the issue of the tax code. There are key facts in its history that can help us understand how we have travelled so far off course. By now we should be well aware that the income tax was not envisioned by our founding fathers or implemented near the signing of the Constitution. In fact, the United States of America with its current Constitution survived 126 years without delving into American’s pocketbooks. In the Constitution there are only three clauses that describe the government’s power to tax. The limits placed create a system that must be apportioned among the several states, in fact a direct tax cannot be levied until a census or enumeration occurs. The other clause gives the power to tax to Congress. An income tax was first passed in 1861 to meet the rising costs of the Civil War, it was a flat tax. The flat tax lasted a year leading to the first graduated income tax being implemented in 1862. Due to the emergency nature of these Acts, both were sunset in 1866. History shows us that government is not quick to forget streams of revenue. Our money can quickly burn a hole through the pocket of a silver-tongued politician. While the income tax went away it was still fresh in the minds of political leaders that saw the potential for government’s power to dramatically increase.

The income tax began to make its comeback in the fringe of American politics. If any today wonder as to how the tax code could possibly become the tool of social engineering that it is. Or is you wonder why it seems that the code matched with the ever increasing welfare state seems solely interested in redistribution of wealth we need only to look at the strange beginning of the “comeback” for the income tax. The first political party to again advocate for a graduated income tax again was the Socialist Labor Party in 1887. While the Socialist Labor Party was not one that reached national prominence the Populist Party did. It was in their 1892 platform that they supported a graduated income tax. The Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act was passed in 1894 and sought to bring back the income tax. It lowered tariff rates and implemented a 2% income tax on those that made $4000 or more. It is important to mark that lowering taxes on some and raising taxes on a minority or those considered rich is not a new tactic in American politics. The first iteration of a peace time income tax proves that class warfare is inherent in the income tax debate and essential to politicians seeking to use this system for political gain. In these pre-16th Amendment days the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision ruled that the direct taxing of American citizen’s incomes was unconstitutional.

In 1896, one year after the Supreme Court decision, the Populist Party ran a “fusion” candidate for President, William Jennings Bryan, who was also nominated by the Democratic Party. A supporter of a graduated income tax, he lost to the Republican William McKinley by a margin of 600,000 votes. It was in 1908 that the graduated income tax became part of the platform of the Democratic Party and in 1913 it was passed. President Woodrow Wilson signed the Revenue Act of 1913 and created our country’s current income tax. The passage of the 16th Amendment removed and revoked the previous constitutional challenge by erasing the strict requirements and limits our founders put upon the congressional ability to tax. President Wilson should also be remembered for saying “America is not now and cannot in the future be a place for unrestricted individual enterprise.” As we look at the income tax today we should not be surprised at its growth or expanse, we should not be startled at the direction it has taken. Look to its beginning and see that those that supported a graduated income tax were not interested in the heritage of American freedom known at our founding. Even as a principled idea it acts contrary to our framer’s intent. The religious beliefs of our founding fathers is rarely denied or ignored and this tax code does violate even biblical teaching. It is a Commandment that you shall not covet thy neighbor’s possessions. We have a tax code built around coveting goods belonging to our neighbors. If that sounds like a stretch, listen to the politicians that support the current tax code. We hear about how “the rich” or “the 1%” have wealth and property we are told we cannot attain. Why else would the President of the United States of America be pointing out private jet owners to the American public and make fun of a presidential rival’s blueprints. We are told that this is unfair and that we should punish, or tax, those that have more or are in possession of what we consider to be luxury items. In Matthew 22:21 Jesus himself says to, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” It is render unto Caesar and not let Caesar take what he wants. It is acknowledged by the Creator that we are creatures of free will, and for that to exist we must be given liberty. The current tax code is a denial of that liberty and the confiscatory nature of this code is a denial of that free will.

May 1st is a day that we are to reaffirm our loyalty to the United States government and to our unique heritage of freedom. It calls naturally for reflection and thought. But today should not only be centered on the American citizen reaffirming himself and respecting the government, it should act as a reckoning of the government and its citizen. We should remain loyal to a republic or it ceases to be a republic. But inherent in the idea of a republic is an authority that represents the will of its people. As we can plainly see the creation of this tax code fails to uphold our heritage of freedom, it fails to live up to the sacrifices given by the men and women that built this country, it fails to adequately represent the will of the people. This Loyalty Day should mark a turn in our collective conscience so that we realize there is a system that is broken but more importantly there exists a remedy. The FairTax removes this onerous tax code and replaces it with a system of tax by choice. It repeals class warfare and establishes governmental transparency. It revokes centralized control and codifies an equal footing for the citizenry and those that represent it. There should be respect for the governed because it is our consent that allows us to be governed. We need a tax code that reflects that respect, our heritage, and earns our loyalty. So take this week to contact your Congressman. Let them know you observed Loyalty Day this year and kindly ask that they do the same.

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9-9-NO!

FairTax advocates know exactly the magnitude of what we are trying to accomplish. The gravity of the efforts that we must undertake are understood and not taken for granted. It is a struggle that will be fought in every congressional district across the country. In such a grassroots campaign it is imperative that we do not lose focus or direction. However badly this need is felt there is a movement that threatens to distract some facets of our campaign. It has recently been brought to the forefront with the campaign of Herman Cain for president. His 9-9-9 plan has made headlines and is still a central part of his continued mission culminating in a rally held in Washington D.C. this past week. While there is a tremendous appeal in supporting a candidate or plan that is truly a political outsider and unsullied by the taint of Washington politics, the idea behind 9-9-9 presents a clear shortcoming to the newcomer approach.

I should also state that it is widely acknowledged and perfectly clear that the intent was always to transition to the FairTax at a later date. In fact it is this facet that makes the plan so much more maddening. Allow me to illustrate a point. For example, take the healthcare legislation backed by this President and signed into law on March 23, 2010. The political battle was tough and divided on a party line vote. After its passage the congressmen who stood by the President were largely ousted in an historic midterm election. Now imagine, to kick off this campaign season he unveiled “phase II” to be passed in his next term. Not only would his opposition have a field day he would also lose any and all effective support from his own party who supported a massive temporary measure that cost them dearly. Before the argument is made that supporting a negative massive change is completely different than making a massive positive change it should be pointed out that support for 9-9-9 was never overwhelming. In the case of Mr. Cain, when his campaign ran into trouble it should be remembered that support for 9-9-9 was not enough to buy benefit of the doubt much less a reelection. Rewriting the tax code in its entirety only to turn around and rewrite your revision surpasses political improbability into the realm of outright impossibility. Our goals should be uniform and our methods focused. We cannot waste time on endeavors that will have to be repeated.

It is not only an examination of this plan’s political viability but its many problems that make it unworkable and undeserving of our efforts. The implementation of the 9-9-9 plan would mark an era in which the federal government has the complete power to tax your money at all stages. It will tax the income you earn, the income of corporations and the money you spend. This will mark a dangerous expansion of the government’s tax powers and will make the transition to the FairTax all the more difficult. It will also add to one of the biggest problems found within our current tax code. Currently, in large part due to the corporate tax rate, we cannot pin down exactly how much we really pay in taxes. The addition of a sales tax will complicate these matters incredibly. The coexistence of a corporate tax rate and a sales tax rate will only serve to heighten the prices of products and will not diminish the possible influence of corporate tax lobbyists. The 9-9-9 rate also continues the idea of separation that mars our current code. Keeping tax rates separate allows for changes to one to not affect the other. Therefore, a 9-9-9 plan could easily become a 9-9-12 plan or a 6-9-12 as politicians placate constituents and continue to play class warfare with the “greedy” corporations. There is little security built into the plan and will provide easy pickings for politicians proficient at manipulating tax law to serve personal or political interests. We need a clean break from our current system to one that is controlled by the citizenry.

Another portion of the plan that receives very little coverage or discussion is the use of “empowerment zones” to simulate the FairTax’s prebate plan. It is in the so-called empowerment zones that the plan begins to fall apart. Its stated goal is to launch properly structured Empowerment Zones to renew our inner cities. These empowerment zones are geographic locations formally designated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In the past these areas were chosen because they were considered “highly distressed”, in as much as they experienced poverty and/or high outmigration. There were 40 empowerment zones, 10 of which were rural. No zone had a population greater than 200,000. Under the 9-9-9 plan those living or working in empowerment zones were eligible from additional deductions not available to those not living within the zone. Even the 9-9-9 plan cannot remove itself from the social engineering aspect of a pervasive tax code. Our current tax code has made people accustomed to being treated based upon income; under 9-9-9 we are to treat people differently based upon geography. To be perfectly honest, this part of the plan smacks more of politics than practicality. If a tax plan is universally good and will provide opportunity for all by leveling the playing field then why would it be necessary to give special breaks to impoverished areas? The biggest mistake made here is the assumption that this idea is somehow akin to the prebate aspect of the FairTax. Whereas the FairTax treats all citizens equally and sends a specific amount directly tied to the poverty level, 9-9-9 creates empowerment zones that are open to receive additional deductions. Luckily for us all we are not operating in a world where the FairTax exists in a vacuum. If two plans exist, why chose the lesser one?

Another claim made by the 9-9-9 plan is that it unifies all tax reformers. I would hope that the existence of this article would prove otherwise however, I am not that arrogant. The claim is made specifically that it will unite those that support a FairTax with those that support a flat tax. Just to point out first of all, if the second phase is to implement the FairTax it is exceedingly disingenuous to claim that “flat-taxers” would support it just because the numbers are even. Outside of empowerment zones that is. But a larger point should be made here. When debating major changes to our tax code, why should we flee substantive discussion? We do not need an in-between solution that is duplicitous and dangerous only to create a temporary political alliance for groups that share much of an overlapping ideology. In that sense it is needlessly complex and ineffective political tool.

To be perfectly clear, there is no ill will meant toward Mr. Cain. His brief candidacy is proof that in this country anyone can run for President. You do not need a political heritage proven with a recognizable name and it is not necessary to own a vast personal treasure. Anyone with passion enough for the job can state their case. I personally find it regrettable that accusations with little to no basis were enough to derail him from his objective. However, I will not allow that appreciation to act as a shield to a true examination of his ideas. As for 9-9-9 in particular, if the FairTax did not exist it could be an idea worth more discussion and aid. However, that is the point; we have neither the time nor the excess manpower to spend debating an endless supply of “what-if” scenarios. We cannot escape the cold hard facts of an unyielding reality that the FairTax is the best plan presented. If two options lie before you, why choose the lesser? Our country does not have a history of taking half-steps toward liberty. A free people embrace it when they see it and we only get one bite at the apple. Will we kick the can down toward other generations so that they may finish what we could not, or do we provide the example and take up the banner of liberty so that future generations may reap the rewards based upon the hard work we accomplished? As with any other acute observer, the choice is ours. We have only to make it. We will choose freedom for all over perks for some. We will choose a stable plan that treats all citizens equitably over a shaky plan that still separates people into classes. We will continue to keep our eye on the prize and not allow our attentions to be distracted by temporary measures that promise to alleviate our labors but only succeed in doubling them. We will do these things because to fail to do them is to forfeit. And failure is not an option.

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One New Cosponsor!

Thank you to Congressman Bill Flores of Texas district 17! He is our 67th cosponsor. We are one step closer ladies and gentlemen and moments like these are cause for celebration.

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A TALE OF TWO TAX CODES

There is a sharp contrast between the world of the current tax code and the one that the FairTax will bring about. While it is important to examine the ideas behind and the ideals that embody each plan we must never lose sight of what we are trying to change. The current tax code is one we have grown used to since its inception in 1913. Its growth and expansion seem logical to us only because that is all it has been doing the past 99 years. The scope of its reach is never questioned because it has existed for decades. We never question as to why there must be a gross and net pay. We do not waste time wondering why our taxes have to be reconciled. We have been taught that government is too large and unwieldy to keep its own books and that we must do our part to help it. So it comes as a shock to people that a system exists, on paper and in Congress, which will do away with these age old assumptions and practices. Generations have spent their lives knowing only a confiscatory tax system that perceives all income as property of the state first and allowed into the hands of citizens. But how do we know if it is time to change tradition? Can we say that the tax code is evil when 99 years’ worth of leaders have examined it and kept it? Or has it just now overstayed its welcome? That is a question for the American people to decide and to highlight the differences we should examine the impact on Americans brought about by both systems.

The first easily realized aspect of our current tax code is that it is complicated. It is this complexity that has a profound impact on the daily lives of Americans. You see, this complexity is more than a mere nuisance. A basic system of taxing income was set up in 400 pages in 1913. Through time that code has grown to cover over 70,000 pages in code, regulations and tax court rulings. Yes, the tax code has its own separate court system. The instruction booklet for the 1040 alone is 189 pages long. The current tax code itself runs an estimated 3.8 million words. It is more than four times longer than the entire works of Shakespeare. The Bard used 900,000 words to artfully cover the breadth and depth of human emotion and experience. A tax system that needs four times that amount has other objectives in mind than revenue. In fact our system has turned into a method for social engineering. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of current political discourse will realize that our tax code has been used with a political purpose to split our nation into bitterly divided classes based on income. Not only is the income division used to hamper political debate, it masks the real issue. Our tax code is the progenitor of some troubling discussions around this country. Some people discuss the very real marriage penalty and if they should forego what is an institution to human civilization older than the idea of democracy itself. The tax code actually discourages this act in a stunning show of social reorganization that only finds itself at the edge of the tax debate. Couples also discuss whether or not both should work so that they are not punished by entering a higher tax bracket. People comprehend that this system penalizes success in such a way that promotions and raises can lead to a negative outcome. That is the definition of a backwards system. The tax code even incentivizes what cars to buy which can change markets and alter business plans. The government is using this overly complicated tax code to circumnavigate the Constitution and enter into areas never intended by its framers. And what has this code wrought? Its extensive reach and complicated methods have not brought us enough revenue to close an ever widening deficit. In fact, with all of the news about the debt crisis in Greece and Spain it is overlooked that America has a debt that exceeds the Eurozone and U.K. combined. It is now time to ask what the purpose of this tax code is. It cannot even collect revenue that even the most uninitiated would think necessary. The IRS has in the not too distant past allowed corporate bribes to be tax deductible. Another more recent case involves a basketball player deducting his fines from the NBA from his taxes. Lamar Odom was allowed to deduct $12,000 in fines for poor conduct from his 2007 return. As a Mavericks fan I find this even more insufferable. The problems listed here do not even take into account: the regressive payroll tax, the double tax embedded in products by the corporate tax, the incentive for businesses to leave the country and take their jobs with them due to a hostile tax environment, the multiple tax of social security income, the overwhelming cost of time, money and manpower to comply with an unknowable tax code, and the inherent disrespect and malice the code has for our founding document. What redeeming quality exists within it? Why continue down a road away from prosperity? What reason could possibly exist to keep this disheveled mess that breeds dishonesty, discord, and disarray? Some would postulate that the reason we do not change is that as bad as the code is there is no alternative. Luckily they could not be more wrong.

The FairTax would mark the end of Tax Day. April 15, or in this case the 17, would be just another day on the calendar. No more rushing to the post office or postponing figuring your taxes. Filing an extension would be a thing of the past. You would no longer have to save receipts or papers for tax purposes or look at a deducted paycheck. Gross pay would become take home pay and investments could be retrieved without taxes removed. There would no longer be tax brackets and corporations could finally move back to America and bring their jobs with them. The obsession with income would be removed from Washington and allow them to focus on the real needs of our society, of which there are many. The FairTax is a consumption tax, only met when purchasing a new item at the final point of sale. Your income would be your own and you could spend it as you see fit. The tax cost added to the products are mostly offset with the elimination of the currently 35% corporate tax, not to mention the $148 billion in compliance costs for big businesses alone. What we would see in the world after FairTax is one stripped of much of its complexity. Without an overbearing burdensome list of ever-growing regulations the free market will finally be allowed to flex its muscles a little. This increased competition should drive down the price of products while maximizing their quality and availability. We have tried extensive government intrusion and have seen little to no benefit for hundreds of billions of dollars of “investment”. Whether that is measured in failed green companies or an ineffective stimulus, the proof lies with the citizen and not centralized authority. Giving more people back their own money is the avenue toward success. This is realized by both parties. The Republicans have a strong sense of supply-side economics usually embodied by the example of President Reagan. The Democrats also show signs of this in a payroll tax holiday and behind the explanations of statements regarding the economic need for more unemployment checks. The basic idea is a recognition that if the citizen obtained more of his own property and income the more prosperous society will be as a result.

It is not a difficult idea to understand and has enough proof behind it to warrant much more use. If that is the case then why is there such resistance to it? The tax code has been and will continue to be used as a system of control if kept in its current state. The only issues standing in our way are the politicians that are willingly using it toward this purpose. They exist in both parties and in many areas. The alternative reality of the FairTax is attainable if only we are to act. In an election year such as this one it is imperative we use our constitutionally given right to vote our conscience and use our voice. The possibility of the FairTax is directly tied to the energy of its grassroots efforts. It will require more than email evangelism. It will require more than arm chair politicking. This is more than an effort, it is a cause. One worthy of our best efforts and attention. The two scenarios described above are very real and possible. One we know all too well and one that we seek to attain. Will our generation break a cycle almost a century long? That is a question to be answered by the American people. They are responsible for some of the greatest triumphs of mankind. It is the ingenuity of American citizens that brought the world rushing into this new millennium at break neck speed, it revolutionized industries and created wholly new ones, it taught man to fly and planted his foot on the moon. We have proven to history that man is better off ruling himself than having someone rule over him.  Let us take up the banner of liberty again and show the world how an economy should truly be run. Without centralized authority but with control given to each individual citizen. Americans have given so much to the world, why doubt us now?

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FREE AT LAST?

The history of this nation and its present state answer some very old questions. What is the cost of liberty? How can freedom prosper under government regulation? Can a citizen alter or abolish the system of control placed over him? The successes and strides that America has made over the years seem to give us clues to the answers. However, there seems to be a turning point in our philosophy as a people in the past few years. The word cost is meaningless in our national discourse as it seems to be pointless when compared to results. Freedom is not sought by those in power who instead use governmental agencies to regulate equality of outcome regardless of input. Citizens do not seek to alter their government but want to profit from its excess. The idea of a permeating “entitlement mentality” has been met with skepticism however has proven to be a depressingly growing trend of late. 48.5% of American households now receive a type of government assistance. Almost as many as pay into the tax system. Those households receive more from the government than is sent in as income tax. A record number of Americans are admitted into the rolls of the Food Stamp program and their situation is celebrated. At the same time there is no indication from those in Washington that there is a fix to the problem. We are more than willing to extend the unemployment payouts yet unwilling to solve the underlying economic problems causing the unemployment. Our debt is ballooning much faster than it ever has and spending cuts are treated as an attack on U.S. citizens. A bipartisan budget presented by Representative Paul Ryan was passed by the House that balanced the budget by the year 2040. It will not even be debated by the Senate and it has been called by the President, “thinly veiled Social Darwinism”, among other things.

It is ignored however, that leaving our spending process uninterrupted will never balance the budget and will spend us into ever increasing debt that at some point will become unacceptable. The welfare spending has grown beyond our ability to pay and compromises the largest portion of our budget. In addition to growing government welfare we see the disastrous effects of a government that is too large to police or hold accountable. Senator Coburn of Oklahoma has made a practice of cataloging wasteful government expenditures, last month saw the arrests for the largest Medicare fraud in our history, and last week saw the maddening actions of the GSA come to light and the arrogance of its employees. These are a few examples of the rampant irresponsibility of those in Washington with our money. However, instead of a comprehensive review and elimination of government agencies, our government is about to hand the IRS the ability to stop tax delinquents from leaving the country. The government is not interested with responsible stewardship but the acquisition of power. Many of these issues would not be so frustrating if it were not for the fact that these actions are taken with our money.

Many of you are finishing or have finished your taxes for the year. This brief time spent recalculating the government’s work to see if they have removed enough from your paychecks these last twelve months could be given to more prosperous activities. The money spent double checking the government’s work should be devoted toward more successful endeavors. The outcome of such work will always be less than helpful. If you find yourself having to pay an additional amount it is an infuriating extra tax unsuspected and if you find there is no change the whole effort was in vain costing time and money to no end. Even if you receive money back it is only proof that your paycheck was plundered over the past year. In fact it is this confiscatory system of taxation that lies at the heart of the problem. The Tax Foundation released last week this year’s Tax Freedom Day. They measured the day at April 17. The first four months and seventeen days of the year are spent not in our own employ, not working for ourselves but to meet this ever growing government desire for money. Tax Freedom Day highlights the growing issue with this confiscatory system. Over one-third of our year is spent in the employ of the government, paying the increasing costs of a runaway budget with zero accountability. We have to do the work our government cannot to ensure we are paying “our fair share” yet the ones we pay refuse even the most basic accountability requirements. There is no budget, there is no accountability, and there is no desire to alter or renovate the system to repair it. We have heard of enterprises described as “too big to fail”, (the same overriding idea behind the Titanic) but what we are watching is an organization that is too cumbersome and unwieldy to succeed. We have reached the point where serious reform is a necessity. We realize that government cannot spend its way out of this mess; the effect is disastrous on our debt. We must grow our economy, and to do that we cannot have a system that confiscates the first three and a half months of our income per year.

Our founding proved that the cost of freedom is action and vigilance. It saw the removal of an oppressive and top-down system that led a flourishing nation to become a world power at break neck speed. It was accomplished through the actions of dedicated citizens willing to donate their time, their money, their careers, their efforts toward the goal of freedom. We have a long way to go to restore those lofty aspirations among our leaders. Some we must replace, others we must convince. All the while there is a growing belief that our society is too much changed. Some have given up hope in our future. Younger generations are given little to no confidence. Yet what can we expect without positive influence. It is true that there is substantial work to be done. Our first efforts are correctly directed at the removal of this disastrous income tax system and the implementation of the FairTax. It places the power directly into the hands of citizens and removes the opacity of a growing bureaucracy tainted with lobbyist influence. If there is hope for the future it is found within this movement. It is found in every volunteer and activist. It is found in any person willing to speak out against a top-down system of control. Tax relief and reform are hot-button issues receiving much more attention than is usually given to them. The iron is hot meaning our time to strike is now. There is no more perfect time to get involved. There are very few outcomes that one can predict with 100% accuracy. I can assure you that no change will come without effort by individuals. The conditions will not mold themselves to our preferences. This victory will have to be won from the ground. It requires your action. It requires your time. It requires your voice. John Adams said in 1818. “The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.” Do we not sense this now? The FairTax movement describes such a change. Let us act so that the revolution precedes the war and that the battle is won before it begins.

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CAUSE AND EFFECT

Elections have consequences. The beauty of our system is the fact that we can choose what those consequences will be. That is why the most terrifying force to an unaccountable or corrupt government is an informed populace. Much has been said about the public outcry of the past three years. About the driving philosophy of the TEA party movement, about the overwhelming opposition to a government takeover of 1/6th of our economy, and of the historic wave election of 2010. The analysis has crossed the spectrum, but the truth is far from elusive. People crave liberty. It is an innate sensation universally known. The New World gave mankind the possibility to institutionalize this desire in the form of a representative government founded upon the self- evident truths of certain unalienable rights. This year we face again a national election as we did four short, but momentous, years ago. Are we to choose consequences for ourselves in keeping with the results of the past years, or do we forge a new path, one more in line with our innate desire for freedom? Our actions over the coming months will speak much louder than whatever words we could assemble. For motivation it is important to see just what is at stake.

The passage and implementation of the FairTax will not be an easy task, and the repeal of the 16th Amendment will not be a cakewalk either. The current system has been in place for 99 years, next year marking the centennial for this complicated code brought to us by the same President that instituted the League of Nations. And our tax bureaucracy shows no signs of slowing or stopping its growth. In fact, this year the IRS is looking to add 4000 new agents to step up efforts in hunting down tax cheats. There are multiple problems with this scenario. It is proof that either there is that much inaccuracy in our current tax code which would require 4000 additional people to correct. In which case our current tax code is nothing more than a money sieve. Or there is no oversight in how much that agency is spending and the benefits of catching tax evaders is nothing compared to the cost of hiring 4000 new federal workers. In any case it is undeniable evidence that our system is far too complicated to be of any use in a modern and fast moving world. A rising issue with the IRS that will surely impact the issues we FairTax advocates discuss is the implementation of the new healthcare law. Many of the new 4000 employees are also going to be involved in the new tax rules that will support the new legislation. The IRS also received $303 million to help implement these new rules. The IRS will be much more difficult to dissolve when it becomes entangled with our healthcare. Our task is difficult enough without such interference.

To even the casual observer, the past few years have shown that government has no indication of stopping its own expanse. The only way to do so is through citizen action. It has been said before that this election is about the spirit of America. It is as true this year as it has been every time before. Abraham Lincoln said, “The strife of the election is but human nature applied to the facts of the case.” Every election stands to represent our very nature on a varying number of issues. This election is important because of what both sides represent. On one side rests the continued expansion of government in the name of equality, the other represents the nobility of individual rights which are intrinsically tied to individual responsibility. It is true that the FairTax is a nonpartisan bill, but it was the speech at Osawatomie this past winter that President Obama set himself ideologically against the nature of the FairTax. Covered here at the time, it became clear that no amount of public pressure or political activism would change his mind. It is up to us then to change his job.

This stance has nothing to do with party and everything to do with ideology. Behind this bill is a belief not merely centered in economic study, even though it absolutely is.  The heart of H.R. 25 is the knowledge that a free citizenry is the power of our American economic prowess. The FairTax will allow each citizen the right to the income he earns by removing income taxes and payroll withholding. The FairTax will protect your right to invest your money as you see fit without a penalty for succeeding by removing the capital gains tax. The FairTax will keep the promises made to seniors by removing the lie that is the social security trust funds and ensure the solvency of social security without adding the injurious benefits tax we currently have. The FairTax will ensure the money left to your family goes to your family by repealing once and for all the insulting estate, or death, tax. As covered last week, the FairTax could stimulate the entire economy more than the government has over the past few years without adding a penny to the national debt by repealing in entirety the corporate tax bringing the offshore wealth flooding home. The FairTax does all of this by repudiating the underlying foundation of centralized control enshrined in the current tax code. It opposes it by championing the causes of individual liberty, right to property, and relies upon our intrinsic desire for freedom. It was a steadfast belief in these principles that led our original colonies to begin a revolution against a world empire. Out manned and out gunned they fought for nothing more than an ideal. Luckily our skirmishes are not fought on the battlefield but in the voting booth. Our weapons are not cannon and musket but words and ideas.

Our election is in danger of sacrificing reason to rhetoric; our clarion call for fairness must be made carefully and clearly. As activists we must make tough decisions, and even work against all odds. Volunteers for Marco Rubio saw some pretty dark times in the early days of their primary challenge against a popular governor. But in the end, today there is speculation of a possible Vice Presidential nomination for Senator Rubio of Florida and not Senator Crist. Our actions will undoubtedly have an effect if we apply ourselves judiciously yet energetically to the task at hand. That means sometimes taking on incumbents when necessary. In Texas there is a race between Kenny Marchant and political newcomer Grant Stinchfield. Our local group has done our level best to persuade incumbent Marchant to support our cause. He sat on the Ways and Means committee during our hearing this past summer and he has made it abundantly clear that he will not support the FairTax. To us, that means a change of leadership is necessary and some of our members have decided to volunteer for Grant Stinchfield, an ardent FairTax supporter. This is not a blanket solution for every congressional race and I would trust our activists in their own areas to make the correct decisions. But at this time in our effort we must begin changing minds or changing leadership because the status quo can no longer be tolerated. The longer we wait in the name of political politeness or lack of political will or courage our job becomes that much more difficult.

The fortunate part about a national grassroots movement is that there is a plethora of opportunities to work for a cause. That makes election years a very busy time. There are races to monitor and attacks to answer. There are candidates to vet and meetings to attend. There are blocks to walk and phone banks to run. But the central element to a campaign is also found at the heart of politics. The art of persuasion. Luckily, the FairTax sells itself; we just need people willing to speak. If elections are a study of human nature as applied to the facts, and if they truly do have real consequences, what do we want this election to say about us? Are we to resign ourselves to lives of centralized authority handing down decrees? Or is this the time we make a stand? We know the results of inaction. We know the results of failure. We see it in the unreadable mess that is 70,000 pages of tax law. Get involved and make a difference, the outcome of tomorrow’s election is based solely upon the work of today. We have a before us a chance to change tomorrow. That chance is available to every American due to certain unalienable rights, articulated and expressed by political activists. They changed a world, now let’s shape a nation.

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