Archive for October, 2012

IT’S ALIVE

We again come to the time of year that calls for an examination of the horrific and the chilling. This website will join the rest of the internet as it concerns itself with frightening aspects of our usual areas of study, and as last year , we find the tax code no less terrifying than it was before. But, as any monster movie franchise will inevitably show us, we are far more interested in the origins of the beasts that scare us. Our tax code shares many similarities with the origin found in Mary Shelley’s classic tale, Frankenstein.

The book Frankenstein follows the gruesome and profane experiments of the ambitious yet shortsighted Victor Frankenstein. In his youth he became obsessed with the unchecked power found in ancient science, which mixed logic with the mysticism of achieving the impossible. As he grew into his studies, his obsession led him to action and he quickly learned that his actions could have unalterable and burdensome consequences. His experiments with the transformation of dead flesh into a living being were regrettably successful and his monster was created, doomed to walk the earth without name, purpose, or favor. This tragic creature tore a bloody path of revenge through all of Frankenstein’s life, reaching all those he knew up until his lonely and desperate end. While it is an excellent story, and an important lesson in recognizing limits, both personally and societal, it also sheds a little light upon our current tax problems. Just as Frankenstein, the creators of our tax code were looking back to the thinkers of long before. A direct tax upon incomes was not found in the writing of our founders, it was based more on the total control of government found in the monarchies of the past. It was predicated, ideologically, on the assumption that the government owned the money being distributed and that it was in charge of ensuring that it was equally given. As often as the term progressive is applied to it one would think that it is a relatively new idea. But the central control of power, and the absolute management of the money supply, is an old idea. The use of an income tax might be a new method, but the madness is ancient.

Not only were Frankenstein and our tax code creators looking back to the forgotten past, they were creating something far beyond their ability to comprehend. Both parties, the fictional and the regrettably real, were far more interested in temporal and petty concerns. Frankenstein’s ambitions and belief in his own abilities tasked him with superseding where others had failed and selfishly proving that he was right in the ability of science to achieve great monuments to mankind’s knowledge previously thought only the realm of the magical. In his success he proved himself right, but also disastrously wrong. Frankenstein proved the limitlessness of human achievement, but also every fault of humanity, from fear and pride to resentment and depression.

Likewise, those that created our tax code were interested with forgotten political goals and temporary election results. In generating a new stream of revenue, they were able to fulfill political ambitions that are known to none now. It was the outbreak of World War I that saw the brand new tax code utilized in its current fashion. Merely three years after its passage, the Revenue Act of 1916 altered the tax code to begin modifying the goals of society and its conversation. It created an excess-profits tax. This set the level that it deemed normal for corporate profits and taxed all corporations that were able to make money above that amount. The lion’s share of the funding for the United States during the First World War was taken by corporations that succeeded beyond the allowed limits of Washington.

It is this early example that shows the greatest similarity between our tortured Frankenstein and our political leaders of 1913. They both created monsters incapable of being controlled. Frankenstein’s creation took up a life of its own, learning to speak and to read of its own volition. Over time, the continued rejection of the community that he so desperately sought turned its heart cruel and malicious. It used its education and faculties to wreak havoc upon the race and person that created it and therefore was the cause of such torment and pain. Our tax code has also taken on a life of its own. It has outlasted all of those that have added to it and continues to shift and change. Over the past ten years it has undergone over 4000 changes. That averages to more than one per day. To challenge the idea that our code is not a shifting and growing beast is to ignore the reality that surrounds it. Merely three years after its creation it was already dictating to the American economy how much our corporations were allowed to make and began punishing them for failing to adhere to its strict rules. It has grown from a tool used for a new stream of revenue to be the greatest source of revenue for the government at the expense of the people. It has gone from a flat rate taxed above a certain income level, to a multi-faceted tax that affects people at all levels. It has grown from a law that was 400 pages in length to a complex labyrinth of 70,000 pages of exemptions, loopholes, and specifics. It is this slow strangulation of the liberty promised to our citizens that makes this practice all the more devious.

But the tragic tale of Frankenstein has a glimmer of hope for us today. In the story, Frankenstein achieved a short perfect moment in his long life of misery and regret. There was a point when he abandoned his pursuits and relaxed in the glow of his loving family and friends. Mary Shelley describes it far better than I am able, “It was a strong effort of the spirit of good, but it was ineffectual. Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction”.Frankenstein saw destiny draw him inexorably to ruin, his passions exceeded his discipline and brought sorrow and turmoil to the rest of his life. We face a moment of choice today. We can resign to our own self-appointed destiny to watch the monster of our own creation strangle all that we hold dear. Or we may take the initiative to create for ourselves our own destiny in the spirit of our founding. Thomas Paine wrote, “We have it in our power to begin the world over again”. While Frankenstein was unable to shake what destiny had planned for him, we are given the opportunity to shape our own. While the making of the monster was an event that was unavoidable and now is unchangeable, our future shows us that we can unmake the mistakes of the past to finally pacify the restless beast of our creation. Those that created our tax code acted as the young Frankenstein, believing they are above the established order of the day, reaching back to the past mistakes in an attempt to do the impossible. Today, we see the fruits of such past labor, in the unstoppable and unaccountable tax code that directs our society.

Unlike the horror story we have studied, the monster of our creation is not hidden from sight. While it may be just as despised, it is present for all to see and makes no attempt to flee. Our tax code is an amalgamation of dead ideas, stitched together by those who seek power and control beyond their ability, which gained a life of its own beyond the foresight of those that created it, which is destructive to the society it inhabits. Frankenstein’s monster is a tragic fiction that is entertaining to read about and valuable to learn from. Our tax code is a reality.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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OUT OF LEFT FIELD

Although this website has explained before why the FairTax could be embraced by liberals I would like to take today to expand a little on this idea to paint a clearer picture. The FairTax is billed as a bipartisan plan and it truly is one. In fact, when the bill was first introduced, the support was split evenly between both parties. Since then however, the bill has caught on with Republican congressmen while it has been unable to make inroads with the other party. As a FairTax activist I can only postulate on theories as to exactly why, but would like to make it clear today that liberal causes are helped by this plan just as much as conservative’s are.

Without risking too much, it should be readily recognized that for many causes on the left equality is paramount. This idea that equality and liberty are taken up by the left and right and constantly fought over is not a new one. Many of today’s political arguments are attempting to find the right balance between these two concepts. That is not to suggest that conservatives shun equality or that liberals ignore liberty, but when push comes to shove, we usually fight for one at the expense of the other. Luckily, the FairTax makes no such distinction. In the current Presidential campaign we hear about the rights of the needy and the privileges of the prosperous and the difference in the way they are treated by the tax code. The sad fact of the matter is that both the rich and poor are being mistreated by our tax code. Both sides are letting the blindness of partisanship in the midst of an important campaign cloud their judgment. But, to an extent, both the arguments against each party’s plan are correct. Taxing the rich more will not ensure that they will pay it and lowering the tax rates across the board on those that do not pay into the income tax will create more of the so-called 47%.

I will try to expand on this while showing how the FairTax answers these criticisms in the best way possible. Both sides want a fair tax system, for the left, that means ensuring that the rich pay their fair share. This is a difficult measure to codify because the term is so subjective. But it usually involves raising the taxes on the rich, another term subject to change. The issue here is taxing accumulated wealth, it is the reason there is an estate, or death, tax in addition to the income, capital gains, and dividend taxes. All are attempts at evening the playing field because for the rich there are many ways to accumulate said wealth. This has obviously led to some discrepancies, the Buffett rule attempts to rectify these political arguments, pointing out that incomes that rely on capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than certain income tax brackets. The problem here is assuming that raising the tax rate will solve the problem itself.

The richest have means unavailable to others; therefore they are better equipped to dodge said taxes. They have the ability to hire accountants to pour over the complicated mess that is 70,000 pages of tax code and come out cleaner on the other side. And if all else fails, they can move their money offshore. And they do. The FairTax however, taxes accumulated wealth in the most efficient way possible. When that money is spent on luxury items, such as private jets, yachts, sprawling estates, and high end automobiles, they will pay the tax on those items regardless. Just like everyone else. It is unavoidable and simple enough that no accountant will find loopholes through it. It is designed to be as efficient as possible allowing no wiggle room for those seeking to avoid it. But, the money currently parked offshore should come back in droves, to be invested in businesses in America, allowing companies to hire people the way our economy needs.

While taxing the rich more falls into line with the ideal of equality, it does very little to help the working poor and middle class that are struggling. The idea of a fair share does little to close the gaps in their budgets. It is widely recognized that our tax code is just as unfair to these people as it is to anyone else. That is one reason that President Obama and Congressional Republicans passed a payroll tax holiday. While there were still some disagreements on particulars the idea behind the push was that the payroll taxes are regressive and punitive to the working poor segment of America. These taxes, that usually do not receive much attention, act against the progressive nature of our tax code. In addition, the high corporate tax rates make purchasing goods much more difficult for the poor and middle class. Since corporations must operate on profit the idea of a corporate tax rate is self-defeatist at face value. Any rise in that rate is likely met with three outcomes, the price of the product rises to meet the cost of doing business, the wages of workers decline to bridge the gap, or the quality of the product is reduced to make up the difference. In every one of these scenarios, the purchasing power of those without is dramatically reduced below what it already was. And we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Again, if raised, these corporations can always move offshore, and they are, but this time they are taking their jobs with them.

The FairTax ends the corporate tax, bringing those jobs home again, but it also ends the regressive payroll tax rates. All this sounds much like the benefits given to the wealthy, which would leave us in the same place as we are now in terms of equality, except for the prebate. The prebate is a monthly check given to all American households based upon the number of people within the house that covers the monthly cost of the sales tax on basic needs. This prebate is not based upon income and everyone gets it. It covers the cost of the new tax on a basket of goods necessary for survival according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Its basis on the size of household is very beneficial for poorer families who tend to house more people. This does far more to level the playing field then our current system. It ensures that we are indeed paying our fair share in taxes, because we are treated equally in that regard, but it helps those struggling by covering the necessities up to the poverty level.

This is also the only tax alternative for those concerned with the environment. It is rare to consider tax proposals based upon their carbon footprint, but the difference here is staggering. As of 2010 it took 6.1 billion man hours to comply with the tax code. That is nothing but 6.1 billion, with a b, hours of paperwork. Such work is decidedly harmful to the environment. This is an annual exercise that compiles upon itself the trash that comes with it. Our tax code has to account for all 311 million people and collect taxes on all businesses as well. Not to mention that to print the code itself, would take more than 70,000 pages in all. The FairTax is 131 pages, not 130 or 132, a plain 131. It collects revenue as money is spent and can be read on the receipt that is given anyway. If focuses only on businesses that act as the final point of sale and not on 311 million Americans. The time and effort expended to comply with this tax alternative cannot even be calculated on the same scale as our current system, and it is designed to be revenue neutral. Meaning that we are getting the same amount of money with only a fraction of the effort. Which only serves to make our market more efficient and our country a little greener for its efforts.

Another helpful way that the FairTax can advance the causes on the left is that it stops the social engineering in our current tax code. While this may sound like a helpful way to stop bad habits or harmful activities, that is a sword that cuts both ways. Advocates of gay marriage already know all too well how our current tax code benefits straight couples. There are a plethora of deductions and exemptions available to married couples that homosexuals cannot access. While this is neither an argument for or against the practice itself it highlights that our tax code does far more that generate revenue for the government, but makes decisions in our personal lives as well. Surprisingly, this is an issue that the church and the gay marriage advocate can equally abhor. Churches rankle at the thought that the government can strip away its exempt status based upon speaking out for traditional marriage, and the gay marriage advocate can be equally steamed that straight couples are given preferential treatment by the same tax code. That is how unsound our tax code is. It offends everyone equally. And it has gone on long enough.

For liberals and conservatives, the tax code subverts all of our rights equally. We seek bipartisanship desperately as voters, but our leaders seem unwilling to sacrifice political capital in an unending game of chicken with political brinksmanship. But this is not a game between Republicans and Democrats; it is a contest pitting citizens against those in power. I would be proud to stand with Republicans and Democrats together, united in this cause. But the question is whether we can unite, whether we can put aside other differences to stand behind a bill that benefits us all, whether we can look past petty differences to focus on a bigger picture? I say, “Yes we can!”

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FAIRTAXCOMETH

I wanted to start this anniversary article off with a proper acknowledgement of the friends and family that have supported and celebrated this effort over the last year. Thank you to all of you that have sent kind words and constructive criticism over the last year that has added to my immense enjoyment toiling away in an effort to pass the largest tax reform legislation in our history. An additional thank you to everyone else involved in this growing movement. Your effort is critical to our success and will not succeed without it. However, I would like to point out that the goal of this website is not its longevity; it is not my wish to stand here five years from now making the same arguments about the dire need for the FairTax. But there are many reasons why I believe that this will not be the case.

We have been gaining momentum ever since the FairTax was made a bill. Where at one time, we were an idea supported by a handful of cosponsors we are now a nationwide crusade that most politicians have an answer to. Even if Romney was incorrect about his information, and he was, it is encouraging that a Presidential candidate would know at least the basic premise of the plan. That means that we have a shoe in the door in most areas, we can correct the mischaracterizations, we can tweak our message, we can push harder on certain political leaders, but the point is people are already aware. What that means is that our efforts are having an effect. It gets difficult sometimes to judge how successful our actions are, but we can take solace in the fact that great steps have been made. There has been a hearing in front of a full panel of the House Ways and Means Committee. We have a grand total of 80 cosponsors in all of Congress. And we are on the cusp of an election that hopefully will bring more. That means our lives are about to get a little busier.

This next year will be one that will hear a crescendo of calls for tax reform. The Saturday morning financial shows are constantly jabbering about the need and probability of reform coming in the next year or two. It is frustrating to watch them have the same arguments again and again and again. Raise or lower? It is an endless cycle that will never end until we have substantial reform enough to change the system completely. That is where the FairTax steps in. This idea changes the conversation forever, and not just that conversation but so many others. The FairTax injects the American people into the decision making process in a way we never have experienced before. And for those that are cynical or jaded about the focus of politicians, and they have every reason to be, that is nothing but a very large net benefit.

But how is it that we are to accomplish our goal? Currently the FairTax movement is comprised of several local groups focused in states or localities. There is not much of an overarching structure, nor does there need to be in a grassroots-based organization. Those local groups know best how to answer the needs of their own area, but what we have noticed is a severe lack of communication and very little in the way of sharing. We do not share resources, ideas, people, tactics, or even keep each other apprised as to our actions. This can have a counter-productive effect. You may remember reading about a meeting we had in Chicago at the end of this last summer. The outcome of our conversations were very telling indeed. We recognized the need for communication and the need to unify our efforts into a cohesive, single-minded thrust to pass this bill. Luckily, I was chosen to be a member of a nine member body which was to come up with a strategic plan to do so. We are growing nearer the completion of this document and hope by the end of the year to have unveiled the final product along with a district targeting plan that will focus on priority areas to have a greater impact among other things. If we have been able to make such progress working, mostly, independent of one another, imagine what we will be able to do when unified. The opportunities we have before us are limitless and only by taking action will we be able to meet our goals. And make no mistake, action must be taken immediately. Following the election will be a lame duck period for Congress. It should not be so of us. We need to pounce on our existing support in our elected officials, we need to set up meetings with possible cosponsors for the next year, we need to contact freshly elected representatives and try and get their support out of the gate, we need to work with state leaders to pass resolutions supporting repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment. Our work is cut out for us. At the beginning of next year, H.R. 25 will be re-filed. We need to gain all of the cosponsors that we have now and add to that list. The coming months will test us, our commitment and our abilities. Hopefully this strategic plan will focus and unite our efforts so that we can act effectively without wasteful duplicative actions.

The political class is correct in the supposition and characterization of this Presidential contest. It is a decision between two competing and very different paths for this country’s future. The FairTax has the distinction of leading the way down the path of individual liberty, government accountability, and wide spread prosperity. We must choose between that or collective responsibility, government intransigence, and shared poverty. The choices we have are stark in their contrast, but our will must be strong, our gaze must be fixed, our purpose must be clear, our voice must be sustained, because our cause must be heard. If we can rise to the occasion that history presents us then we have nothing to fear, for the FairTax cometh.

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DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, AND APPARENTLY SO IS THE TAX CODE

Anyone with a familiarity with the FairTax would have easily concluded that the first twenty minutes of last week’s Presidential debate could have been avoided completely. We have talked before about the time wasted debating the current tax code and the critically important issues that are pushed aside to rehash the same debates that were concluded only a few years before. This is not a new problem. Part of the issue is that what is being fed to the American people is only an illusion of choice. There is nothing new placed before us in the coming election and the choices that are present have always been the arguments surrounding the tax code. Should we raise or lower the tax rate? It is a sad statement of current political discourse that if you ask those on the right or left this question the answer will always be, yes. Those on the left perennially support raising taxes, even if on certain segments of the population, while those on the right continuously argue for lowering them. Because of the competitive nature of politics and the embedded nature of the tax discussion there will always be disagreements surrounding the tax rates. We live in an era where politicians of both stripes are pledging to work in a What, historically, we have been left with is never a blissful age of political agreement but a series of electoral victories by one party that undo what the other had done in the years that they had won. The political pendulum swings to and fro granting power to opposing parties that then change the tax code up to fit their ideological views. That is why we hear about taxes in every Presidential campaign. If the code were simplified, there would be little need to go about constantly changing it. But here we are again. The beginning of the New Year will bring about drastic increases in what many are calling Taxmageddon. The thought behind this taxmageddon hits at the heart of what is wrong with the perennial tax debates and the fickleness of Washington politicians. The rise of the tax rates that hit on January 1 of the next year is a stunning show of failure on the part of those politicians promising bipartisanship or lasting solutions that have yet to deliver. The tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 by a Republican Congress and President and passed again by a Democrat Congress and President are going to expire which will result in automatic tax increases no matter who is elected. These tax rates, which have been passed by both parties and debated in public, at least three times, are the complaint of both parties as well. They both argue that they do not go far enough in their respective directions but all ignore that they are temporary! All this goes to prove that all the haranguing in Washington over the exact same tax rates we have operated under for a decade has far more to do with political gamesmanship than the good of the American public. This is precisely why we need to move to a tax structure that involves the public in the decision process rather than continuing to treat them like ATMs.

One undeniable fact that is obfuscated by the heightened spin of a Presidential election year is the limits that our tax code faces in combating the very real problems our country is facing. One of the lines in the debate concerned the need for a “balanced approach” to solving our out of control debt and crippling deficits. It seems that the only spending cuts that are consistently found are to future spending increases due to the nature of baseline budgeting. These future cuts do little to change the fact that we are currently more than one trillion dollars over budget. It should also be noted that these paltry cuts mixed with the proposed tax increases still cannot bridge the trillion dollar gap either. Even if the wealthy had all of their income taken in taxes it could not hope to bring in enough revenue to cover the rise in expenses. And one would only need to look to France to see how the wealthy react to overbearing tax rates. In short, they leave. The same event precedes every institution of oppressive government policy. Waves of emigration marked the rise of the Soviet Union. Taxing those that have the most means to avoid it is similar to trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. It should also be noted that those creating the tax code make sure that there are enough loopholes to exempt themselves, which necessarily leads others to follow. This endless cycle of politicizing the tax code and rewriting the actions of the recently defeated should explain why we have a code that exceeds 70,000 pages and is the topic of nearly every political debate.

In fact, this perpetual loop shows itself in the history of our tax code. Our original code was written in 1913 after the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment. Since that time the code has been through 57 legislative changes, meaning that all of congress passed and the President signed 57 pieces of legislation that changed the tax code and how it operates. In just less than one hundred years we have passed 57 pieces of legislation. We could not go an average of two years without something passed that affects the way we collect taxes. This is an unstable tax code; it has been changed with more wanton disregard than a Latin American country’s constitution. It is a political football that is tossed around the field sometimes used by political parties to score political points. But the American people are left sitting in the stands, suffering to watch a game that has no end and forced to pay no matter who scores the points. We have ceased being part of the debate and only get to look on at party leaders as they hash it out, only every four years on national television. The rest of the time it is behind closed doors or away from our notice. We deserve something better.

The FairTax focuses on government transparency by making the people an active participant in the tax process. By switching to a consumption tax model, and repealing the current one and the government’s ability to do so, the American people are the arbiters of tax revenue and can be apprised of when and where their money is going. Spending debates on Capitol Hill will change to reflect the change in the method of revenue collection. All spent money is weighed against itself, meaning that the same account that pays for defense and road construction will pay for the ridiculous spending binges on completely unnecessary pork-barrel projects. It ends the constant change of the tax code because any change made affects everyone. That is a very important difference to our current code. Businesses will no longer have to lobby for exemptions and loopholes year round because the corporate tax is eliminated. Politicians can no longer play class warfare for the camera because everyone pays the same rate. Changes will no longer escape our notice because we see them every time we spend. Our focus can shift to watch Washington because their irresponsible spending is directly reflected to the tax rate. If we could reign in spending to match the original role of proper government function, then we could lower the rate to coincide. If we could lower the debt and cost of serving it, then we could also lower the rate to coincide. This is a dramatic shift from our current habits and actions. Even in economic crises, a consumption tax model is more stable than one based upon income. We have created for ourselves a system that is prone to wide swings based on the business cycle and the political cycle, is it any wonder why it is needlessly complex and overbearing? What the FairTax offers is a portrait of what government should be, responsive to the needs of the public, responsible in its actions, and lean enough to adequately respond. We currently have none of those traits and are pushing in the opposite direction. It is time to change that and support a code that represents our best efforts and not what we can get away with. Then we can focus on the important issues facing today without sounding like a broken record.

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SPRING FORWARD, FALL IN LINE

While the time change is a month away, falling on the first Sunday in November, the time for change has come. Not the change that was promised four short years ago, but for the ability for American citizens to regain control of their economy, their bureaucracy, and their destiny.  As many of you in the swing states have noticed by the steady stream of candidate commercials; we are in the home stretch of an arduous and costly Presidential race. This is where those last few moments of effort count. In any contest, the coaches, mentors, and spectators will tell you, if you stumble or fail this close to the end, you lose. With scant days over a month left, the checkered flag is raised and the cameras are trained at the line because we could be watching a photo finish. Your effort is needed now more than ever. Both candidates are promising tax reform and neither are supporting the FairTax, but what will transpire will dictate to us our chances in the coming four year term.

Many are bogged down in party affiliation, which is understandable after two conventions and hundreds of millions of dollars, but there is certainly an ideological war waging over the heads of these two men. The forces of state superiority and centralized control stand poised to strengthen their already iron grip over the daily lives of every American. Students across the country are coming to grips with the idea of a centrally planned food economy that has been very little to their liking. If it is easy enough to understand for these kids, that a far removed power cannot plan the details of your day, down to what you eat, then surely we can react in a similar fashion. Or are we too lazy? Are we really to be bought off with cell phones and condoms? How cheaply will the American people sell themselves? Stalin was famed for characterizing the capitalist America as eventually self-destructive. He reportedly said that if a capitalist was to be hanged he would eagerly sell you rope for the noose. Was he right? No. Americans have long been taught that we were not good enough to make it on our own. Those that were or sought to were viciously painted as greedy and self-serving. It has been a long time since 1776, but some people still cannot break from the idea of worshiping a monarch. We have replaced King George III with an all knowing and benevolent bureaucracy. Our coinage still reads In God We Trust but how many of us look to the housing authority or EBT for sustenance. This easy reliance meshed with the attack on ambition has taken us from a country of self-reliant pioneers to government dependent protesters.

I have mentioned before as to why I support the FairTax. Not merely because it deserves support and should be sung from the very mountaintops. But because it represents the best possible future for the country that I love. The past 99 years will culminate in February into one full century of American subservience to the government due to the income tax. In that time we have watched liberty fade as passivity rises. The trend of government control will continue until the people are powerless to stop it. We live in an America today where the Federal Department of Education has surpassed the state legislatures, the local school districts and the choices of parents to dictate what is to be served for school lunches. The argument used by the Anti-Federalists in the constitutional debates anticipated this by noting that in a country with too much federal power, “those [powers] which will be lift to the states will be of no great importance.” We are in a country that ignores the 10th Amendment because the government has been granted unprecedented rights by the 16th.

Once an entity has grown to such a formidable size, it becomes increasingly difficult to eliminate. It is in serious need of a counterweight. The will of the people must at the very least equal the power of the government that it grants consent to. Today it does not. With the FairTax, tomorrow it shall. We must take this moment to make a stand because in a government this far removed from the needs of the people, you may not get another chance. If America is the last best hope of mankind on earth, then the FairTax represents the last best hope to reclaim America. The future of the voice of the American public will not be saved by a reduced estate tax rate, it will not be found in the unknowable morass of the recent healthcare legislation, it will not be strengthened by sanctions on any Mideast country, it will not grow if reduce emissions. These tired subjects have been around for many elections and are likely to outlast this one as well. But there has been a constant thread running through the past century, you are losing your place. No matter the political bent, no casual observer of the past decade can say that our government is operating completely within the mandate of the people. To remedy this error we cannot rest at establishing a balance between government power and the will of the people. This representative system operates only with the consent of the governed, and it is time that we had a tax code that operates similarly.

Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls”. I wonder what he would say about the actions taken by the government that many fought so hard to win. We are not witnessing the failure of American values we are watching a country slowly move away from them and finding failure. Our great experiment was watched at first by the world stage in a passive humorous fashion. They believed that a country given over to the mob could not last long. This only demonstrates a key misunderstanding of the idea of America. We did not submit to the will of an unthinking mob but came together as thinking and reasoning people to make decisions as to best move forward. Again the world is watching democracy in action. As our people are hurting, our jobless wanting, our soldiers still dying, our policies unraveling, our liberties waning, the decision is still left up to you. These last four weeks will shape the next four years of political discourse and action. The candidates are nearing the finish line, but what will they find there? They head to a sea of 311 million citizens that will speak and decide. To have an impact in this election we must be part of it. This month is the last chance to support that FairTax candidate who has been attacked, to pressure a candidate on the FairTax to ensure that they will support it, or to answer an unfair attack by a challenger. This is a cause that necessitates the action of many and we will need the many to act in the coming weeks. Since the issue of tax reform is playing such a key role in the debates and discussions across the country we cannot afford to stumble now. You strike while the iron is hot so that you may shape its future, wait too long and your action is useless. The iron is hot, we are poised to strike, we need your help to bring force to the action. By acting together now we can shape our own destiny and in doing so, shape the future of America.

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