Friday, December 11, 2009

A FairTax Hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee

The FairTax campaign will be taking our message to the heart of Congressional power over the income tax system in the coming weeks and months.

At the center of Congressional power over the federal tax code is the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rep. Charles Rangel of New York City. The power to pick winners and losers in the current tax system, grant tax favors, punish political opponents, manipulate citizen and business behavior, and amend the tax code itself rests with this most powerful House committee.

Power over a tax system that collects more than two-and-a-half trillion dollars a year makes members of this committee among the most influential in the Congressional hierarchy. They are highly sought after by tax lobbyists seeking favors, business leaders seeking relief, and interest groups with a tax agenda. It is a power that is jealously guarded by Congress and has been actively used by those on the Ways and Means Committee.

Since historic tax reform and simplification efforts by Ronald Reagan in the early 1980’s, tens of thousands of changes to the tax code have occurred--averaging about three per day for each day Congress has been in session. Staffers on this committee are among the best paid in Congress; time on the Ways and Means Committee almost guarantees lucrative future salaries from Washington, D.C. tax lobby firms for these staffers and retiring or defeated members of Congress. These are powerful incentives against adoption of the FairTax, which eliminates both the role of tax lobbyists and Congressional manipulation of the tax code. It makes all the more remarkable the courage and vision of John Linder, the original House sponsor of FairTax legislation, who serves on the Ways and Means Committee and provides hope that reason and merit can trump Congressional self-interest.

The FairTax has the potential to quickly heal the national economic crisis, create millions of needed jobs, attract trillions of dollars of new investment into our economy, and a establish tax system that is fair, simple, and transparent. These merits of the FairTax serve as a powerful rallying cry to those who elect members of Congress serving on this and every other Congressional committee. With the help of hundreds of thousands of FairTax supporters, we will be bringing these arguments to the Ways and Means Committee over the coming months.

We begin with a sensible and respectful request to those who are elected to represent us: schedule an open, fair, and balanced hearing on the merits and potential of the FairTax. Allow experts and citizens alike an equal time with detractors to explain and defend the research and philosophy of a better national tax system. Together, we will raise the voice of FairTax supporters across the nation in seeking a fair hearing on how the FairTax can help every American, create a new era of American growth and prosperity, and eliminate the destructive effects of a badly broken national tax system.


The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.

The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 296) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.

More information is available at http://www.fairtax. org or join the FairTax Indiana grassroots effort at http://infairtax.

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