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This blog is written by Steve Hayes, President and Chairman of Americans for Fair Taxation. It will discuss the activities of AFFT to make taxation fair again with the FAIRtax, along with some tips and tricks learned over the years to grow the movement. It will be published on the 1st and 15th of each month.

 

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HOW WE CAN COMBAT THE SWAMP ... AND WIN

Posted By Steve Hayes, Thursday, March 15, 2018

HOW WE CAN COMBAT THE SWAMP ... AND WIN

 

Since 1990, I have been supporting the replacement of the corporate and individual income tax.  For many of these years, I have been going to Washington, D.C. and meeting with Members of Congress, people at the various think tanks, and anyone else that seemed to be important to get the job done.

 

A number of things have become apparent to me.  These are:

 

• The only reason most Members of Congress support the FAIRtax is because they are pressured by their constituents—not because of logic or firm belief.

• Almost without exception, most think tanks and their employees who work on income tax related issues see the enactment of the FAIRtax as a direct threat to their livelihood—what are they going to speak and write about without the income tax and its endless ability to be used for the advantage of one group over another.

• Some groups, like the Tax Foundation, would likely lose most of their funding if there was no income tax to write about.

• The major interest groups who pay the lobbyists are unwilling to give up their particular “tax advantage” under the income tax even though, economically, they are better off under the FAIRtax and can compete better with imports their exports will be far more competitive.

• The lobbyists are unwilling to support the FAIRtax because it will cost them huge amounts of money now being paid them to lobby for special provisions under the income tax.

• Almost all of the Members of Congress benefit from campaign contributions from lobbyists and interest groups who lobby on behalf of special treatment under the income tax.

• Almost all of the Members of Congress and the Administration are ignoring the rapidly increasing evasion of the income tax because they have decided that they can make up for the evasion by simply borrowing more money and adding to the debt.

• The most important thing to almost all of the Members of Congress is getting re-elected.

 

If you agree with what I have stated above, you will agree that the only thing that FAIRtax supporters have that the special interest groups, the lobbyists and the think tanks don’t have is that we vote and influence others who vote.  According to the Washington Post, “Clinton's unsuccessful campaign ($768 million in spending) outspent Trump's successful one ($398 million) by nearly 2 to 1. The Democratic National Committee and left-leaning outside groups also outspent their Republican counterparts by considerable margins.”

 

The idea that the D.C. Elites cannot just tell us all how to vote by spending money on ads and other ways of ordering us to obey is very upsetting to them.  Obviously, our not being willing to follow the advice of others just proves to them that we really are not capable of making our own decisions.

 

The voters not following the instructions given by the Elites also terrifies them.  They know that if we start ignoring them that their ability to manipulate us for their own benefit and only incidentally some scraps fall off for us.

 

 

2018 Primary and General Elections

 

We have an opportunity to take back control of our elections by demanding that the Members of Congress actually start doing what is best for us—not just for them and their friends.  To do this we have to start educating and enlisting the support of our neighbors, friends and members of our community. 

 

Once the benefits of the FAIRtax are explained, almost no one outside of the Swamp will not say, “That’s a great idea.”  Of course, most of these people don’t have a vested financial interest in keeping the income tax regardless of how bad it is.

 

One of the biggest topics now is the issue of tariffs.  The only reason that we need tariffs is that we, unlike 167 other countries, do not have a border adjustable tax.  If a tax is border adjustable then the tax is rebated on exported products.  Imports are made to pay the tax.

 

This means that we don’t allow our exporters to deduct the taxes they paid from the cost of the product and can result in a 15% to 25% penalty on our companies.  Imported goods can be priced much more competitively than comparable American products.

 

 

A Technique That I Used In New Hampshire

 

In 1991, I read a book about how it was possible to get very close to Presidential candidates if you go to the New Hampshire primary.  I decided to go.  We had a few supporters in New Hampshire that I connected with but it became apparent that we needed to expand and recruit new people.

 

What I did was start to address all of the groups like Rotary, Kiwanis and others that would let me speak.  My goal was to get one or two people each time that would be willing to help.  By the first of January of 1992, we had a group of about 30 people that would help by going to events being held by the presidential candidates.  Their purpose was to ask the candidate if they would support replacing the current individual and corporate income tax with a national retail sales tax.

 

Initially they answered this was not practical or similar.  However, by the time the February primary date was approaching they had been asked the question a number of times by different people.  Their response changed to things like, “That is an idea we need to investigate.” or “I can see how it would help make us more competitive.” or “It would be great not to have to file income tax returns.”

 

That is why in Florida we have engaged a person who will book speaking engagements with service clubs and other venues.  We have a speakers bureau from around the state and our goal is to recruit one or two people from each event to help us recruit others and be active in demanding that their elected Members of Congress explain why they don’t support the FAIRtax.

 

I will keep you posted on how it goes!

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