Here’s What You Want

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth… not going all the way, and not starting.” – Buddha

Earl Nightingale said, “Everything begins with an idea.”  Last week we asked for your input on how to improve FairTax.org.

Your passion for the FairTax® showed though your great ideas to improve the website and the actions you believe will help get HR 25 passed.

The grassroots leadership team is very encouraged by your suggestions, and today, we want to share a sampling of the recommendations you sent. While we share these few, rest assured all of your thoughts have been shared with the entire board of directors and are actively being studied and discussed.

FairTax.org

  • A checklist on the progress of HR 25
  • A description of the steps required in Congress for the FairTax to become law
  • Links to major news outlets
  • Slow down the homepage slides – more bullet points
  • Provide a list of Members of Congress and where they stand on the FairTax.  Consider rating them.
  • Bring back the FairTax calculator
  • Consolidate the FAQ, eliminate repetitive questions and answers
  • Provide a list of key committees in Congress central to getting the FairTax passed

FairTax Organization

  • Implement a communication system for FairTax leaders
  • Provide information on how donations are spent

FairTax Education

  • Provide more detail on how the flat tax and FairTax differ
  • Provide a simple summary of just the advantages of the FairTax
  • List of where candidates stand on the FairTax
  • Keep the FairTax non-partisan. Special effort should be taken to highlight issues of interest to those on the left of the political spectrum

FairTax Store

  • Stock an “Abolish the IRS” bumper sticker
  • Make the fonts easier to read

Finally, you highlighted areas where you would like fresh, new content in FairTax white papers. You asked how financial trends in the retail sector impact revenue collected by the FairTax, if the FairTax impacts government corruption, and the how the FairTax can positively impact the environment.

More changes are coming to the FairTax campaign. In the next few weeks we will be adding a new “Chairman’s Report” in FairTax Friday where FairTax Chairman and CEO Steve Hayes will be sharing his and the board of directors’ perspectives and activities. You may have already noticed some changes in our FairTax Facebook page. Our communications and marketing committee, under the leadership of committee chairman Randy Fisher is working with Maguire Media Partners to develop a new and aggressive social media strategy.

Our IT and Database Committee under the leadership of committee chairman Tom Brown continues refining FairTax.org and the new Trail Blazer database. And our Strategic Planning and Budget Committee, under the leadership of Phil Hinson, is assembling a new strategic direction for the national campaign.

Other committees including membership, Congressional Relations and fundraising are also eagerly continuing their work and we will be sharing more about their plans in future editions of FairTax Friday.

Ryunosuke Satoro summed up the power of your suggestions best when he said, “Individually we are a drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

Until next week,

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Cindy Canevaro
Executive Director

Rolling on to Washington!

“Many great ideas go unexecuted, and many great executioners are without ideas. One with the other is worthless. – Tim Blixseth

Thomas Jefferson said, “Every generation needs a new revolution.” If there is one grievance deserving a revolt of the citizens, it is the income tax and the IRS. Americans For Fair Taxation® (AFFT) and the new grassroots leadership team is leading the way for a tax reform revolution with the FairTax® campaign.

The initial step – moving FairTax.org and the AFFT database has been completed. Although the rebuilding of document links and individual web pages will continue for several weeks, you will find the main pages and donation and membership buttons are now fully functioning.

We need to hear from you!

As our work progresses, we need your input.  Please help us by letting us know the following:

  • What do you want in your FairTax.org website?
  • What do you like the most and least about FairTax.org?
  • What information do you find most useful, least useful?
  • What home page content do you think would be most helpful?
  • What information do you have difficulty finding?
  • Is there information missing you think would be especially helpful to first time visitors?
  • Are the donation and sign-up forms user friendly?

Send your thoughts and ideas to ideas@fairtax.org

Washington here we come!

Over the next few weeks your leaders will also be sharing details about our exciting plans to open a FairTax office in Washington, D.C. before the end of 2014! This effort is being spearheaded by volunteer grassroots board members Autry Pruitt (NY) and John Grafer (TX), and includes a groundbreaking program for FairTax supporters who want to be in the center of the Washington action.

Spend much time around Washington and you’ll quickly realize that those organizations that have large membership get the most attention. Put another way, Washington only respects grassroots groups with large numbers of members. As a result, we will soon be launching a new “membership” initiative that (1) allows you to help support both your national and your state FairTax organization, and (2) sends a bold new message to Washington that the FairTax campaign is the people’s tax revolution.

John Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

There are lots of changes coming to the FairTax campaign. Don’t miss out on anything, and whatever you do, make sure you are right in the middle of this generation’s greatest tax revolution – the FairTax campaign.

Until next week,

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Cindy Canevaro
Executive Director

Victory in Georgia! + A better FairTax.org

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy

Georgia FairTax® Scores A Major Victory

The media’s eyes were on the state of Georgia this week as voters went to the polls in their Republican runoff election for the U.S. Senate. The Georgia FairTax (GFFT) organization played a pivotal role in helping educate voters on where candidates stood on the FairTax® Plan.

The monumental effort began in 2012, led by volunteer GFFT state director Jim Duffie and GFFT board chairman Bill Fogarty, when the GFFT team developed and published a comprehensive non-partisan candidate scorecard for rating candidates for elective office on their support of the FairTax.

In preparation for the 2014 election, GFFT volunteers began identifying and contacting candidates from both the Republican and Democrat parties. In addition, they researched positions of candidates on tax reform, volunteering hundreds of hours to bird-dog candidates and document what they actually said about tax reform during campaign stump speeches.

The team then offered candidates from both political parties a telephonic or in-person briefing on what the FairTax is, how it differs from proposed flat and current income tax systems and if desired, how to defend it from attacks.

Thanks to the generosity of GA FairTax supporters, all candidates who accepted the GFFT FairTax briefing were given a specially prepared binder containing copies of the FairTax white papers submitted to the 2013 U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Tax Reform Study Group. These binders were a labor of love by GFFT volunteers and left a very strong impression on candidates regarding the depth of research that has gone into the FairTax legislation.

U.S. Senate candidate David Purdue accepted GFFT’s in-person offer, and went on to request an extended briefing with Phil Hinson and other GFFT leaders to ensure he understood the details of the legislation.

Perdue then made it a point to address tax reform while on the stump, noting that he was “a fighter for the FairTax.” Purdue’s diligence in learning about and fighting for the FairTax paid off when he was declared the victor in Tuesday’s run-off election.

This outstanding team effort by the GFFT serves as a model of what can be done across the nation.

Congratulations GFFT – we are FairTax proud!

Until next week,

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Cindy Canevaro
Executive Director

“No Evidence Of Criminal Wrongdoing”

“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” – Sophocles

This week’s House Oversight Committee hearings on IRS targeting provided a unique visual spectacle at just how insular, defiant and confident the agency is in riding out the targeting scandal.

The agency’s star witness, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, smugly detailed how the agency “accidentally” lost two years of Lois Lerner and six other IRS employees’ emails.

The same emails that in March the Commissioner testified he would provide; emails sent by Lerner and team during the same period the political targeting of conservative non-profits and at least one U.S. Senator was well underway.

One particularly contentious exchange between Rep. Trey Gowdy and Commissioner Koskinen, highlighted what it is like for the American people when forced to deal with the IRS. After Commissioner Koskinen repeatedly states that he has found “no evidence of criminal wrongdoing” within the agency, Rep. Gowdy demands to know which criminal statutes he has examined to come to his conclusion. The Commissioner confidently answers none, yet boldly asserts that no criminal wrongdoing has taken place.

It is clear that as far as he is concerned, he and he alone has the final say as to what constitutes criminal wrongdoing within the IRS.   

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how an agency that Congress has allowed to operate with total and complete impunity condemns American taxpayers. If the IRS, for any reason, targets you they will act as your sole judge, jury and executioner as they met out their unchecked brand of enforcement justice.

Congress created this problem and Congress needs to now fix it. And fix it they can. There is a solution before them with 75 co-sponsors in the U.S. House – more than any other tax reform legislation. It is the FairTax® Plan. By replacing the current income tax system with the FairTax, the Congress can defund and eliminate the IRS and the systemic corruption that has plagued our nation and her people for 100 years.

The IRS cannot be fixed, repaired or rehabilitated. It is like a cancer upon this nation. Unless you eliminate every single cancer cell everywhere in the body, it will slowly destroy what it has invaded.

The FairTax is the only tax replacement plan that defunds, disbands and eliminates the IRS – in its entirety.

Now is the time for you to share the good news with the American people about the FairTax Plan. Recent polls show they are not buying what the IRS is saying about Lerner’s “lost” emails.

Don’t delay. Don’t loose this opportunity. Don’t wait another day to share this great news.

  • Contact everyone that you can think of – your friends, work associates, neighbors and social media contacts. Tell them how there is an alternative tax system before Congress that eliminates the IRS.
  • Contact your local newspaper. Share your thoughts on how the IRS failed to follow federal law in securing employee emails. Discuss what would happen if you did not secure your yearly filing documentation. Then tell them why you support the FairTax.
  • Bake a cake and invite 5 or 6 friends for dessert.  Share the FairTax, Flat Tax, income taxcomparison sheet or give them a FairTax pocket card.  Invite them to join you in the greatest tax revolution of our lifetime.
  • Give a FairTax pocket card to everyone you meet, everywhere you go! Leave a few in the doctor’s office. You can order 1,000 pocket cards for $40 at the FairTax store.
  • Send your most generous donation of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 or whatever you can afford. Please make sure that your grassroots leaders know that YOU are standing with them!

It is a great time for the FairTax movement! Just this week another member of Congress came out in support of the FairTax. Representative Scott DesJarlais (TN-4) became the record 75th co-sponsor of H.R. 25, tweeting @DesJarlaisTJN04, “Proud to co-sponsor FairTax legislation”.

He added in his announcement, “The Internal Revenue Service has shown itself to be corrupt, inept and unworthy of the responsibility the agency has been entrusted with….”

Finally, your new grassroots board of directors is hard at work defining a sweeping new strategic plan. Included in this plan is a new and commanding FairTax presence in Washington, D.C., expanded membership opportunities, enhanced fundraising capabilities and aggressive communication and marketing strategies.

Stay tuned, lots of good things are happening with the FairTax campaign.

Cindy Canevaro

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Executive Director

Washington, Here We Come!

Last weekend was a watershed moment for Americans For Fair Taxation® (AFFT). The transition of governance is complete! Leadership of the FairTax® campaign is now with a decentralized team of empowered representatives from across the country – individuals you nominated and elected.

These 32 delegates, who serve as your representatives and voice, gathered in Houston, TX to:

  • Articulate a clear, simple and unifying Mission: Pass the FairTax®
  • Establish a motivating Vision (see below)
  • Elect a chairman, executive committee and officers
  • Identify 9 work groups and their leaders

As your elected leaders, we are committed to work tirelessly on a volunteer basis to ensure that we achieve our mission and realize our vision. We will do our best to serve you.

It was thrilling to see and hear the renewed and reinvigorated level of energy and commitment demonstrated by so many members and supporters of the FairTax®. We look forward to working with every one of you to ensure that your leadership hears your voice, and your passion is channeled effectively toward enacting the FairTax.

To that end, we need your continued, active support if our vision is to become a reality. We have accomplished much in the past. Now, we have an unprecedented opportunity to leverage that work to victory. Social media provides our grassroots efforts with unprecedented opportunities to mobilize more quickly and more effectively than ever before.

The power is truly in your hands!

It is time for our lawmakers to hear what the American people have known all along – America needs the FairTax. Please join us as we breathe new life into the efforts to enhance the well being of so many Americans.

Houston meeting highlights:

On Friday night, the new directors honored the outgoing AFFT board for everything it had accomplished, and thanked them for placing the governance of AFFT in the hands of the grassroots-elected delegates.

U.S. Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1), a co-sponsor of H.R. 25, gave an inspiring keynote address expressing his optimism that we can accelerate progress toward enactment of the FairTax. He stressed that there are many members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, who may not be willing to co-sponsor the legislation but who will vote for its enactment. And, he pledged his continued support for the legislation.

On Saturday morning, with Steve Hayes presiding as the temporary chairman of the meeting, the elected delegates accepted their positions as the new board of directors of AFFT.

Congressman Rob Woodall (GA-7) and Congressman Tom Price (GA-6) addressed the meeting by phone, answering questions about how AFFT and its members can be more effective in promoting the FairTax.

Dan Mastromarco, AFFT trustee and co-author of H.R. 25, explained how the committees that score tax legislation for Congress are using an improper method to compare the economic impact of tax systems. He explained the changes needed to ensure that FairTax and other tax systems are properly and fairly analyzed.

Dr. Karen Walby, AFFT director of research and chief economist, is preparing a summary of Mr. Mastromarco’s recommendations, which may be shared with our respective members of Congress. Once these basic changes are made, Congress will clearly see how superior the FairTax Plan is to the present income tax system.

On Sunday, the board adopted the following new AFFT MISSION and VISION statements:

MISSION: Pass the FairTax®

VISION: A reinvigorated U.S. economy with millions of new, well paying jobs under a federal tax system that:

  • Encourages a culture of savings and capital formation
  • Provides adequate funding for current and future national spending priorities
  • Restores the freedom, dignity and privacy of the taxpayer and,
  • Positions the U.S. to compete globally

Finally, we are pleased to announce the election of the following leadership:

AFFT Officers

Chairman and President: Steve Hayes (FL)

Vice Presidents: John Collet (KS), Phil Hinson (GA) and John Steinberger (SC)

Secretary and Treasurer: Jim Bennett (NJ) and Phil Hamman (TX), respectively

Executive Committee:

Steve Curtis (OH)

John Grafer (TX)

Marilyn Rickert (IL)

Steve Hayes (FL)

Autry Pruitt (NY)

Workgroups

1. Database/Information Technology – Tom Brown (GA), Chairman

2. Strategic Planning – Phil Hinson (GA), Chairman

3. Communications – Randy Fischer (FL) and John Steinberger (SC), Co-Chairmen

4. Fundraising – Laura McCue (NC) and Lori Klein-Corbin (AZ), Co-Chairwomen

5. Membership: Marv Kuhn (TX), Chairman

6. Events – Marilyn Reichert (IL), Chairwoman

7. Rules, Credentials, Organization and Structure – Jim Bennett (NJ), Chairman

8. Economic Research – Dr. Karen Walby (FL), Chairwoman

9. Grassroots Congressional Liaison – Bob Frenzel (VA), Chairman

Workgroups are seeking volunteers.

If you are interested and can contribute time and talent to one or more of these groups, please contact the chairperson or email Aaron Schutte at aaron @fairtax.org and he will forward your email to the appropriate chairperson.

In summary, attendees departed Houston confident that AFFT has entered a new era; an era where AFFT members in the states elect AFFT’s directors, and where elected directors are truly responsive to their members.

But make no mistake. The future of the FairTax now belongs to us. It is only with the participation and support of each and every one of you – the grassroots – that we will realize the success America so desperately needs.

We hope you share our enthusiasm for the future and that you will work with us to Pass the FairTax!

Yours in the FairTax,

AFFT Board of Directors

Earthquakes Happen

“It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” – Frederick Douglass

These days we Oklahomans are constantly reminded of the golden oldie, “Shake, Rattle and Roll.”

No, we’re not dancing; we’re having one earthquake after another. In fact, the Washington Post recently reported “there were 183 quakes in Oklahoma with at least a 3.0 magnitude between October 2013 and April 14, 2014.”

A national earthquake made even bigger news on Tuesday – a political earthquake of literally stunning proportions. In Tuesday’s Virginia 7th congressional primary, unknown and sparsely funded economics professor Dave Brat knocked out incumbent House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Given how bright the lights were inside the Capitol Tuesday night, one can only guess how many members of Congress sat in a stunned stupor as We The People shifted the tectonic plates under the Capitol dome.

Imagine a challenger with no smarmy political consultants writing canned ham attack ads or a political machine bundling campaign donations, taking out the 2nd most powerful member of the United States House of Representatives!

It just doesn’t happen this way. According to CNN, Cantor spent around $100 per vote and Brat spent about $5 per vote. But it did.

Cantor’s public shellacking was especially humiliating given that this is the first time a sitting majority leader has lost a primary election since the position was created in 1899. While talking heads will pontificate for weeks, the reason Cantor is on the unemployment line is an affliction suffered by too many elected officials.

When you consistently ignore, dismiss and use public policy to punish the people who elected you, the people will have the last word. It reminds me of Bill Cosby when his TV character Dr. Cliff Huxtable told his son Theo, “I brought you into this world, and I’ll take you out!”

Ladies and gentlemen this is the terrain altering power of grassroots, and this is the kind of real power that just sent the House Majority Leader packing.

As Brat’s 23-year old campaign manager, told the Washington Examiner, their campaign was “100-percent grassroots. Grassroots, grassroots, grassroots, grassroots, grassroots.”

The FairTax® campaign is also a grassroots campaign – the largest grassroots tax replacement campaign in the country. Isn’t it going to be earth shaking when the FairTax knocks out the income tax? Washington will be shaken to its core!

Finally, tonight FairTax grassroots activists and delegates begin their national meeting in Houston, TX. The meeting begins with a dinner featuring Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) as the keynote speaker. Saturday and Sunday the newly elected delegates will get down to the business of governing Americans For Fair Taxation® as they assume their position on the board of directors.

Please keep these dedicated leaders in your thoughts and prayers as they seek to guide and direct passage of HR 25. 

And last but certainly not least, Lydia Child said, “Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!” Happy Father’s Day to FairTax Fathers near and far – may you have a most blessed day on this day and always.

Until next week,

Cindy Canevaro

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Executive Director

The Case For An Ideal Tax System

“Our system of taxation has turned into something completely foreign to our nature – something complicated, unfair, and in a fundamental sense, un-American.” – Ronald Reagan

To many economists and supporters of freedom, the ideal tax system is one that collects enough money to fund the government with the least negative impact on the economy, productivity and personal freedom.

In An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, the “Father of Economics”, advocated the following four tax system requirements:

  1. The subject of every State ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the State.
  2. The tax each individual is bound to pay ought to be certain, and not arbitrary. The time of payment, the manner of payment, and the quantity to be paid, ought all to be clear and plain to the contributor, and to ever other person.
  3. Every tax ought to be levied at the time, or in the manner in which it is most likely to be convenient for the contributor to pay it.
  4. Every tax ought to be so contrived as both to take out and to keep out of the pockets of the people as little as possible, over and above what it brings into the public treasury of the State.

The FairTax® Plan meets Smith’s requirements, plus it:

  • Stimulates increased economic growth
  • Eliminates the need for subsidizing foreign imports
  • Generates desperately needed jobs
  • Eliminates federal filing of individual and most business tax returns
  • Defunds, disbands and eliminates the IRS
  • Minimizes the governments invasion of privacy into every aspect of one’s personal and financial life

Additionally, under the FairTax Plan, consumer purchases up to the poverty level are not subject to the FairTax. And, much to the chagrin of politicians and bureaucrats, every time a citizen buys new goods or services, they see the amount of federal tax they paid on their receipt.

Now, every consumer knows exactly how much he or she is contributing to the nation’s budget.

Washington’s ruling class uses the current income tax system to control the citizenry; masking that control through over 74,000 pages of tax code deductions and “benefits”. In short, Congress has designed a system that artfully hides spending from the taxpayers who fund it.

The FairTax will completely end this nonsense. No other proposed tax system provides the transparency needed to expose the real cost of government nor has the overall accountability of the FairTax Plan.

Might this transparency and accountability be why your elected representative or candidate does not support the FairTax? If so, you may want to giver serious consideration as to the kind of individual you believe best represents your interest in Washington.

Steve Hayes practiced law as a tax attorney. He serves on the board of directors of the Florida FairTax Educational Association and chairs the AFFT grassroots governance steering committee.

A Major Win In Florida!

“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path.” – Winston Churchill

Noted business author Tom Peters says, “Celebrate what you want to see more of.” This week we celebrate a major FairTax® achievement in Florida, and this is definitely something for which we want to see a lot more.

After months and months of diligent education by a dedicated team of grassroots volunteer leaders from the Florida FairTax Educational Association (FFTEA), on May 9, 2014, the Florida legislature passed Senate Memorial 118 “urging the U.S. Congress to repeal all taxes on income and enact a national retail sales tax as specified in HR 25, the FairTax Act of 2013.”

Volunteer state director and FFTEA managing director Mark Gupton spent months educating 36 Representatives, 18 Senators and their staff on the merits of a consumption tax. AFFT grassroots steering committee chairman and FFTEA director Steve Hayes, and AFFT director of research and FFTEA director Dr. Karen Walby made five committee presentations, which resulted in the committees passing the legislation prior to debate on the floor of each chamber.

This outstanding FFTEA leadership team, supported by an equally outstanding group of FFTEA grassroots volunteers, was rewarded when this historic piece of legislation received unanimous approval and minimal opposition during the floor vote in both chambers of the Florida legislature. After the Memorial was passed Ken Detzner, Florida Secretary of State, further codified the legislation by forwarding it to President Obama.  The Secretary also encouraged the President and Congress to enact HR 25.!

You may view the Secretary’s letter to the President and a copy of the Memorial here.

Florida State Senator Alan Hayes led the effort in the Florida Senate and Representative Charles E. Van Zant led the effort in the Florida House. As Mark Gupton noted in his announcement, “without their leadership and guidance, we would not have achieved success.” Please join us in sending a note of appreciation for their outstanding effort. You may send your notes to:

Senator Alan Hays

871 S. Central Avenue

Umatilla, FL  32784-9290

Hays.alan@flsenate.gov

 

Representative Charles E. Van Zant

3841 Reid Street, Ste 5

Palatka, FL  32177-2509

Charles.vanzant@myfloridahouse.gov

 

Co-Sponsor Meetings

Steve Hayes and I just returned from Washington, D.C., where we had back-to-back meetings to brief HR 25 co-sponsors Congressman Tom Price (GA-6), Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) and Congressman Rob Woodall (GA-7) on the governance transfer of the FairTax campaign to grassroots leaders, and the direction of tax reform in the 113th Congress.

We also discussed the state of current tax reform initiatives with the executive editor of a prominent Washington newspaper and the senior fellow for economic policy at a major Washington research institution.

The bottom line feedback from everyone is the governance transfer is a very strong move for both AFFT and the FairTax campaign, and the anticipation is it will have a major impact on the energy, focus and future success of the campaign. Additionally, Rep. Woodall remains optimistic that the anticipated vote on HR 25 by the House Ways and Means Committee is still possible in the 113th Congress.

Houston Delegate Meeting

This week we are also celebrating the conclusion of Americans For Fair Taxation’s (AFFT) delegate elections.  This historic event, establishes the first ever, grassroots led board of directors for AFFT and the FairTax campaign. Congratulations to the men and women who were nominated and elected, and to those who participated in the nomination and election process. You may view a list of the 2014 delegates here.

Newly elected AFFT delegates are preparing for their national delegates meeting in Houston, TX from June 13-15, 2014. This meeting will complete the transfer of AFFT governance from the current board of directors to volunteer grassroots leaders.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine will keynote the welcome dinner on Friday evening at which time the current board of directors will be honored for their longstanding leadership and support of the FairTax campaign. Delegates will also hear by phone from Rep. Rob Woodall and Rep. Tom Price during their deliberations on Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15. Rep. Kevin Brady will be joining by phone or in person if his schedule permits.

Yes, it’s been a good week for the FairTax campaign and more good things are on the horizon. Thank you all for your continued support and dedication. Your letters to Congress, activism and financial gifts are making a difference! And, your personal notes to me are deeply appreciated.

Until next week,

Cindy Canevaro

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Executive Director

A legacy of heroes like ‘Junior’

“Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.” – Ronald Reagan at Pointe du hoc, June 6, 1984

This weekend we set aside our concerns about taxes, tax reform and the political landscape, to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Contrary to popular opinion, Memorial Day is not about shopping, the beach or hotdogs and hamburgers.

It is a time to stop what we are doing, put away our political differences and pay tribute to those individuals – both known and unknown – who have paid the ultimate price for our nation’s freedom.

Individuals like PFC Thomas W. Phillips, Jr. from Bullard, TX.

“Junior” as friends and family knew him, was the energetic and optimistic son of traveling farmers. In 1944, like many other small town boys across America, he left the only home he had ever known for the U.S. Army.

Soon, he was headed for the European theatre and along with 160,000 other terrified yet brave patriots, landed along a desolate, 50-mile stretch of heavily fortified beachfront in Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower had told them the evening before, “the eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you.”

 

From Pointe du hoc and beyond the Allied forces D-Day invasion was fully engaged. By most accounts, Junior was rather lucky – having survived the initial assault.

But on July 3, 1944, his Jeep hit a landmine in Caen, France – immediately killing him. His family, too poor to return his body home to Texas, chose to bury him at The American Cemetery in Normandy, France. His mother and father never saw his grave, nor did any other member of his immediate family.

Thomas W. Phillips was my great uncle. In 1998, I visited his grave at Normandy; one of the most beautiful and hallowed places on earth.

 

During the 3-hour bus ride from Paris, passenger chatter was lively. Upon arrival at the cemetery, our tour guide gave us a specific departure time and location.

At the appointed time, the bus was missing. Approximately 45 minutes later it slowly arrived and we boarded. The tour guide apologized and explained the reason for the delay.

One of our fellow passengers was an American soldier during the D-Day invasion. That day marked the first time he had returned to the battlefields that claimed so many.  He asked the tour guide if the bus driver could take him to the graves of his best friends; some of which were Allied troops buried in a nearby cemetery.

At that moment there was no passenger chatter – no complaining of the late bus. The only sound was the uncontrollable sobbing coming deep from the soul of a now elderly hero mourning the loss of his fellow brothers in service.

Whatever your plans for this Memorial Day, please take a moment and remember Junior and all of the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that you and I may forever be free.

Until next week,

 

Cindy Canevaro

Executive Director

Extenders For The Millionaire’s Club

“The people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption.” – James Garfield

Wall Street Journal columnist and former presidential speechwriter Peggy Noonan writes in the June issue of Readers Digest that, “Someday history will write of our era, and the biggest scandal will be the thing we accepted in our leaders; chronic and endemic selfishness. History will be hard on us for that.”

Nowhere is this chronic selfishness more pervasive than in our legislative processes on Capitol Hill. Peter Schweizer writes in his groundbreaking book Extortion that:

“Politics in modern America has become a lucrative business, an industry that has less to do with policy and more to do with accessing money and favors. Bills and regulations are often introduced, not to affect policy change, but as vehicles for shaking down people for money and favors.”

And what’s the favorite vehicle for shaking people down? Why the income tax code of course; all 73,954 pages specially written by Washington’s finest lobbyists, many of whom previously served as staffers on Capitol Hill.

Don Corleone said in the movie, The Godfather, “Make me an offer I can’t refuse”. Today’s legislative equivalent of Corleone’s veiled threat has become tax extenders.

Unlike permanent legislation, tax extenders must be renewed every few years or new taxes go into effect, or the taxes that were temporarily halted under the extender are reinstated.

And make no mistake; the process of renewing tax extenders is all about filling Member’s campaign coffers. And who fills those coffers? Businesses and individuals affected by or who have an interest in the tax law (extender) up for renewal.

Schweizer provided a sickening example of how the Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his campaign coffers during the 2012 election cycle while overseeing that year’s tax extenders that were up for renewal.

This is the same Committee that has yet to act on the FairTax® plan.

According to Schweizer, after announcing hearings on the extenders up for renewal, “ten nervous senior executives at General Electric made donations to Camp on March 19 totaling $16,000. Those executives had an enormous amount of money at stake in the tax extenders drama. They had become masters of sorts over the years in turning profits but largely avoiding taxes, thanks to a favorable and complicated tax code.”

He went on. “But Camp’s most lucrative play was targeting corporate PACs. From the beginning of March to the date of the hearings to vet which extenders might stay and which might go, he collected 120 checks totaling $230,000 from corporate or trade association PACs, the vast majority of which had money at stake in the tax extender debate.

The money came from the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Association of Home Builders, Walmart, General Motors, General Electric, Associated Builders and Contractors, Johnson and Johnson and more.”

Very neat, very tidy and it’s all legal.

After all, Congress wrote the laws.

In 2013, this same Committee announced with great fanfare the initiation of a bi-partisan plan for fundamental tax reform. Public comment was requested, a multi-city roadshow was orchestrated and public hearings were held.

In early 2014, the D.C. media all but announced that fundamental tax reform would not see the light of day in 2014. The Committee then began to focus on…. You guessed it…. Tax extenders. In 2014, there are 55 tax extenders up for renewal, and surprise, surprise, 2014 is an election year.

Is it any wonder that Congress is the new millionaires club?   

Our Founding Fathers never envisioned a Congress where, in order to affect the legislative process, businesses and individual citizens have to operate like game pieces on a Monopoly board or risk being punished by the totalitarian enforcement arm of the IRS and other government agencies.

Agencies now literally weaponized with assault rifles and sub-machine guns. As former Microsoft chief operating officer Robert Herbold told Schweizer, “You’re crazy if you don’t play along. They will go after you.”

Our nation deserves a tax code focused on her people and her nation – not one that is punitive and frightening, and fills the campaign coffers of the new millionaires club.

If you agree and have not read Peter Schweizer’s book, Extortion, please pick up this blockbuster expose. We have made it easy.

Simply click here and donate $35 or more, forward your emailed donation confirmation and your preferred mailing address to campaigns@fairtax.org, and we will send you a hardback copy of Extortion. It’s that simple.

We need your support and your need to read this book. 

Don’t delay. Schweizer will give you astonishing insight into the battle the FairTax campaign faces every single day. FairTax supporters are the most educated tax activists in the country. But no tax education is complete without understanding how Washington’s corrupt legislative system really works.

Send your donation today and we will send you the book.

Until next week,

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Cindy Canevaro

Executive Director