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Chairman's Report - March 20, 2015

Chairman's Report - March 20, 2015
19th Century English biologist, Thomas Huxley said, “The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.  This was certainly applicable to our meetings in DC.  We are climbing the ladder.
    
Peggy and Steve Go To Washington

Last week, I told you that Peggy Green-Ernst, AFFT’s new director of government relations, had scheduled four very full four days of back-to-back meetings with Members of Congress and staff, association executives and representatives of major public policy organizations. Well, it turned out to be one of our more successful trips.  

One of our meetings was with Senator Ben Cardin (MD). Senator Cardin is a well-respected Democrat and the first one to propose consumption-based tax reform. We discussed his “consumption tax” proposal.  It is really a combination of the retail sales tax and the present individual and corporate income tax.  While it is not the FairTax, the interesting thing is that Senator Cardin told Peggy and me that he “was looking forward to working with Americans For Fair Taxation to reform the present income tax system.” 

When you listen to Senators Rubio and Lee describe their proposed income tax reform as a “consumption tax”, you see that part of the battle has been won—there is increasing agreement that any real income tax reform needs to be consumption-based. The door is open, and as Senator Moran told us, “If we can get the discussion directed to the best form of consumption tax—we win.”

The reason that we are getting these meetings is attributable to not only the skilled efforts of Peggy but also to the efforts of our dedicated FairTax supporters.  

So please, don’t let up - continue to contact your elected representatives! Ask them to become activist cosponsors and meet with AFFT representatives when we visit the nation’s Capitol. When you get a response, please contact peggy.green-ernst@fairtax.org and provide her with the contact information for the staff member with whom you have been communicating.  She would also appreciate a brief explanation of what you requested and how they responded. Peggy will then follow up and try to arrange appointments for one of our upcoming trips to Washington.  

Peggy has written a recap of our meetings that I believe you will find very interesting.

Steve Forbes

Many are familiar with Steve Forbes.  He is the editor of Forbes, has run for President twice and is the most identifiable advocate of the flat tax.  He is on the board of Heritage, and I was invited to Steve’s presentation describing his updated flat tax bill at the Heritage Foundation.  At the presentation, Steve spent almost half of his time attacking the FairTax.  He was incorrect in many of his criticisms of the FairTax, and this we will work to remedy by providing him more data.  

I have met Steve in the past, and been on a tax reform panel with him.  We shook hands, and I told him that I was happy he felt that he had to spend that much time attacking the FairTax.  He looked at me quizzically, and I explained that it was in keeping with Gandhi’s  definition of the stages of a successful campaign.  First, they ignore you.  Second, they laugh at you.  Third, they attack you, and fourth—you win.  Steve smiled.

We went to a private lunch hosted by Heritage.  At the lunch, Steve and I sat next to each other and talked some more.  He agreed that he would like to work with us to further the cause of real consumption-based tax reform, and gave me his card.  He agreed that we should have some forums presenting his flat tax and the FairTax.  He also agreed that we should work to make the consumption tax an issue that the presidential candidates must address.

While the Forbes plan is not something we believe is the answer, his willingness to have a debate and make the consumption tax approach an issue for all the presidential candidates further increases the movement toward consumption taxes—a debate the FairTax wins. 

Large Donors And Special Projects

As more of you join the 1040 Club and contribute $10.40 per month to meet our minimal operating needs, we are reaching out to larger donors who recognize that we are the only real grassroots organization promoting tax reform.

These larger donors want to fund specific projects - like our district targeting plan. We have identified members of the House Ways and Means Committee who can help ensure debate on the FairTax prior to the vote. These Members’ home districts have a team of FairTax supporters who will organize to exert maximum pressure by home district voters. The idea of having an abundance of FairTax signs standing tall in the home district yards of Ways and Means Members brings a giant smile to the face of prospective donors and to each of us ☺!

If you have specific projects that you believe will advance the FairTax, let Peggy or me know.  And, if you know of a potential donor with whom we should speak, please contact me at steveh@fairtax.org.  

Thank you for staying FairTax strong!
 

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Americans for Fair Taxation® is a 501(c)(4) non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization solely dedicated to replacing the current income tax system with a fair, simple and transparent national consumption tax – the FAIRtax® Plan. We rely entirely on contributions from concerned citizens like you who want a tax system that will generate jobs and stimulate the economy. Welcome to the FAIRtax team!

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