The Grassroots Corner February 27, 2023

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  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 02/24/2023


What was it like in the early days of the FAIRtax movement? We have some veterans who can remember.

Earl Williamson has been a vital member of the Missouri FAIRtax group, who ran the show in Missouri for several years. Most of the Missouri group was in the Kansas City Area, but there was a smattering in the Eastern part of the state and a distribution elsewhere. 

Earl, a retired math and science teacher, lives in Hallsville, north of Columbia, about midway between Saint Louis and Kansas City. Earl continues today teaching hunter safety to students in the local school.

The height of Earl’s efforts in Missouri came when his group got a state-level FAIRtax through the Missouri House of Representatives through sponsor Edgar Emery. Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Phelps helped. State Senator Andrew Koenig carried the effort in the Missouri State Senate, but unfortunately, the bill failed. Establishment Republicans and Democrats and the Association of Realtors engineered its defeat. 

The Association of Realtors was more responsive to its lobbyists than its membership and enacted a poison pill for the FAIRtax. They pushed through a state “Constitutional Amendment 4,” approved in a November 8, 2016 referendum, that prohibited new state sales or use taxes on any service or activity that was not subject to a sales or use tax before January 1, 2015. So, with a constitutional amendment needed to repeal the constitutional amendment, the chances of a state-level FAIRtax in Missouri became nonexistent. This development was unfortunate. Real property would have been easier to own in Missouri with a state-level FAIRtax.

Earl’s group tried to push FAIRtax-er John Brunner for Governor in 2016. However, Brunner lost to Eric Greitens, who favored tax reform but would not let others pin him down on any specific proposal.

Earl was a good friend of a man with a colorful history: Dale Chaffee of Kansas City, who sadly passed away on March 24, 2022.  

When the Roe v. Wade decision came down from the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing abortion nationwide up to the first trimester, Dale stopped paying income tax. [Editor’s note: we are not advising our readers to follow suit and evade income tax laws. Doing so can result in fines and prosecution.] Dale refused to pay anything that in any way supported abortion.

Earl says that the IRS made Dale’s life a “living hell” but gave up on him when Dale started drawing social security. Dale became an avid FAIRtax-er and member of the Missouri FAIRtax group. 

Dale’s obituary says, “Dale loved history and this great American experiment. He was passionate about the importance of individual liberties and mindful of the inherent responsibilities that accompany such liberties. He devoted the last years of his life to working for political candidates and causes, like the Fair Tax, that he believed would help future generations.”

Earl has passed the Missouri FAIRtax torch to our new State Director, Will Worsham, an attorney in Southwest Missouri. Will is off to a strong start.

Let me know if you have had any contact with FAIRtax-ers of the First Hour.

Jim Bennett
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary


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