FAIRtax candidate pledge signer Mike Saliba did not like the FAIRtax when he first heard about it. Mike is a Libertarian, and Libertarians believe in replacing the income tax with nothing.
But Mike changed his mind when he reviewed his party’s platform on taxation. The Libertarian platform says that Libertarians oppose forcing people to pay taxes. They particularly oppose legal requirements that force employers to act as tax collectors. They believe that everyone is entitled to keep the fruits of their labor.
Mike thought the FAIRtax over and realized that the FAIRtax checks off so many of the Libertarian boxes that he decided to get on board with it. The FAIRtax simplifies everything about taxation. It doesn’t just take power away from the IRS, it abolishes the IRS entirely. Republican and Democrat cosponsors over the years have made the measure truly tri-partisan. And it's much more voluntary than the system we have now.
The only thing that would make it more voluntary would be to give retail customers the option of whether or not they want to pay the FAIRtax at the cash register. Still, taxpayers have many more chances to opt out of the FAIRtax than they have for opting out of the income tax. They can choose to buy used items rather than new ones and pay no FAIRtax on those purchases. Taxpayers have total control over how much they spend and when they spend it, so the FAIRtax gives people total control over how much tax they pay and when they pay it.
So, what prompted Mike to run for Congress? As a teenager in the 2000 election, Mike went door-to-door for the Libertarians. In 2008 as Ron Paul made his Presidential run as a Republican, Mike thought about going over to the Republican Party, but then settled back into the Libertarian Party. He felt that the old, traditional mainstream parties were just too steeped in the status quo to promote big changes like the FAIRtax. Moreover, the Libertarians needed help. Openings arose in the Libertarian Party in the 2014 election, and Mike stepped up.
Now Mike is running as a Libertarian in Michigan’s ninth Congressional District in Detroit's Northern suburbs. Lake St. Clair lies to its east. Freshman Democrat Andy Levin currently represents the district, which is in a heavily industrialized area. There’s a lot of manufacturing there, including several car manufacturing plants. Mike has friends who get to test drive Detroit's newest cars.
When Mike talks to voters about the FAIRtax, he says, at first, they don’t get it. They have had money taken out of their paychecks their entire lives and have a hard time wrapping their heads around the new idea. The most challenging people to talk to about the FAIRtax are people on the left. Mike brings people around to understand that the guy who bought a new Rolls Royce Phantom will pay a lot more under the FAIRtax than the guy who bought a used Prius.
Another strong argument for people on the left is that the FAIRtax saves Social Security and reduces the cost of tuition. The prebate is also essential, as it guarantees that people on the low end of the economic spectrum pay little or no FAIRtax out of their own pockets. It’s not always an easy sell, but another way to bring people around to the FAIRtax is to point out that when the cost of doing business goes up, corporations pass those higher costs on to their customers. Consequently, raising taxes on corporations is really raising taxes on you.
When Mike gets into office, he knows that the FAIRtax will have a lot of Republican cosponsors. Democrats have previously cosponsored the bill, suggesting that it’s possible to bring both sides on board with the FAIRtax. After all, the FAIRtax has features that appeal to everyone making it a true tri-partisan bill. Mike notes that somebody like AOC would instinctively not be on our side at first. But Mike feels like if he could get her in a room for forty-five minutes, he could convince her to become a cosponsor. The revenue-neutral feature of the FAIRtax means we can still sell it to the “Congress Critters.”
It’s going to take a grassroots effort to get the FAIRtax passed, but the job isn’t really as daunting as it may seem. Mike recalls one Congressman saying that he knew an issue was important after receiving just five phone calls about it. Surely there are five people in each Congressional district who would be willing to call their Representative on behalf of the FAIRtax.
Mike has always lived in Clinton Township, Michigan. Following high school, he went to Specs Howard School of Media Arts in Southfield, Michigan. He became an independent filmmaker, writing, directing, and acting in various roles. His work included experimental narratives, some short and some feature-length pieces. His work has appeared at film festivals.
Mike spent some time as a mortgage underwriter but recently left that job to start his own business in watchmaking and sales. Mike acquired this passion because one of his first jobs after high school was in a watch shop. You can check out his website at https://axeheadwatch.shop. It features watches made of wood with quartz-driven Japanese movements. Mike ships all over the United States, and to customers in Australia, Sweden, and England.
Mike plans to become one of the charter vendors on FAIRtax Marketplace. FAIRTAX CUSTOMERS WHO BUY WATCHES THROUGH HIS SITE WILL GET 20% OFF.
You can see Mike’s interview with FAIRtax Guy, Bob Scarborough, at www.fairtaxguys.com. Look for Episode #291 from November 16, 2021.
Mike and his wife, Kelly, live in Clinton, Michigan.
Mike leaves you with one final thought: THE FAIRTAX IS “BETTER THAN CHINA FOR MANUFACTURING; BETTER THAN SWITZERLAND FOR KEEPING YOUR WEALTH.”
Do you know somebody like Mike Saliba? If so, I would love to hear from you.
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