The Grassroots Corner January 8th, 2024

  • by:
  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 01/08/2024

A spectator's view of Steve Hayes' testimony

Left to right: Jim Duffie, State Director, Georgia; Paula Hayes, CPA; Hon. Buddy Carter, GA-01, FAIRtax Sponsor; Jim Bennett, FAIRtax President Steve Hayes

Having a place at the witness table for our President Steve Hayes before the Tax Subcommittee of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee was a remarkable step forward for the FAIRtax. Steve didn’t go it alone.  He was accompanied by several FAIRtax volunteers.   Georgia State Director Jim Duffie flew to Washington from Atlanta for the day.  Jim and Christine Bennett came in from New Jersey.  Professor Chris Korth joined from neighboring Virginia, and of course, Steve’s wife Paula Hayes, the CPA who keeps our books, came as well.

Everyone, including Steve, paid their own way at no expense to Americans for Fair Taxation. All were in the hearing room during Steve’s testimony.

At the hearing, the Republicans seemed primarily interested in touting the success of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which will expire in a few years. But the Democrats, beginning with Ranking Member Mike Thompson, CA-04, attacked the FAIRtax right out of the gate. Thompson referred to the FAIRtax as a far-right proposal. During his opening remarks, Steve rejected the far-right label and noted that he always thought of himself as a moderate.

Joining Thompson and reading from prepared scripts, were Linda Sanchez, CA-38, Suzan Del Bene, WA-01, and Gwen Moore, WI-04. Their favored tactic was to make their prepared speech and then toss their questions to Leonard Burman, Institute Fellow, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Burman responded by reading from a prepared script that gave Thompson, Sanchez, Del Bene, and Moore the answers they wanted to hear.

Moore, however, slipped. Turning to Steve, Moore claimed that she “did the math” and found that the FAIRtax hurts people in poverty. Steve quickly responded, "Your math is incorrect," and calmly stated why. Moore then quickly turned away from Steve to Burman.

While FAIRtax supporters may find these attacks discouraging, there is another consideration. The late Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Indian independence, said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Well, the Democrats have clearly moved past the ignoring and laughing stage.  They’re now fighting us, so the next step is that we win.

Not all the Democrats on the dais were hostile. Notably, John Larson, CT-01, Hartford, paid attention when Steve pointed out how the FAIRtax would positively address Social Security’s solvency issues. We are working to get an appointment with Congressman Larson. 

Danny Davis, IL-07, a Chicago suburb, is a member of the Ways and Means Committee but not a member of the Tax Subcommittee. Congressman Davis sat in and took notice when Steve indicated how the FAIRtax would help his low-income constituents. We are working through our Advisory Board to get a meeting with Congressman Davis. 

Lloyd Doggett, TX-37, noted that the FAIRtax had some success in closing loopholes, although he was generally negative. We are working on a meeting with him.

Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith, MO-08, sat in on the hearing and had specific questions for Steve.  Steve was there at Congressman Smith’s invitation and we think Congressman Smith came to tamp down the attacks on Steve and the FAIRtax. We are working with Missouri State FAIRtax Director Will Worsham to get a meeting with Congressman Smith.

Other witnesses at the hearing were:

Alan Auerbach, Professor of Economics and Law at the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Auerbach advocates a destination-based cash-flow tax, exempting savings and interest. Auerbach claims his tax will encourage capital formation and simplify the system.

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, supports a flat income tax.  You may remember that Americans for Tax Reform sent letters to all the FAIRtax cosponsors urging them to withdraw their support for the bill.  However, Mr. Norquist muted any attacks he may have had for the FAIRtax because Steve sat next to him.

Alan Viard, Senior Fellow Emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute, called for adding a value-added tax to the existing taxes.

Steve took first place in performance. The other witnesses read from prepared scripts and engaged in minutia while Steve spoke extemporaneously without notes, giving the Members takeaways they would remember. Having a place at this hearing burnished the credentials of FAIRtax.

Before the hearing, FAIRtax sponsor Buddy Carter stepped away from a bill markup session to greet the FAIRtax delegation.

If anyone watched the hearing, I would love to have your comments.
We need more of you to send in pictures and news. If you have something to share, please send your material to me,, (908) 578-4975, or fax (908) 598-2888. When others see your activity, they are inspired, and the process snowballs. When the process snowballs, Congress Members, Senators, and even the President start to listen.
Jim Bennett
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary


🇺🇸   Call For Pictures & WriteUps - When others see your activity, they are inspired, the process snowballs and Representatives, Senators and, yes, even the President start to listen to you and me. Please send your material to me at

🇺🇸   The Official FAIRtax Store - Don’t forget to order your FAIRtax gear from the FAIRtax Store.

🇺🇸   We've Got You Covered, If You Let Us Know - If you are planning an event, we have event insurance coverage available for you. Email me the "who-what-where-when" and I will obtain for you a COI. Once the event is underway, it's too late.

Help FAIRtax Become The Number One Issue in 2024

Enacting the FAIRtax must be a prominent topic in these times. We did it before, we can do it again, but we need your help!

Help out with a One-Time Contribution

Your gift of $25, $50, $100 – even $1,000 or more if you can possibly spare it – will help bring an end to the IRS and promote a FAIRtax. So, I urge you, please give as generously as you can.

Billing information (REQUIRED)

Payment information (REQUIRED)

To donate by check:
Americans for Fair Taxation
PO Box 4929
Clearwater, FL 33758

If you need to make changes to your existing Monthly Re-Occurring Donation with new card or billing address information, then Please call Adam Yomtov our New York State Co-Director. He is assisting with the administration of our donations, technology services, and website.

Please note: Inputting your new information at our website won't update your donation. The only way to update is by calling Adam Yomtov 917-689-3931 mobile.

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!