The Grassroots Corner March 1, 2021

  • by:
  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 04/09/2021

This Grassroots Corner begins a series on how to deal with hostile questions and comments that people may raise about the FAIRtax. Many of these suggested responses will be good comebacks for you to have in your pocket – or purse – when you need them. You may have heard some of these questions and answers on The FAIRtax Guys podcasts and radio programs. Some stress questions here will be different.

We will interrupt the series to bring you Grassroots news from time to time as it breaks.

Some of these suggested responses can be too long to insert into an actual conversation.  You may want to try to boil them down to where they’ll be more usable when you’re talking face to face with someone who is attacking the FAIRtax.

This week, we start with an attack ad that ran in western Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District in 2010 against Tim Burns. Burns had won the Republican Party’s nomination in a special election because of Democratic Congressman John Murtha's death. Burns then ran unsuccessfully in the general election against Democratic incumbent Mark Critz. Burns was a proponent of the FAIRtax, and Critz ran the following attack ad against him:

"Western Pennsylvania is hurting, but Tim Burns would make things even worse. Tim Burns supports putting a 23% national sales tax on just about everything we buy. Groceries: 23% more. Gas: 23% more. Tim Burns even wants to raise taxes on medicine. We can’t afford to pay 23% more. We can’t afford Tim Burns. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising."

What do you think of this for a response? Would it have changed the result?

“Mark Critz has his hand in your pocket - and he won’t take it out. Mark Critz wants to keep 26% of your paycheck. That’s right - 26% of your paycheck! What is it about today's income and payroll tax that Mark Critz loves so much?

“Tim Burns wants to get rid of the income and payroll tax.  Tim Burns wants to let you keep 100% of your paycheck. And Tim Burns will make your living costs 12% more affordable. You can’t afford Mark Critz any longer. Paid for by Tim Burns for Congress. I’m Tim Burns, and I approved this message.”

Here are a few notes about the attack ad and the proposed response. First, the attack ad missed the fact that, on a tax-exclusive basis, the rate is 30%, but we won’t highlight that omission!

Still, the FAIRtax will make living costs 12% more affordable because:
  • The FairTax eliminates the tax costs built into today's prices (as high as 12.5% according to our Economist, Dr. Karen Walby), and
  • The FairTax does away with income AND PAYROLL TAXES. Prices might rise 14%, but most people will enjoy a 26% boost in their take-home pay, thus making most goods and services 12% more affordable.

And if you are a senior who is no longer working, the FAIRtax will adjust your Social Security benefit to compensate you for any increase in the cost of living due to the FAIRtax. On top of that, much of your spending may not be taxable under the FAIRtax.

Not surprisingly, the attack ad completely ignores the effect of the FAIRtax prebate that reimburses every legal household for the taxes paid on their spending up to the poverty level.  When you figure in the prebate, the effective FAIRtax rate on $70,000 of spending is just 11.7%

I would love to hear how you could make the proposed response even better.

Yours In the FAIRtax Movement!

Jim Bennett
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary


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