The Grassroots Corner May 1, 2023

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  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 05/01/2023


We had a special guest at our monthly national Zoom meeting. Former Arkansas Governor, Presidential Candidate, variety TV Show Host, and Chair of our Board of Advisors, Mike Huckabee, took time out of his schedule to meet us virtually. He appeared with a wall full of guitars in the background.

Although we had promised we would only take up half an hour of his time, he stayed with us much longer because he believes in the FAIRtax.

Perhaps the most encouraging statement we heard from him was that Mike plans to talk regularly about the FAIRtax on his cable TV show. Mike has a show out of Nashville, Tennessee, that features current topics, interesting guests, and entertainment. It airs Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, on TBN – Trinity Broadcasting Network. If your cable provider does not carry TBN, urge them to add it - or switch providers. You can get more information about the show at

Buddy Carter from Georgia is the primary sponsor of the FAIRtax bill in this session of Congress.  He was recently a guest on Huckabee’s show.  It’s possible that he’ll be joined next time by John Linder who sponsored the FAIRtax when it was first introduced in 1999.   Linder also co-wrote the two FAIRtax books with retired talk show host Neal Boortz.  When that show is taped, FAIRtax leaders plan to be there en masse to show their support for the bill.

Mike commented on the nonsense of President Biden’s plan to raise taxes for individuals making $400,000 and above to fund Social Security. Mike urged cutting spending instead. Mike wishes he could convince Donald Trump to embrace the FAIRtax.  He also thinks Democrats would get on board if they understood that low-income workers will benefit tremendously from the FAIRtax.

Board member John Grafer asked Mike what was the most likely way to get FAIRtax passed. Mike replied that, in a perfect world, a prominent Republican and a prominent Democrat would get on board and be visibly active. Having a President who supports the FAIRtax would also be huge. 
Mike noted that it’s easy to misrepresent the FAIRtax as a massive tax increase that will make everyone’s lives more expensive.  Consequently, FAIRtax volunteers must be prepared to refute that idea and all the other points that critics use to attack the FAIRtax.  Unfortunately, the FAIRtax is not going to be a fast sell.  The income tax is firmly entrenched in Washington culture and is strongly supported by politicians and lobbyists who are making a lot of money manipulating it.  It’s going to take a strong and persistent grassroots effort to replace it with the FAIRtax.

John then asked where to look for the prominent Democrat. Mike thought of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin or someone else willing to break ranks. Others who came to mind are Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and former Democrat Tulsi Gabbard. Maybe we should look to an up-and-coming Democrat governor such as Roy Cooper of North Carolina or Jared Polis of Colorado. We need Democrats who do not see the FAIRtax through an ideological lens but as a practical and pragmatic solution. 

John asked which strategy a Presidential candidate who supports the FAIRtax should employ—remain quiet on the FAIRtax until elected, or openly support and promote it.  Mike personally prefers that the candidate be bold and upfront. He noted that being a FAIRtax advocate never hurt his campaign. The key is having candidates who understand the FAIRtax well enough to explain and defend it.

Mike Huckabee noted that Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe has been on his show and has his own show on TBN. We should sit down with Mike Rowe. He ought to embrace the FAIRtax because it benefits people who work with their hands by putting money back in their pockets.

President Steve Hayes asked Mike about how the FAIRtax would affect prices.  Mike said if he were in business and costs came down, he would lower his prices to try and gain a competitive edge. Mike is confident in the free market. He said it is essential to underscore that the FAIRtax is not an additional tax but replaces a tax that penalizes us for productivity.
The IRS has its hand in our pockets. The FAIRtax gets it out.  In addition, people working for cash under the table or making their money by less than legal means are not filing returns and paying the income tax.  Under the FAIRtax, these people become taxpayers when they buy things.

Paul Livingston held up a copy of Mike’s book Do The Right Thing, that Mike spotted and acknowledged. Chapter 10 is “The Fairness and Force of the Fair Tax.”

Our website, database, and payment processing manager Adam Yomtov asked about the Alliance for Defending Freedom, an American conservative Christian advocacy group. Mike said that the organization’s former General Counsel and President, Mike Farris is a dear friend. Mike also noted that Donald Trump did not get credit he deserves for trying to get rid of the Johnson Amendment that threatens to take away the tax-exempt status of a church for taking a political position from the pulpit. IRS has made the threat, but they have never carried it out. The FAIRtax has no Johnson Amendment.

Board member Rob Babin asked what we could do to make the FAIRtax happen. In a tribute to us Mike replied, "You're doing it." Our organization is keeping the FAIRtax alive.

Ron also asked Mike if the 1962 Fender Jazz Bass Guitar is his favorite. Mike told an anecdote about his grandson, George, then age five, who disobeyed orders and went into his grandfather’s guitar room. Mike knew somebody had been there and disturbed one of his valuable guitars, but did not know which of his grandchildren it was. He gathered his grandchildren, and George stepped forward and admitted to the transgression. Mike asked, “Why did you do it?” “Because I wanted to,” came the reply. Then jaws dropped when George went on, “But I put THEM ALL back.”

We are sending Mike a “Defund the IRS” sweatshirt.

I would love hear of any experiences you may have had with the former Governor.
Jim Bennett
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary


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