The Grassroots Corner May 19, 2023

  • by:
  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 05/22/2023


Who’s Who Noteworthy Economist, academic, columnist, sought-after speaker, author, and financial consultant Dr. Robert Genetski, who prefers to go by Robert or Bob, has found new excitement about the FAIRtax. Robert is about to join our FAIRtax Board of Advisors.

Robert notes that the concept of the FAIRtax has been around for a long time. But seeing the proposal for 2023 prompted him to review the details he found on our website. The effort made him appreciate how much thought has gone into our bill. 

The income tax, says Robert, discourages productive work, misallocates resources, and disguises the true cost of government. Without a clear sense of the cost of government, there is no effective limit to the government's growth and power. Armed with the ability to tax incomes, the size and scope of the federal government has soared. 

Robert notes in his March 8, 2023 column in The Epoch Times that in 2022, federal spending amounted to 25% of all spending. In addition, government regulations are estimated to control at least another 8–10% of earned income. State and local governments also have expanded, controlling another 15% of earned income. As a result of this seemingly relentless growth, government currently controls about half of American’s income and spending. The effect has been a serious erosion in the freedom Americans traditionally enjoyed. 

The FAIRtax, Robert observes, provides the most effective way to restore America's traditional freedom and prosperity. It incentivizes productive work, promotes investments, and limits the expansion of government power by providing a clearer indication of its cost. Moreover, the bill is well thought out and extremely thorough.

Robert expresses concern over the political pushback generated by the 30% tax-exclusive FAIRtax rate. People do not like radical change. In his March 8 column, he writes that a quick, and admittedly superficial estimate of the revenue from a comprehensive 22% national sales tax in 2022 would have generated 94 percent of all federal revenues. In a March 27 interview, Robert clarifies that his 22% rate is tax-exclusive, “just like a sales tax.”

Robert explains in his March 8 column that this calculation excludes a key national sales tax benefit. Taxing consumption captures revenues and income in the illegal or shadow economy. An analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis estimates the illegal or shadow U.S. economy at 13 % of GDP. Shining a light on illegal activity has the potential to add $2.8 trillion in consumer spending and imports. In 2022, a 22% sales tax would have increased federal revenues to $5.3 trillion, about $300 billion more than under the current tax system. The compounding effects of this increase grow over time.

He points out that the Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”) is particularly inept at capturing either positive or negative interactions from major economic changes. For example, he cites the CBO's lousy guess on the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) impact on health insurance premiums – an estimated 10% maximum increase compared to an actual increase of 100%. Robert says with an accurate estimate, the ACA would never have passed.

In his March 25 interview, Robert highlights the advantage the FAIRtax would have for low-income workers, who will receive a 15% increase in salary. However, he expresses concern over giving non-profits and imports a break (even though imports bear the burdens of their countries’ corporate income taxes, and, with the FAIRtax, our products would not). 

Robert has a strong banking and financial background. In addition, he has a consulting firm named ClassicalPrinciples, also known as Robert Genetski and Associates, which you can explore by visiting Robert helps his clients anticipate significant changes in economic conditions and how those changes will impact the future of industries and financial markets. 

Robert frequently writes on financial markets, as we recently saw in The Epoch Times, and is a popular speaker.

Robert is a prolific published author of five books with titles such as Winning With Money: A Guide for Your Future and, from the Reagan Era, Taking the Voodoo Out of Economics. His most recent title is Rich Nation, Poor Nation: Why Some Nations Proper While Others Fail. In that book, Robert makes the case that each cycle shows a pattern of economic problems associated with rising tax rates and increases in federal spending. Once the problems become too severe, policies change with lower tax rates and limits on federal spending, producing a recovery. However, each complete cycle ends with higher tax rates and more federal spending than before.

Another book will debut by the time this article goes to press: Is There Evidence for God? An Economist Searches for Answers, in which Robert uses research skills developed over half a century to delve into one of humanity's most important questions.

Robert has extensive government and non-profit service, including membership on the United States Department of Commerce Census Advising Committee, as a Research Analyst at the National Economics Research Association, and as a Senior Policy Advisor at the Heartland Institute.

His professional resume is long. It includes sixteen years as a member of the board of Duff and Phelps Investment Management, Co., Senior Managing Director at Chicago Capital, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at The Chicago Corporation, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President at BMO Harris Bank, Chicago, President, Stotler Economics, Chicago, and Economic Analyst at Morgan Guaranty Trust, New York. He has also served on the Finance Security Corporation and the Suburban Federal Savings Bank boards.

His professional memberships include the American Statistical Association, the American Economics Association, the National Association of Business Economists, the Western Economics Association, the American Bankers Association, and the United States Chamber of Commerce. He has taken active roles in many of these organizations on working committees and as editor of their professional publications.

Robert’s academic career includes time as a lecturer in economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and New York University. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Wheaton (Illinois) College.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Science from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Arts Degree and a Ph.D. from New York University.

Robert’s economic philosophy is one of a classical economist, espousing those economic principles. He is a logical fit for our FAIRtax Board of Advisors.

Robert lives in Saugatuck, Michigan, a year-round community of 1,000 that swells to 30,000 in the summer. He and his wife have four children and ten grandchildren.  

If you know someone like Robert, I would love to hear from you.
Jim Bennett
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary


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