The Grassroots Corner May 8, 2023

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


The thoughts in the IRS agent’s mind were clear—“I’m going to stick it to this rich guy”.  In this case, the “rich guy” was FAIRtax supporter, Lars Mapstead, of Santa Cruz, California. Lars grew up in a goat barn in the Monterrey Bay Area of California with an outhouse and no electricity. Our IRS agent, like the “Inspector Javert” character in “Les Miserables,” could not have hunted Quasimodo with more vigor than our “Inspector Javert” here hunted Lars in real life.

Lars Mapstead considers himself a serial entrepreneur. He began in 1994 before Facebook and Twitter became household names, and made his living by starting internet companies.

The company he started that got him in trouble with the IRS was Friend Finder, an online dating site that grew to 600 employees with $350 million in revenue. Lars sold the company, but instead of taking cash and realizing a gain, he took promissory notes, i.e., pieces of paper that said “IOU.” And instead of taking money for the interest payments on the notes, he took more promissory notes. Unfortunately for Lars, the company that bought Friend Finder went bankrupt. Consequently, the notes – and the notes on the notes – became worthless.

The IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board came after him with audits for five years, wanting to know what he did with the "tens of millions" he got from the sale of Friend Finder. The story culminated when the IRS agent brought in the big boss at the IRS for a telephone conference. Both had questions. When the big boss asked what Lars did with “all the money” he got from promissory notes, the answer came back, “I never got any of this money.” After a brief pause, the big boss said, “OK, we're done here.” Lars could then hear the big boss berating the agent in the background. But the IRS, to justify the exercise, still got Lars on a “wash sale” of stock. A "wash sale" is the sale of a security at a loss for tax purposes and then a purchase immediately before or afterward of the same or similar security. If you make the repurchase thirty days before or after the original sale, the IRS will not allow the tax loss. In Lars’ case, the change resulted in no tax difference. 

The experience with the IRS reinforced Lars’ belief in the FAIRtax. Lars first heard of the FAIRtax in 2009 when Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson mentioned it.  Lars immediately understood that the FAIRtax is what the country needed and was somewhat surprised that somebody had figured it out. From then on, Lars talked about it. 

Now it’s Lars’ turn to run for President on the Libertarian ticket. He signed the FAIRtax pledge below at the Libertarian Convention in Reno, Nevada:
He then put out this press release:

“We need a system that doesn't have people in charge deciding what's right and 
what's wrong. Reliant on what kind of a day they're having. Now they're dealing with you. Coercion at gunpoint.

“The American tax system is a source of frustration and resentment for many people. They feel like they pay too much, while others don't pay their fair share. At the root of these emotions is a desire for fairness and equality. Not only that, but the current system is so complex and confusing that even tax experts struggle to keep up with all the rules and regulations. It's also been corrupted by politicians who use it to reward and punish people and companies based on their own political beliefs and favors owed. It's time for a change. I want a tax system that is simple, easy to understand, and voluntary instead of forced. One that doesn't penalize those who are already struggling to make ends meet. That's why I support the Fair Tax, which eliminates loopholes, replaces the income tax with a sales tax, and takes away the power of Congress to grant favors to the wealthy and corporations. Find out more at”

Lars has ideas on how to sell the FAIRtax to liberals, noting that because Republicans rolled it out, the Democrats reactively hate it. However, Democrats should embrace it because the FAIRtax ends all loopholes forever. In addition, the FAIRtax should appeal to Greens because it promotes used goods over new goods. 

Lars’ Presidential platform for 2024 is term limits, ranked-choice voting, and of course, the FAIRtax. He uses his social media skills to give the FAIRtax a voice and spread the message. Lars has competition from three or four other Libertarians.

Meanwhile, Lars has started another company. He considers himself a car guy and created a Facebook page centered around cars that had grown to 25 million followers. Sadly, Facebook changed the rules and stopped allowing links to his website, killing traffic from Google ads by 95%. But you can be sure that Lars is still working on startups.

Lars has been married to his wife of thirty years and has two daughters. They live in the Monterrey Area of California.

I would love to hear from you if you know someone like Lars Mapstead.
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!