My good friend Lee – a Vietnam veteran and proud gun-toting conservative – recently declared to me that the FairTax is a great idea that will never actually happen. Because I am a true Reagan conservative – one full of optimism and faith in the American people – I respectfully dissent. And I write today to explain exactly how we will win the war against the I.R.S. and make the FairTax a reality.
We can all agree that the FairTax movement is a grass roots effort that must prevail over the resistance of politicians and lobbyists who have a powerful interest in maintaining the status quo. But this does not mean that every supporter of the FairTax must dedicate a significant amount of time volunteering to make the dream of abolishing the I.R.S. a reality. There is something retired veterans like Lee can do, which will require little time and money and will virtually guarantee the success of the FairTax movement.
The idea comes to me from a former student who was waiting on me the other night at the bar of a seafood restaurant in Wilmington. I had a beer in one hand and my copy of FairTax: The Truth in the other when an Obama supporter asked the following: “Why do you support the FairTax? We just need to change the tax code to punish corporations that are sending our jobs over to China.”
Armed with FairTax: The Truth, I responded with the following: “I’m from Texas as is Representative Bill Archer. He testified in front of Congress about the results of an interesting study of 500 companies in Japan. When asked what they would do if the U.S. abolished its present tax system and went with a consumption tax, 80% said they would build their next plant in America. The remaining 20% said they would relocate to America altogether. Now that’s change you can believe in!”
Clearly, my response gave the young man something to think about. But so did my waitress and former student. She jokingly said “Dr. Adams, you probably aren’t even reading that book. You’re just trying to provoke a debate.”
Of course, I really was reading the book but it gave me a very good idea. I decided to keep carrying it with me everywhere for a week after I finished reading it just to see whether that would be a good way of provoking debate on the issue. The very next day it produced the following exchange with a flat tax supporter: