Perhaps you’ve noticed lately – it sure hasn’t escaped our attention – that the FairTax proposal (H.R. 25) is really creating quite a stir lately. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s endorsement of the FairTax brought him a second place finish in the Republican Iowa straw poll several weeks ago. No less than six Republican presidential candidates, and one Democrat, endorse the idea, and the GOP’s newest candidate, Fred Thompson, has said that he would sign the bill if it were passed by Congress.
Every single day more and more Americans are becoming familiar with the FairTax and H.R. 25, and they like what they see. They read the book, study the FairTax website and they want to know what they can do to bring this tax reform proposal to fruition. And every single day more and more powerful people inside the Beltway who make their livings off the present tax system become just a bit more concerned.
One of the great surprises since Congressman John Linder, the author of H.R. 25, and I wrote The FairTax Book was the tactic developed by opponents to demonize the proposal. Let’s be clear here. We weren’t surprised that opposition surfaced, we were just surprised at the methodology. After all, Washington is full of very highly-paid individuals who make their living, and a very comfortable one at that, gaming the present tax system.
Some of you may know that several years ago a law was passed granting a special tax benefit to one particular manufacturer of ceiling fans. In the process of putting that law on the books some K-Street lobbyist undoubtedly earned a handsome six-figure fee. By some estimates more than one-half of the people earning a living in Washington lobbying congress do so by requesting tax breaks for clients. Every one of these people could well be looking for a different way to earn a living were the FairTax to become law.
Additionally, every elected official in Washington has an advisor on staff whose duty it is to keep their congressman or senator up to speed on the latest tax legislation. Now here’s another group of people who will be cleaning up their resumes should the FairTax become a reality. Just what do you think they’re going to tell the boss when he asks them for an appraisal of this FairTax idea? Do you really expect them to talk themselves out of a nice job in Washington?
Then, of course, we have the tax “experts.” These are people who pontificate on a daily basis about the advantages and disadvantages that would accompany changes in our tax code. With the tax code reduced to the simplicity of the 123 pages of H.R. 25, these people would quickly have to become experts in some other field to keep their research and writing careers afloat.