William Phelps

Jerry Bowyer was correct that Fair Tax is a "crowd" ("Questions for the Fair Tax Crowd", 1/9/08). It is a big "crowd"-- thousands of supporters all across the country; a grass roots movement to pass the bipartisan Fair Tax Act (HR 25) pending in Congress with 68 House co- sponsors and 4 Senate co- sponsors. Otherwise, Bowyer's answers to his questions exposed his lack of knowledge of the fair tax.

The fair tax is based on research by some of the most respected economists and institutions in the country funded by $22 million of private funds donated to the non profit, Americans for Fair Taxation. Their research papers are available at fairtax.org.

A 2006 study by Boston University economists Dr. Laurence J. Kotlikoff and Dr. David Rapson, concluded that the fair tax benefits all income groups. For the first time, low income people are tax free due to the prebate reimbursing citizens based on family size of the sales tax paid on the poverty level of spending and the elimination of imbedded costs of corporate income, other income and payroll taxes and compliance costs now in the price of everything sold.

Here are his questions and my rebuttal to his answers:

Q: Why do you think that a sales tax is less prone to corruption and complexity than the income tax?

The fair tax is a national retail sales tax that applies only to the purchase of new goods and services for personal consumption. There is no tax on used property. Does Bowyer think that major retail chains like Wal-Mart, Kroger, McDonalds and new car dealers and others who sell most new goods are "prone to corruption"? Does he think the forty five states that have sales tax systems are cheating?

There is no evidence that the administration of state sales taxes is corrupt. Since the states will collect the fair tax for the federal government. it will not be "prone to corruption".

William Jennings Bryan promised that an income tax would fair and tax only the rich. Now we know what happens to a flat income tax which becomes so complex that it includes 66,000 pages of code, rulings and regulations and which is so corrupt that the IRS admits that it fails to collect more than 300 billion each year and while the billions held off shore in tax shelters. The fair tax would tax the underground cash economy of illegals, and drug dealers, who now escape taxes when they buy something new or services.

The fair tax is simple, transparent and efficient.

Q: Are sales taxes, where they area currently in operation, simple and free from special interest lobbying?


William Phelps


Bill Phelps was elected Lieutenant Governor of Missouri in 1972. He now works as a national spokesman for the FairTax.