"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." - Edward Everett Hale
Acorns, Cosponsors And A Hearing
I love trees, especially live oaks. When we moved to Melissa, TX our large back yard needed shade from the broiling Texas sun. Neighbors said just plant a few fast growing trees. I did, but I knew that I needed something substantial – something that could stand strong against North Texas adversities.
For years they seemed to do nothing. I watered, fertilized and don't tell anyone, but I often whispered words of encouragement. One day I realized, "they're growing." I was ecstatic.
Over the next 15 years, the weaker trees were damaged or destroyed by disease and storms. The live oaks stood strong. When we moved fifteen years later, what were once tiny acorns were now stately trees striving to reach their full potential.
The FairTax campaign reminds me of acorns. Over time we have weathered challenges and adversities and matured as a movement; all the while standing strong and firm in our resolve to see our nation realize it's full economic potential through a fair and simple tax code.
And people are taking note.
We now have one member of the Ways and Means Committee who has agreed to host an in-district, tax reform town hall.
Last week, Virginia State Director, Bob Frenzel, HR 25 co-authors Dan Mastromarco and David Burton and I participated in a meeting in Washington, D.C. with tax policy representatives from several major free market organizations. They were eager to join us in forming a coalition focused on sponsoring tax reform town halls in key Congressional districts across the country.
Our state and district leaders are ordering FairTax billboards and implementing their district targeting plans. Two new HR 25 co-sponsors have signed on and Ways and Means hearings have begun!
Did you know that both Chairman Dave Camp and the Ways and Means Committee have Facebook pages? Go there often and weigh in for the FairTax. If you haven't written to members of the Ways and Means Committee, it is critical they hear from you. Below, we have shared examples of real letters FairTax activist have already sent. We hope yours is the next one they receive.
Until next week, thank you for all you do.
Cynthia T. Canevaro
National Campaign Manager
Letters Submitted To Ways And Means
Last week we asked you to write to members of the House Ways and Means Committee in preparation for their hearing this week on itemized deductions and charitable contributions. Below are representative examples of the outstanding letters many of you sent the Committee.
From Lyn Grunze:
It is critical that the committee first studies and then becomes aware of the history of tax reform and the miserable failure at numerous attempts to always make the code "better, fairer, and more equitable." None of that has ever happened and never will. Tinkering, closing loopholes, etc., etc., will not and cannot fix the code. All new attempts are a further waste of our tax dollars. Charities and educational institutions do valuable work, and like the FairTax® campaign; depend on their supporter's contributions. The FairTax provides a better and more equitable plan for charitable giving. It is important that the Ways and Means Committee understands the tremendous significance of the FairTax.
1) Under the FairTax, wage earners take home their entire paycheck. For a family of modest means, whose charitable giving is often a high percentage of their income, the FairTax represents a substantial increase in available funds. Additionally, these contributions are made with pre-tax dollars. Under the current system, the charitable deduction only offsets a portion of the taxpayers tax liability. For less affluent taxpayers, who do not itemize, the price of charitable giving decreases under the FairTax because they are able to give to their church or other charitable organization from pre-tax dollars.
2) Under the FairTax, the two out of three taxpayers who currently do not itemize deductions are not taxed on charitable contributions, and for the first time since 1986, the vast majority are actually encouraged to make charitable contributions. It should be noted that even if a taxpayer itemizes, percentage ceilings limit individual contributions to <50% of adjusted gross income, and 10% for corporations. These ceilings disappear under the FairTax!
From John Pierce:
Rather than wasting your time and the time of all taxpayers, talking about the charitable contributions tax deduction, please just take 10% of that time to look honestly at the FairTax HR 25. People don't give to charity because they get a small percentage of their taxes reduced, they give to charity because they want to.
The FairTax HR25 replaces the income tax, therefore there is no need to have a deduction against their income tax bill because there will be no income tax. The same charitable givers that give now with after tax dollars will have their entire paycheck which means before tax dollars to give to charity.
Wasting time with the present system will not increase charitable contributions at all. Take a serious and honest look at HR25, all 133 pages.
If our elected representatives listened to the people who vote for them, we'd have a radically different tax system. That's the message from nearly 600 reader responses to a recent column...
And the solution is? A flat tax or, better still, a consumption tax. Frustrated by our current system, some readers wanted to eliminate all the deductions, preferences and exemptions that distort the proportionality of the tax system. Then they would tax every dime of income, but tax it at a single lower rate. Even more readers suggested that we morph from the complexity of taxing income, which is difficult to define, to taxing consumption.
Quite a few advocated dumping our entire tax system. They would replace it with something like the progressive national sales tax advocated by the Fair Tax organization in Houston.
The argument there is simple. Washington would no longer try to influence our decisions, at any level, with tax breaks. We'd make our choices, spend our money as we wanted and pay a sales tax to do it. That sales tax could be high enough to bring in more revenue than the current loophole-ridden hodgepodge of income, employment, corporate and estate taxes.
We all know what taxes are, but what does tax reform mean? It means removing abuses, eliminating bad practices and change for the better…
We have regressive taxes on jobs, called payroll taxes, that are paid by the employer and the employee. Want less of something, tax it more; we have a 15.3 percent tax on jobs.
It's no wonder the number of jobs in the U.S. has decreased.
Tax lobbyists in Washington, D.C., outnumber elected officials by 32 to 1. The tax code is used by politicians, lobbyists and special interest groups to their advantage to gain tax breaks, reward their friends and campaign supporters, punish their opponents and fund their pet projects.
As a nation, we spend $450 billion per year to comply with income taxes. The IRS budget is $13 billion and it has 110,000 employees. An IRS study found code complexities alone lead to 16 percent noncompliance.
The underground economy, estimated to be $1 to $1.5 trillion, goes untaxed. This makes no sense at all.
We can have true tax reform by passing The Fair Tax bill. Contact your U.S. representative and two senators. Ask them to co-sponsor the Fair Tax bill. Learn more and get involved at www.fairtax.org.
- Paul Livingston
Understanding The FairTax Webinar
With February's Special Topic: Putting pressure on the Ways & Means Committee to Send HR 25 to the House for Debate
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-- If everyone knew all there is to know, they would not do half the things they do, including myself, therefore I must foregive them, including myself.