|By Bill Thompson, Ocala Star-Banner, Fla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Admittedly, it is a tall order substituting a sales tax for the federal taxes on personal and corporate incomes as well as the alternative minimum tax, estate tax, gift tax, capital gains tax and payroll levies that support
Foremost the effort would require a constitutional amendment that would need the support of at least 30 states that themselves rely on an income tax for revenue.
Yet Ocalan Randy Fischer believes he's up to the job of recruiting more Fair Tax followers, and thanks to a recent leadership change at the main force behind the movement, he's now positioned to do something about it.
Following its launch, the group eventually came up with the Fair Tax, a 23 percent tax on retail sales that would replace all major federal taxes, particularly the 101-year-old income tax.
The idea has enlisted thousands of passionate followers, especially among opinion-makers within the conservative media and Republican politicians.
But since being introduced in
To date the bill has 74 sponsors, all from the
In an interview Wednesday,
Following three lopsided votes by state
A memorial is a nonbinding measure directed at some other government body -- in this case President
The bill, introduced by Sen.
As the memorial puts it, the federal income tax, among other things, "retards" economic growth, "impedes" the international competitiveness of U.S. businesses, lowers productivity and is unfair and inadequately complied with, thus raising the tax burden on other citizens.
In contrast, a "broad-based" national sales tax, as is now utilized by almost all states, including
"The effect is that the Fair Tax is now the public policy of the state of
But that's just part of the future strategy.
Another initiative is to garner broader public support for the Fair Tax, and that, he said, is why the new path taken by Americans for Fair Taxation is key.
The Fair Tax was the brainchild of three
Then, last year Linbeck died, and the others, out of respect for him, agreed to allow laymen a greater voice in the direction of the group,
Last week, at a convention in
He said he was nominated to serve by other AFT members in
So far, the new board has drafted a mission statement -- "Pass the Fair Tax," it says -- a vision statement and has written a strategic plan that is still under review, said
"People learn from screens," he said. "We've got to get to them through other media."
Beyond the tactics, though, is the fact that the new directors offer the public a different look.
Rather than having three, middle-aged white billionaires from
Already that has had an impact,
For example, the group for the first time is publishing Fair Tax materials in Spanish to woo Hispanic supporters, he said.
"It puts a different face on it,"
But the new board will carry the same message,
"We can't move back to better jobs and a normal wage until we take the foot off the throat of the economy," he said, "and that foot on the throat of the economy is the income tax."
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