The FairTax: Of the People, By the People, For the People

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The tax system is broken.
Let's fix it.


Comments by Ed Sarlls, III (
Congressional District Leader (TX-22) for Americans for Fair Taxation

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The FairTaxSM was introduced in the House of Representatives as H.R. 2525 on July 14th, 1999 by Collin Peterson (D-MN) and John Linder (R-GA). Follow this link for current congressional status from

        I started looking at tax reform options in the fall of 1996 and at that time thought the Flat Tax idea sounded great. That changed in early 1998 when Americans for Fair Taxation (AFT) started a media campaign in Houston. I heard the commercials and checked it out. I searched the Web for information about Flat Tax and National Sales Tax proposals. I studied several hundred pages of documents about tax reform. I became convinced that while a flat tax is better than what we have now, the National Sales Tax is better and the FairTaxSM is the best National Sales Tax proposal. I have continued to study and search for research information and have not found any that convinces me otherwise. I invite you to review the information I have referenced here and consider it carefully before getting  involved.
   After meeting Leo Linbeck, Jr., one of the founders of Americans for Fair Taxation, at a CATS (Citizens for an Alternative Tax System) meeting in 1998, I was impressed by the unique approach they used in developing the FairTaxSM proposal. This truly is an effort Of the People, By the People, and For the People.

The FairTaxSM is Of the People
        The AFT leaders started with a concept - Tax Reform. As with any product development effort, the critical question is: What do the people want? What would a majority of Americans believe is a fair system of collecting the revenue required to support our government? How would we find out?
        So the effort began as most product development does, with an iteration of focus groups and research. The focus groups indicated that the main problem with the current system is not the amount collected as much as it is the feeling that everyone else is getting a better deal. This results from a system that is so complex that nobody, not even the experts, understand it all. As the work progressed, it became apparent that the only way for people to feel that everyone is paying their fair share is to have a flat (one rate) tax on consumption with no loopholes which eliminates government withholding from the paychecks of working Americans. The FairTaxSM is the only proposal that satisfies these criteria.
        The proposal has been developed with input from leading economists and has been extensively tested with the best computer economic models available. The plan has been fine tuned by returning to focus group research to validate the results with real Americans. Finally, the program was placed before the public on radio and other media in several test markets. Before and after surveys indicated that once people understand the FairTaxSM they believe in it and support it more than any other proposal.
        The FairTaxSM plan has not been developed by a particular political candidate or political party. This proposal is non-partisan. It is not Democratic or Republican, it is American.

The FairTaxSM is By the People
        Now the FairTaxSM is in our hands. It is up to us, the involved, voting, letter writing, phone calling, committed Americans to promote this plan to the rest of America and to Congress. When Congress realizes how many Americans support the FairTaxSM, they will support it as well. Now is the time to get involved. You may be considering how many hours each week you want to devote to this effort.

The FairTaxSM is For the People
        This is something we can be involved in that will change America for the better. A cause worth whatever effort you can commit. Don't your children deserve a better tax system? One that is simple. One that gives them their whole paycheck and they decide how much to spend. One that promotes American jobs instead of foreign jobs.
        If we build it, they will come. Our task is to inform America about the FairTaxSM. Once people know about the FairTaxSM, they will support it. Having enough politically active people supporting it and advocating the FairTaxSM to their Congressional representatives is the requirement. When this happens, Congress will join us in supporting the FairTaxSM and put an end to the income tax and the Internal Revenue Service.

As grass roots support for the FairTax grows, we will change the tax system in the United States to a simple, fair, efficient tax system that promotes growth in the American economy, encourages savings and investment, and guarantees a progressive tax with protection for the poor and without loopholes for the privileged.

How you can help

        Here are some points of information, links to more detailed studies, and links to tax reform organizations. Please contact me or Americans for Fair Taxation for answers to any questions you may have.

Tax Reform    What's Wrong    Articles    Organizations    TX-22 Activities     Other Links     The FairTax mailing list

Visitor Number since 15-Apr-1999.          Updated 16-Jul-1999.
1999 Ed Sarlls, III ( Comments invited.
Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent my employer, geocities or Americans for Fair Taxation.