The FairTax is the result of a grassroots movement that has been growing across America for the past 10 years.

Imagine keeping your entire paycheck and not having to pay federal income taxes and only paying taxes on things you buy.

That’s exactly the proposal of a grassroots movement that has been growing across America for the past 10 years.

Since Georgia Republican House member John Linder introduced the idea in 1999, it has gained support from representatives in several states and even the endorsement of former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

The FairTax seeks to create a revenue-neutral, national sales tax that would collect $23 for every $100 spent on purchased goods and services.

According to its accompanying website,

“The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income- and payroll-based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.”

It goes on to state that the FairTax:

“* Enables workers to keep their entire paychecks

* Enables retirees to keep their entire pensions

* Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities

* Allows American products to compete fairly

* Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy

* Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding

* Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation

* Abolishes the IRS”

Mike Frederick, volunteer state director for the FairTax in Alabama and national spokesperson for, said he first became aware of the FairTax after getting frustrated with the cumbersome tax burden of a small business owner.

Since becoming involved with the movement, Frederick travels across the nation and conducts interviews trying to bring awareness to the idea of eliminating the federal income tax and replacing it with a simpler tax collecting means.

Frederick said that he has conducted about 250 radio interviews in the past four years while promoting the FairTax. He spoke last week to the Pell City Rotary Club to try to enlighten those who had not previously heard of the movement.

“When I got into my business and realized how convoluting and depressing it was to actually deal with the IRS, that’s when I said there has got to be a better way to do this,” Frederick said. “I looked at several tax proposals and I always came back to the FairTax since it made the most sense. When I looked at it I said, ‘This makes sense and I have to get involved with promoting this.’”

There has been over $20 million raised by private donations and spent in researching the FairTax proposal.

Supporters often tout that the FairTax is the only tax proposal that would completely fund every government program, including Social Security, the military, Medicaid and Medicare as well as provide for infrastructure upkeep on the nation’s highways and national parks.

In addition to providing a means to completely fund government activities, a sister bill is introduced each time the FairTax is brought before the Legislature that would repeal the 16th Amendment to the Constitution.

It would also eliminate the $350 billion spent in tax compliance each year.

Detractors often use the position that the FairTax would shift the tax burden of Americans to the middle and lower classes. But points out:

“The FairTax actually eliminates and reimburses all federal taxes for those below the poverty line. This is accomplished through the universal prebate and by eliminating the highly regressive FICA payroll tax. Today, low and moderate income Americans pay far more in FICA taxes than income taxes. Those spending at twice the poverty level pay a FairTax of only 11.5 percent—a rate much lower than the income and payroll tax burden they bear today. Meanwhile, the wealthy pay the 23 percent retail sales tax on their retail purchases.”

By eliminating all federal income taxes, corporate taxes and capital gains taxes, the FairTax would create the means for companies that have left the United States to provide a cheaper means of producing goods to return and again set up shop in the U.S.

“From a technical standpoint, it will absolutely work,” Frederick explained. “We will become the largest tax haven in the world overnight if the FairTax is implemented. The reason we have an uphill struggle is because of two groups of people. One is the 55 percent of lobbyists in Washington who exist for no other reason than to tweak the tax code. The other group of people are the 535 men and women who sit in the House and Senate who realize that passage of the FairTax will constitute the largest transfer of power from Washington D.C. back to ‘We the People’ in the history of our nation.”

He continued, “Companies who are operating outside the United States will be clamoring to get into the country because if they are operating inside the United States, they will be operating tax free and that will bring millions and millions and probably trillions of dollars back to our country.”

The FairTax also would create a way for people who make their money outside of normal business regulation or who do not file taxes, to pay into the system.

He explained that another way the FairTax could bring in money to the country is that the estimated $13 trillion in offshore bank accounts.

“[Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve] Alan Greenspan said that within six months [of being enacted], the majority of those $13 trillion would be repatriated into our economy because the FairTax eliminates the capital gains tax,” Frederick said. “So, the Obama deficit pales in comparison of the influx of $13 trillion that could be brought back into our economy.”

Across the country on April 15, FairTax rallies were held in support of the movement.

“It’s exciting to see what’s happened with it,” Frederick said. “People are so frustrated right now with our government and our economy and what’s going on with it. I think it comes from both sides of the aisle. And the FairTax keeps coming to the top of the heap as a way that people see that we can revive our economy and save our country from an economic standpoint.”

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