Thursday, October 05, 2006


As I've said before, my biggest surprise after the surge of interest in the FairTax has been that opponents have almost universally had to lie about H.R. 25, its terms and its effect in order to criticize it. You would think if The FairTax were such a bad idea opponents would be able to trash it without lying about it.

There are several reasons to fear the FairTax.

You might be a K-Street lobbyist in Washington, someone who earns a half-million a year enticing congressmen to tweak the tax code just a bit for a favored client. Reason enough to oppose any tax reform proposal that would remove the tax components on labor and capital from businesses.

You also might be an elected official who regularly campaigns on your successes in shifting tax burdens from the people who's votes you want, to the people who's votes you don't need. What good is a tax code that you can't use to buy votes?

Sure ... there are reasons to oppose the FairTax. But if H.R. 25 is such a bad idea, why can't you convey that to the voters without outright lying?

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has decided that it is going to use the FairTax to campaign against Republicans who have co-sponsored H.R.25. Furthermore, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ("DNCC") has decided that it will lie about the FairTax in political advertisements.

Republican Max Burns is a Republican representing areas of Georgia including Savannah, Augusta and Macon. The DNCC is running ads against him.

Here's the DNCC ad:

Attention shoppers. At Max-Mart prices are going up, up, up. Why? Because Max Burns has proposed a 23 percent national sales tax.

The Max Burns Max Tax would be a super-sales tax on almost everything we buy. Raising taxes on 23% on food, clothes, gas even medicine.

A sales tax that would hit working families the hardest.

So if you shop at Max-Mart. You'll pay higher prices. Guaranteed.

The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.

Now those of you who are already familiar with the FairTax know that this ad is deceptive ... and deliberately so.

Right off the bat it tries to give the impression that the FairTax is Max Burns' idea. It's not. The bill was proposed by Congressman John Linder. Not Max Burns. Lie No. 1.

The ad then says that the FairTax would raise taxes by 23%. This is a deception. Nowhere in the ad does it say that the sales tax would be imbedded in the price of the products you buy, and that it would not be a tax increase, but rather a tax replacement. The FairTax would replace the embedded taxes that are already there. Funny how the DNCC doesn't want to mention that. Lie No. 2.

Then we have the charge that the FairTax would hit working families the hardest. To back up this claim the DNCC cites the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy ("ITEP") as a source for the claim.

First. About the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The Argus Group researched the ITEP policy and made some interesting discoveries. It seems that the ITEP rewrote H.R. 25 just a bit before they studied its affects on taxpayers. For instance, the ITEP decided to change the 23% FairTax rate to some other rate --- a rate they will not disclose. As The Argus Groups says " In short, ITEP did not model the Fair Tax at all, but a tax of its own design." Funny how the DNCC ad doesn't tell us this. The DNCC attack ad also doesn't tell us that the ITEP is funded by such liberal groups as the Tides Foundation (Teresa Heinz Kerry), the Open Society Institute (George Soros), the Streisand Foundation (Barbra Streisand), and the Ben and Jerry Foundation.

Oh ... and another thing about the DNCC's claim that the FairTax would hurt the working poor. Nowhere in the ad do they mention that nobody .. not even the poor .. will pay the sales tax on the basic necessities of life. Interestingly enough, the DNCC also failed to mention that the president's tax reform commission noted that the FairTax was the only tax reform proposal out there that completely lifted the federal tax burden from the nation's poor. Quite an omission, wouldn't you say? Let's call these lies no. 3 and 4.

In the past FairTax supporters have been successful in getting newspapers and radio and television stations to pull these ads from the air after they have been proven to be not only false, but intentionally false and misleading. Such an effort is being made in Max Burns' district. We'll let you know what happens.

The same ads, by the way, are being used to attack FairTax supporters in other congressional districts around the nation. One example would be Mike Sodrel, a Republican FairTax cosponsor from southern Indiana.

Once again though ... same old thing ... in order to combat the FairTax, you have to lie about it.

Jim Parker found the FairTax being promoted in an unusual the men's bathroom at a BP/Amoco station on Shallowford Road of Sandy Plains Road in Marietta, Georgia.

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