Monday, March 23, 2009

Dear Fair Tax supporter,

Knowing of your interest in the Fair Tax, I wanted to share with you a recent speech I gave on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of the Fair Tax. As you may know, I have been an outspoken supporter of fundamental tax reform since I was first elected to Congress. The current tax system is broken and in need of immediate and substantial reform. Accordingly, I have been a long time supporter of the Fair Tax. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. In addition, please feel free to share this message with family and friends by using the forward to a friend feature on the left.

With kind regards, I am


Cliff Stearns
United States Representative

On March 17, 2009, I joined with a number of my congressional colleagues in speaking out on the House Floor in support of the Fair Tax. The text of my remarks is below.

House of Representatives
March 17, 2009

Mr. Speaker,

I'm here to support the Fair Tax. The current U.S. Tax Code is too big, too complicated, and benefits too many special interests, and must be replaced with a code that is fair and encourages savings and investment.

This code has been amended tens of thousands of times, my colleagues, and it's grown to over 60,000 pages, possibly more. For this, and many other reasons, I rise in support of the Fair Tax and urge my colleagues to consider this new tax simplification program.

The Fair Tax will eliminate Federal income taxes, corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, capital gains taxes, the alternative minimum tax, and the death tax, and replace it with a flat, simple and efficient consumption tax.

Mr. Speaker, Ronald Reagan hit the nail on the head when he described the government's basic view of the economy as: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, this burdensome view taken by our government has resulted in the current problem we face today, where citizens and business owners across this country devote billions of hours and billions of tax dollars just to navigate the process of paying their Federal income tax.

A simpler Tax Code may have prevented former Senator Daschle or current Secretary of the Treasury Geithner the embarrassment of having to explain their failure to properly pay their taxes due to the complicated IRS tax system.

I know many of my constituents in the Sixth Congressional District are aware of how this simple tax reform will work when implemented. They have written numerous letters to me and voiced their support at many town meetings.

I thought I'd take a moment this afternoon to lay out the basic principles of this legislation for those who are not familiar with the Fair Tax.

The Fair Tax will do away with all Federal taxes such as income tax, the death tax, as I mentioned, all the way down to the estate tax. Basically, many Americans with low incomes will receive a check at the beginning of each month from the Federal Government that will cover the cost of the consumption tax on necessary goods, thus increasing the purchasing power of low-income individuals and completely avoiding any unintended tax increase on their purchasing power.

Furthermore, a study conducted by Harvard economist Dale Jorgenson illustrates that roughly 22 percent of the retail price of an item is the direct result of the cost our current Tax Code places on a product through payroll taxes, business taxes, compliance costs, and other taxes.

Therefore, by paying an additional consumption tax, we will be able to fund our entire government, and the taxpayer can keep 100 percent of his hard-earned paycheck. This would lead to increased savings, increased investment, and Americans, not the Federal Government, would decide how to best utilize their wealth.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, the Fair Tax, through its simplicity, will provide transparency to the Federal budget and Federal spending here in Congress. Each time the government claims a needed tax increase to fund runaway spending, as we do, and government expansion, or special district funding requests, the American citizen would be directly affected by this irresponsibility and would be aware of it immediately through the transparency of the Fair Tax system instead of hidden tax increases and budget gimmicks that our government institutes today.

So now, my colleagues, it is time to get rid of this complicated, inefficient, and unfair tax. Now is the time to institute transparency, efficiency, and, finally, fairness in our Tax Code.

Now, for those of us in Congress and perhaps throughout the Nation who are skeptical, I have a suggestion for them, an approach that I think would be possible. Why not take Washington, D.C. as a demonstration project to see if it would work here in Washington, D.C.; allow all residents of this city to pay no Federal taxes, and institute a fair consumption tax, and this consumption tax would be collected by the city and then sent to the Federal Government. Then we could see how it would work and discern its advantages and disadvantages.

The Fair Tax I think ultimately would prove to be very useful, and I urge my colleagues to stand for real change and support this fair solution.


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