Members in both the House and Senate have plans to re-introduce FairTax legislation in the next Congress.
First introduced in Congress in 1999 by Georgia Republican Rep. John Linder, who is retiring at the end of the current Congress, the FairTax is a proposal to scrap all federal income and payroll taxes and replace them with a progressive tax on retail consumption. The proposal would also provide to all American citizens, regardless of income, “a monthly universal prebate to ensure that each family unit can consume tax free at or beyond the poverty level, with the overall effect of making the FairTax progressive in application.”
Linder has been a veritable FairTax crusader for well over a decade and his soon-to-be successor in Congress, former chief of staff Rob Woodall, will be picking up where his old boss left off. On Thursday, December 9, Linder passed the proverbial FairTax torch to Woodall, handing him a copy of the FairTax legislation.
“I am particularly proud of Rob Woodall who helped write the [FairTax] bill and both books [on the FairTax]. He is going to be your champion from now on,” Linder told a crowd of supporters.
And Woodall has embraced the call. He will be introducing the FairTax again on the first day of the next Congress.
“For me the FairTax has never been a tax bill. It has been a freedom bill,” Woodall told The Daily Caller. “To watch all of my friends in business be chasing tax incentives instead of the best economic outcomes for their businesses is a painful thing and we lose literally billions in productivity every year. And so I think having this [tax] discussion now is just reminding America how much we argue about the edges and how little time we spend arguing about the underlying problem.”
Woodall is adamant that he will make a difference in the tax code eventually. For although the FairTax has more co-sponsors in both the House and Senate than any other piece of fundamental tax reform, Woodall told TheDC that change will be practically impossible without presidential leadership.
“My job over the next 12 months is to make sure the FairTax is in the mix for all those conversations, so that we have done everything we need to make sure the FairTax is at the top of everybody’s list,” Woodall said. “I know that we need a presidential leader to do anything that is this big.”
Woodall believes that the next presidential election will see more candidates running on a FairTax platform — as former Alaska Democratic Sen. Mike Gravel and former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee did in 2008.
Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss will have a companion bill on the Senate side next year as well. Chambliss likewise has spent years pushing for the FairTax.
At a tax day rally on Capitol Hill, the Georgia senator called on his colleagues to support comprehensive tax reform.
“Today, as millions of Americans are completing the complicated, pain-staking process of filing their taxes, too many of us will be reminded of just how little of our paychecks we actually see under the present tax system,” Chambliss said. “Now is the time to enact the FairTax. As we have seen and heard today, there is strong grassroots support for the FairTax, which would create a fairer, simpler tax code that allows every American the freedom to determine his or her own priorities and opportunities.”