No one who knows anything about Washington politics ever thought passing the FairTax would be easy. The fact is, in real terms, it may be harder to get the FairTax passed than our original rebellion against the British Crown and the ratification of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution combined.
The original colonies had many who still supported the King, and felt their lives would be more comfortable under British rule, but even they recognized the British Empire had real problems, and that the American colonists needed and deserved more autonomy. The only question was how to go about getting it. Most of the American intellectual, religious, and political leadership agreed that secession was the only real answer. The colonists, while not united in their feelings toward rebellion, all recognized that a change was necessary, and the frontier environment had bred a people capable of making tough decisions.
Contrast that with today’s environment. While most of the politically aware understand and support the FairTax, a large segment of the uneducated public knows little or nothing about the proposal. Even worse, they are deliberately kept ignorant of the benefits of the FairTax through selective omission of FairTax information from popular media outlets, and are actively encouraged to accept their current fiscal bondage. Only a few brave souls take their journalistic responsibility to educate the public seriously and disseminate the truth about the FairTax.
Even worse, many of those in leadership positions have significant personal investment in the current system and are, therefore, reluctant to take any action that endangers their political power, campaign resources, or personal wealth. They like things the way they are, even if it means fiscal catastrophe at some point in the not too distant future. After all, they won’t be the ones most affected.
In a nutshell, the cards are stacked against the FairTax.
But the opposition, like any House of Cards, is doomed to fall. The FairTax is simply too good, too necessary, and too important to be defeated. In the past, political opponents of the FairTax could make outrageous claims, and no one disputed them. Now, when folks like Bruce Bartlett torture the truth to promote their personal agenda, a cadre of dedicated, and educated, FairTaxers take him to task (New York Times, “Is FairTax Herman Cain’s Ace in the Hole”). Presidential candidate Herman Cain didn’t mince words when challenged on the FairTax. He looked directly into the camera, and told the American public the Bush Presidential Tax Commission was wrong on the FairTax, and had deliberately “fudged” the numbers to get the answers they wanted.
Sure, we have timid souls, with tepid ideas of tax reform that would leave us worse off than what we have now, but FairTax supporters are more of the mold set by Adams, Henry, or Hamilton. They understand, and embody, a spirit that has been handed down from our revolutionary ancestors. When faced with tremulous whimpers from those like Bartlett, they channel the fire of Samuel Adams,
“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
Today, we have too many who are willing to trade their liberty for tax breaks, their freedom and right of self-determination for security, and control of their futures for promises of personal enrichment at the expense of their fellow citizens. Like the Tories of old, they would rather lick the hand that feeds them than embrace the foibles of Freedom.
More than two hundred year ago, a few brave Americans refused to shrink from the challenge before them, and from their efforts, a new Nation was born. Today, we, their descendents, are faced with the challenge of preserving it.
So, the answer to the question, what will it take to pass the FairTax is simple…….