Leo Linbeck Jr. was the very embodiment of the American dream. And few people in our time fought as hard to keep it alive for others.
Described variously as a construction mogul, business magnate and a Texas corporate titan, in truth Mr. Linbeck, 78, was the longtime head of a family business, The Linbeck Group, that grew from a construction firm his father started in 1938.
Asked once about his legacy, he said it would be his faith in God and his family. But we will remember him as a man who cared so deeply for this country that he spent his last years fighting to save it financially.
He co-founded Americans for Fair Taxation in 1995 to find out what sort of taxation system would fit the stated desires of polled Americans. A team of nonpartisan economists ultimately designed the Fair Tax, a national sales tax to replace income, payroll and Social Security taxes.
It was a quixotic quest, to be sure. A country’s taxation system is an aircraft carrier that is nearly impossible to turn. But Leo Linbeck never gave up, because he never quit believing in the power of a free people and free markets to lift up humanity.
Imagine the yoke of the income tax removed from the necks of those who turn the plow of this great nation.
A tragic irony this, that Mr. Linbeck should pass at the very time the abuses and excesses of the IRS, fueled by the income tax, are becoming widely known.
His fight will go on. It simply must.