Originally created 11/22/05

'FairTax' champion sells plan at civic club lunch



U.S. Rep. John Linder, R-Ga., wants to get rid of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal income taxes.

If that happens, he already has Border Patrol jobs lined up for the IRS.

"We're going to put them on the Texas border holding hands," he joked at the Kiwanis Club of Augusta meeting Monday afternoon at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.

The joke solicited a couple of guffaws, a few claps and a lot of laughs.

Mr. Linder, whose 7th Congressional District includes parts of suburban Atlanta, has been all over the country promoting his "FairTax," which would abolish all federal income taxes and replace them with a sales tax.

The IRS would be eliminated, along with the 16th amendment, which created the income tax. To make up for the lost tax dollars, a 23 percent point-of-purchase tax would be established that creates about the same amount of money, he claimed.

Under Mr. Linder's plan, all citizens would receive a rebate each month so that those below the poverty level would not be affected by the taxation, he said.

"This is a tax not on wages, but wealth," Mr. Linder said, then quipped, "As soon as the liberals get a hold of this, they're going to steal it."

Not everyone favors this plan, however. Among those opposed is U.S. Rep. John Barrow, a Democrat representing the 12th Congressional District. He spoke out against the plan to the same Kiwanis Club in August.

"In order for it to come out revenue-neutral, most folks would have to pay more taxes," he said in August.

Mr. Linder insists that the proposal isn't going to cost citizens more. He has summed his plan up in The FairTax Book, which was co-written with radio host Neal Boortz.

Based on applause, the Kiwanis Club seemed to at least be considering the idea.

"Anything that will give me a break on my taxes I'm willing to at least listen to," President-elect Hap Harris said.

Reach Tony Lombardo at (706) 823-3227 or tony.lombardo@augustachronicle.com.

FAIR TAX PLAN

What is it?

U.S. Rep. John Linder's plan to abolish federal income taxes and replace them with a federal retail sales tax.

How will it happen?

The Internal Revenue Service would be eliminated, as would the 16th amendment, which created the income tax.

What specific taxes are eliminated?

Federal income taxes, including personal, estate, gift, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, self-employment, and corporate taxes.

To read more about the FairTax plan, log on to www.fairtax.org.

Source: Fairtax.org