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Statement from Americans For Fair Taxation® on the passing of chairman and co-founder
Leo E. Linbeck, Jr.
FairTax® giant devoted the past 20 years to championing fair and transparent federal taxation
HOUSTON, TX – June 8, 2013 – Americans For Fair Taxation® (AFFT) announced today the passing of its Chairman and Co-founder Leo Edward Linbeck, Jr.
“The American people have lost a giant who championed simple and fair taxation for everyone,” said Cynthia T. Canevaro, AFFT national campaign manager. “Leo Linbeck, Jr., has devoted 20+ years passionately advocating for fair and transparent federal taxation for all citizens regardless of income or social standing. He was committed to replacing the income tax, a system that favors special interests while punishing taxpayers at every level, with a national consumption tax that taxes citizens not on what they earn, but on what they spend on new goods and services.” The Plan includes the repeal of the 16th Amendment and the elimination of the IRS.
Linbeck was a nationally known Houston businessman and philanthropist. He was a longtime Chairman of Linbeck Construction Corp., a firm founded by his father in 1938 and ranked in 2012 by ENR as the sixth largest building contractor in the U.S. specializing in general building construction for the private sector. At the time of his death, he also served as Chairman of Aquinas Corporation, a holding company for the Linbeck Group.
In 1995, Linbeck joined forces with Robert C. McNair, founder, chairman and CEO of the Houston Texans NFL team, and Jack Trotter (now deceased), to found Americans For Fair Taxation®. The grassroots organization works relentlessly to build national support for the FairTax®, a national consumption tax plan that treats every person equally and allows American businesses to thrive while generating the same tax revenue as the current four-million-plus word income tax code.
“Leo Linbeck recognized 20 years ago the destructive nature of the income tax and how unfair, overly complex, and impossible it is to administer.” said Canevaro. “He poured his time, resources, energy and unwavering passion into advancing the FairTax; a system that allows Americans to keep their whole paycheck while only paying taxes on what they spend, not what they earn.” She added, “We have truly lost an American hero and Patriot, one whose vision will live on among FairTax supporters nationwide. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Bette, the entire Linbeck family and the legion of friends who now mourn his passing.”
Was the White House involved in the IRS’s targeting of conservatives? No investigation needed to answer that one. Of course it was.
President Obama and Co. are in full deniability mode, noting that the IRS is an “independent” agency and that they knew nothing about its abuse. The media and Congress are sleuthing for some hint that Mr. Obama picked up the phone and sicced the tax dogs on his enemies.
But that’s not how things work in post-Watergate Washington. Mr. Obama didn’t need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he’d like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.
Mr. Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do. “He put a target on our backs, and he’s now going to blame the people who are shooting at us?” asks Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot.
Twelve days later, a man working for a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr. VanderSloot’s divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. VanderSloot and his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes. In July, the Department of Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch. In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny.
The last of these audits was only concluded in recent weeks. Not one resulted in a fine or penalty. But Mr. VanderSloot has been waiting more than 20 months for a sizable refund and estimates his legal bills are $80,000. That figure doesn’t account for what the president’s vilification has done to his business and reputation.
The Obama call for scrutiny wasn’t a mistake; it was the president’s strategy—one pursued throughout 2012. The way to limit Romney money was to intimidate donors from giving. Donate, and the president would at best tie you to Big Oil or Wall Street, at worst put your name in bold, and flag you as “less than reputable” to everyone who worked for him: the IRS, the SEC, the Justice Department. The president didn’t need a telephone; he had a megaphone.
The same threat was made to conservative groups that might dare play in the election. As early as January 2010, Mr. Obama would, in his state of the union address, cast aspersions on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, claiming that it “reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests” (read conservative groups).
The president derided “tea baggers.” Vice President Joe Biden compared them to “terrorists.” In more than a dozen speeches Mr. Obama raised the specter that these groups represented nefarious interests that were perverting elections. “Nobody knows who’s paying for these ads,” he warned. “We don’t know where this money is coming from,” he intoned.
In case the IRS missed his point, he raised the threat of illegality: “All around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates . . . And they don’t have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don’t know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation.”
Short of directly asking federal agencies to investigate these groups, this is as close as it gets. Especially as top congressional Democrats were putting in their own versions of phone calls, sending letters to the IRS that accused it of having “failed to address” the “problem” of groups that were “improperly engaged” in campaigns. Because guess who controls that “independent” agency’s budget?
The IRS is easy to demonize, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It got its heading from a president, and his party, who did in fact send it orders—openly, for the world to see. In his Tuesday press grilling, no question agitated White House Press Secretary Jay Carney more than the one that got to the heart of the matter: Given the president’s “animosity” toward Citizens United, might he have “appreciated or wanted the IRS to be looking and scrutinizing those . . .” Mr. Carney cut off the reporter with “That’s a preposterous assertion.”
Preposterous because, according to Mr. Obama, he is “outraged” and “angry” that the IRS looked into the very groups and individuals that he spent years claiming were shady, undemocratic, even lawbreaking. After all, he expects the IRS to “operate with absolute integrity.” Even when he does not.
I want to thank all of my friends, family, advisers and supporters who have put so much time, thought, prayer, and effort into helping me make a decision on whether to run for the United States Senate. I sincerely thank every potential candidate, all of whom graciously gave me room to decide. Probably no one in America, considering such an opportunity, enjoys as clear a path to the nomination. It is an extraordinary opportunity that will not be repeated in millions of lifetimes.
I have said from the beginning this decision requires “the head, the gut, and the heart” to line up together. I have done due diligence and evaluated the race from a statewide, objective perspective. I have talked with hundreds of supporters…and some detractors. I sincerely thank all of you who have helped in so many ways.
My analytical part, the head, tells me the race is winnable and must be won in 2014 or a generational opportunity could be lost. I have said a race for the Senate is “a slight up hill battle”. It is, but it’s “no hill for a climber”.
The question I am answering today is, “What is my duty?” I believe my duty is to utilize the honor of serving Iowans in Congress by maximizing my effectiveness. I owe it to all Iowans and Americans to give you my best effort and best judgment.
We have in front of us in Congress a series of potent issues which will redirect the destiny of our state and nation. Among them are a farm bill, ObamaCare, debt and deficit, immigration, and tax reform. If I step away from these responsibilities while campaigning in an effort to multiply leverage in the Senate, what becomes of our nation in the mean time?
This week, I made a simple device to put toothpaste back in the tube. But a device to put the Leftist genie back in the bottle is not so simple. The best tool we have now is the majority in the U.S. House which functions mostly to keep the Leftist genie in the bottle. I cannot, in good conscience, turn my back on the destiny decisions of Congress today in order to direct all my efforts to a Senate race for next year, while hoping to gain the leverage to put the genie back in the bottle in 2015.
The most timely and conclusive piece of advice I received crystallized my decision. A friend, whose 77th birthday is today, said to me, “I will support you whatever you decide to do. If you decide to run, don’t be a reluctant candidate.” If I said, “Yes” to a Senate race, I would be a reluctant candidate because of the reasons I’ve written above.
Accordingly, I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in 2014. It is my intention to turn my efforts and energy with great vigor to the issues at hand. I anticipate being on the ballot for reelection to the U.S. House, Fourth District of Iowa. It is a challenging and rewarding job that I enjoy. My sincerest thanks to all involved.
Member of Congress, Iowa
As Iowa considers tax reform and elimination of the state income tax, this map showing our neighboring states and their tax rates along with the states who impose no income tax may be helpful.
The first poll of the 2014 US Senate race in Iowa is out, and Fair Taxers everywhere are rejoicing as one of their own has a commanding lead over all of his well known potential challengers. Congressman Steve King, leads his fellow Congressman Tom Latham and Former Gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats, 31%-26%-16%. Even more telling, is that King dominates Latham in a head to head match up: 46%-29%!
The details of the poll can be found here: King Leads Latham!
This report lays out the case for elimination of the franchise tax. Part II of this report (which is forthcoming) advocates for a transition away from property taxes to consumption taxes to fund the maintenance and operations of public schools. That report will also make the case for a lower property tax appraisal cap or property tax revenue cap to provide homeowners and business owners with relief from inexorable appraisal growth. Taken together, these reforms would represent a substantial transformation of the state’s tax structure, and thus, the state economy.
The fundamental point is that Texas has an opportunity to make a bold fiscal move by eliminating a tax or by substantially reducing a tax. Precisely how this is to be achieved can be determined by policy makers; this report simply lays out a path forward and illustrates the economic benefit of starting down that path.
To that end, the state’s franchise tax and school district maintenance and operations (M&O) property tax must be the focus of tax relief efforts. By cutting taxes now, Texas can create substantial dynamic economic benefits that will pay dividends in the future, bringing increased economic activity:
Read more: http://www.txccri.org/new-to-tccri/be-bold-texas-report
Fair Tax Bill reintroduced into the House with 53 cosponsors! The Senate version cannot be introduced until January 22 at the earliest.
Fair Tax Bill reintroduced into the Congress with 53 cosponsors!!
Rep Benishek, Dan [MI-1] – 1/3/2013
Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-12] – 1/3/2013
Rep Bishop, Rob [UT-1] – 1/3/2013
Rep Bonner, Jo [AL-1] – 1/3/2013
Rep Brady, Kevin [TX-8] – 1/3/2013
Rep Brooks, Mo [AL-5] – 1/3/2013
Rep Broun, Paul C. [GA-10] – 1/3/2013
Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] – 1/3/2013
Rep Collins, Doug [GA-9] – 1/3/2013
Rep Conaway, K. Michael [TX-11] – 1/3/2013
Rep Crenshaw, Ander [FL-4] – 1/3/2013
Rep Culberson, John Abney [TX-7] – 1/3/2013
Rep Duncan, Jeff [SC-3] – 1/3/2013
Rep Duncan, John J., Jr. [TN-2] – 1/3/2013
Rep Farenthold, Blake [TX-27] – 1/3/2013
Rep Flores, Bill [TX-17] – 1/3/2013
Rep Foxx, Virginia [NC-5] – 1/3/2013
Rep Franks, Trent [AZ-8] – 1/3/2013
Rep Gingrey, Phil [GA-11] – 1/3/2013
Rep Granger, Kay [TX-12] – 1/3/2013
Rep Graves, Tom [GA-14] – 1/3/2013
Rep Hall, Ralph M. [TX-4] – 1/3/2013
Rep Harris, Andy [MD-1] – 1/3/2013
Rep Hensarling, Jeb [TX-5] – 1/3/2013
Rep Huelskamp, Tim [KS-1] – 1/3/2013
Rep Hunter, Duncan D. [CA-50] – 1/3/2013
Rep Issa, Darrell E. [CA-49] – 1/3/2013
Rep Jenkins, Lynn [KS-2] – 1/3/2013
Rep King, Steve [IA-4] – 1/3/2013
Rep Kingston, Jack [GA-1] – 1/3/2013
Rep Lankford, James [OK-5] – 1/3/2013
Rep Long, Billy [MO-7] – 1/3/2013
Rep Lucas, Frank D. [OK-3] – 1/3/2013
Rep McCaul, Michael T. [TX-10] – 1/3/2013
Rep McClintock, Tom [CA-4] – 1/3/2013
Rep Mica, John L. [FL-7] – 1/3/2013
Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1] – 1/3/2013
Rep Neugebauer, Randy [TX-19] – 1/3/2013
Rep Nugent, Richard B. [FL-11] – 1/3/2013
Rep Olson, Pete [TX-22] – 1/3/2013
Rep Pearce, Stevan [NM-2] – 1/3/2013
Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] – 1/3/2013
Rep Pompeo, Mike [KS-4] – 1/3/2013
Rep Posey, Bill [FL-8] – 1/3/2013
Rep Price, Tom [GA-6] – 1/3/2013
Rep Rigell, E. Scott [VA-2] – 1/3/2013
Rep Roe, David P. [TN-1] – 1/3/2013
Rep Ross, Dennis A. [FL-15] – 1/3/2013
Rep Stutzman, Marlin A. [IN-3] – 1/3/2013
Rep Thornberry, Mac [TX-13] – 1/3/2013
Rep Walberg, Tim [MI-7] – 1/3/2013
Rep Westmoreland, Lynn A. [GA-3] – 1/3/2013
Rep Young, Don [AK] – 1/3/2013
If your Representative is a cosponsor, please thank them.
If your Representative is not a cosponsor please invite them to support the Fair Tax by cosponsoring the bill HR 25
To find your Representative go to: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Chief Executive Officers of 17 of the largest U.S. companies and trade groups, all members of the RATE Coalition, which represents more than 30 million employees in all 50 states, sent a letter to lawmakers today seeking a reduction of the corporate tax rate as part of any wide-ranging comprehensive corporate tax reform in 2013.
The U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent is the highest among any industrialized counties, leaving our businesses unable to keep up with international competitors, which average a 25 percent corporate tax rate. The coalition of companies understand that all tax expenditures are on the table for discussion in exchange for lowering the rate, which will make them more competitive. But all agree – the corporate tax rate needs to be reduced.
The CEOs underscored the common ground that exists between Democrats and Republicans on the need to enact comprehensive tax reforms that will put American workers and American businesses on more sound footing and the urgency to act during the lame duck session to set the stage for reforms in early 2013.
The letter was signed by the top executives from Altria Group Inc., the Association of American Railroads, AT&T Inc., The Boeing Company, CVS Caremark, FedEx Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Kimberly-Clark, Liberty Media Corporation and Liberty Interactive Corporation, National Retail Federation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Raytheon Company, Southern Company, Time Warner Cable, Verizon Communications Inc., Viacom, and The Walt Disney Company.
The letter, sent to Chairman Camp and Ranking Member Levin of the House Ways and Means Committee and Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch of the Senate Finance Committee, stressed the common ground shared by President Obama and Governor Romney during the campaign, both of whom have called for cutting the corporate tax rate, and highlighted that “America simply can no longer afford a 35 percent statutory tax rate.”
“Our high statutory rate and complex tax code hinder investment in the U.S., discourage job creation on our shores and slow economic growth,” the executives wrote. “Simply put, in order to expand and build upon the job creation achieved under President Obama, the U.S. must enact comprehensive corporate tax reform with a significantly lower corporate tax rate.”
The United States has not undergone comprehensive tax reform in more than 25 years, while trading partners have found new ways to make themselves more competitive, undercutting our corporate tax rates and sending jobs overseas.