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Igniting America's Economy with Fairtax

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 8, 2016
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Taxes

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Mr. BROOKS of Alabama. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Georgia for the opportunity to stand with him tonight as we discuss the FairTax. Quite frankly, I wish my eloquence was that of yours. Certainly, my passion is for the FairTax, with all the economic benefits that it would yield to the American people, the job creation it would yield, and the simplification of the headaches that occur every March and April as American people, including job creators, have to try to figure out how much taxes they have to pay.

In that vein, I have some prepared remarks, but I am available for any colloquy that you may want to have afterwards.

Mr. Speaker, America's Tax Code is so complex as to border on impossible for any one person to understand. According to the National Taxpayers Union, in 2016, American taxpayers suffered an economic loss of $234 billion from the 1.9 billion hours of time spent trying to figure out and pay their taxes.

Making matters worse, from 1986 when President Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act into law to today, the Tax Code has grown from 30,000 to 70,000 pages, more than doubling in size. Further, the corporate tax rate has skyrocketed to 39.1 percent, easily claiming the highest rate in the industrialized world.

I cannot emphasize enough the detrimental impact America's complicated Tax Code has on our economy and the burden it creates for taxpayers and job creators alike.

As such, I strongly support Representative Rob Woodall's FairTax Act to abolish the Federal income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax, and replace them with a national sales tax and prebate that eliminates the effect of sales taxes on low-income families.

Businesses and families know how to best spend their hard-earned money. We need a system that puts power back into the hands of the taxpayer, not government bureaucrats. The FairTax proposal makes this possible. In particular, it eliminates the income tax and stops the Federal Government's snooping into American citizens' incomes, savings, and bank accounts, while still producing the revenue needed to fund the Federal Government.

The FairTax is simpler, thereby saving taxpayers billions of hours and hundreds of billions of dollars in trying to determine tax liability.

In addition, the FairTax dramatically stimulates America's economy by eliminating costly income tax and compliance costs for America's employers, thus cutting the cost of producing American goods and services by roughly 15 to 20 percent, a huge competitive advantage in an increasingly tough international marketplace. This competitive advantage for American job creators means more jobs and higher incomes for American workers.

Mr. Speaker, I urge you to bring the FairTax legislation to the House floor for a vote to simplify the Tax Code, return American individual freedom, and grow the economy.

Similarly, Mr. Speaker, I encourage the Members of the House of Representatives to support this plain, commonsense way of collecting taxes, stimulating the economy, and getting the Federal Government more so out of our own personal lives.

Mr. Speaker, to the extent Congressman Woodall has more that he wants to discuss, I am available.

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Mr. BROOKS of Alabama. Mr. Speaker, it is not just the snooping. It is also the coercion where the Federal Government uses, Washington uses the Tax Code to compel people to engage in conduct that they otherwise would not engage in, or to not engage in conduct that, under normal circumstances were they free to do so without potential retaliation by the IRS, they would engage in.

We have some issues, by way of example, where the Internal Revenue Service has been used to try to achieve political gains, where the Internal Revenue Service has been used to punish people because they have chosen to exercise their freedom of speech rights or their religious rights or because they chose to associate with some people rather than other people, all rights guaranteed in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The power that we have given the Federal Government and the Internal Revenue Service through the Tax Code can all be taken away from the Federal Government by going to the FairTax.

The reasons to support the FairTax so far greatly outnumber any potential harms that detractors may describe. Again, I urge the Speaker of the House to allow this legislation to come up for a House floor vote so that we can support it, so that we can pass it through the House of Representatives. Should it fail, the American people will know who was on record in support of liberating the American people from the Internal Revenue Service and who wants to keep the Internal Revenue Service as our masters with our being in bondage to their whims. So there are lots of advantages and very few disadvantages.

Again, I want to thank the gentleman from Georgia and the people of the great State of Georgia who have sent him here so that he can advocate on their behalf and advocate for a FairTax that just makes sense.

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