Writing About the FairTax
All writers struggle and new writers need guidance. That's what this page is for. To offer tips on best practices and messages that can be worked into a blog post, letter to an editor or congressperson or just a simple Tweet.
The FairTax Plan 10-Second Elevator Speech
The FairTax Plan is a simple, fair and transparent solution to replace our current tax system. It treats all citizens equally and allows American businesses to thrive, all while generating the same tax revenue for the government through the establishment of a national retail sales tax of 23% on new goods and services. (At this point you can reference other factoids. If it becomes too long or if the person you're talking to glares over, back off. Listen. Ask questions. Then go.)
10 Writing Tips
The following tips are predominately for blogs, but also hold true for other items you write.
1. It's okay to present your opinion.
Blogs became popular because real people, not corporations, wrote them. People like to know what people think and what you think (of course, they don't have to agree, that's what makes it social). It's okay to tell them exactly what you think. Just do so using the least amount of words possible. And please, no haters. There are too many positives that need to be shared.
2. Write with the reader in mind.
Even though you are sharing your opinion, keep in mind that the reader will often read with the mindset of "what's it in for them."
3. Be able to back up your writing.
Support your post with links to other web pages that are related to any factual statements that you make. It offers greater credibility. If it's just your opinion, then own it.
4. Good headlines reel them in.
If possible, contain your whole argument or point in your headline. Check out respected publications such as the Wall Street Journal (wsj.com), New York Times (nytimes.com) or BBC.com to see how they do it.
5. Write less.
Most blog readers skim copy rather than read it all the way through. Give the maximum amount of information with the least amount of words. 500 or less. Time is finite and people are infinitely busy.
6. Make your posts easy to scan.
Readability is one of the most important aspects of good copy. Use line breaks between paragraphs. Use sub-heads, preferably in bold type. Use italics for emphasis. Your goal is to draw the eye and create a smooth sense of flow throughout your post. Make it easy to read!
7. Litter the post with keywords.
Think about what keywords people would use to search for your post and include them in the copy and headlines. Make sure the keyword placement is natural and flows with the sentence. For example: FairTax, consumption tax, new tax system, etc.
8. Edit your post.
Good writing is in the editing. Before you hit the submit button, re-read your post and cut out the stuff that you don't need.
9. Check for typos and grammatical errors.
It's very important to proofread for typos and grammatical errors. It shows respect to the reader to read something with polish. And, there's no excuse. Blogging software has spell-check built in, and if you're not sure about the grammar, there are books you can purchase, or online sites to reference.
10. Keep it significant and shareable (KISS).
Create content that is engaging, relevant and shareable.
Tips for Responding to Bloggers
You might be responding to comments made on your blog or you might want to respond to another blogger's post, either way, it's important to have your thoughts clear and unemotional before you write a response. Even when you are responding, think about being relevant, concise and true.
- Don't Lash Out. They are entitled to their opinion, as are you. Try to distance yourself from any anger, hurt or "whatever" you might be feeling and write your response with respect and with facts. How they behave is one thing. How you behave is everything.
- Know when to take if offline. If you have a response that could be better handled through an email, offer that as an option. It might be an extremely long answer or you might realize it will take several posts before you can come to terms.
- Set Boundaries. It never hurts to have a disclaimer somewhere in your blog that addresses your policy on comments that are abusive, hateful or threatening.
- Respond in a timely manner. If you are going to blog, then make sure that you are able to respond to any comments, if necessary, within 24 hours. And if you don't have time to respond, i.e., you need to research the answer, then let them know that "you want to research the answer further" and will get back with them within the next 3-5 days. That way, they don't think that you just ignored them or were intimidated by their comment.
Messages - Talking Points
Below is a list of facts that relate to the FairTax Plan for use as the launch point to a blog or as a simple message for a tweet. You can always link back to FairTax.org to provide more detailed information (in fact we encourage it) on any of these points.
- The FairTax urges all Americans to take a stand for a new "right," the right for a fair tax for all Americans.
- The FairTax should not be considered a "party" issue. The need for a new tax system is an issue that affects all Americans.
- The FairTax ensures that all Americans pay their fair share of taxes. Everyone is subject to the same consumption tax rate (23 cents of each dollar of retail spending) with no exceptions and no exclusions, and those least able to share in the cost of government carry no federal tax burden.
- Exempts all taxpayers from federal taxation up to the poverty level, through a monthly rebate.
- Enables workers to keep their entire paychecks.
- Enables retirees to keep their entire pensions.
- Makes American products more competitive overseas because American exports would not be taxed to the extent that they are today.
- Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy.
- Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding.
- Removes the need for the IRS.
- Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation. There's no hiding from the FairTax system. Anyone who makes a purchase of new goods or services pays the required tax. This includes those who hide money so they don't have to pay taxes, those who are in our country illegally, and criminals who make their money through illegal means.
- Frees up the time wasted on filling out cumbersome IRS forms.
- Makes taxation of income unconstitutional by repealing the 16th Amendment.
- Dramatically lowers tax rates for low-income and middle-income Americans.
- Makes taxes visible by eliminating hidden income and payroll taxes in consumer prices.
- Enables families to save more for home ownership, education, and retirement because they are now getting their entire paycheck.
- Leaves unchanged the amount of money raised by the federal government.
- The FairTax increases individual purchasing power, making it easier to get ahead financially by eliminating:
- the individual income tax
- the payroll income tax
- the estate tax and the gift tax
- capital gains taxes
- the alternative minimum tax
- the self-employment tax
- the corporate income tax