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The Chairman's Report July 31 2020

The Chairman's Report July 31 2020
Photo Credit: Steve Hayes by is licensed under
Like Pigs At The Trough

The COVID-19 stimulus bills were hastily passed to deal with the economic emergency created by the shutdown of the economy.

However, the biggest winners aren’t the American people but The Ruling Class and their lobbyist minions in D.C.
 
In an article posted at Time.com, Alana Abramson looked at the enormous amount of money being made by lobbyists while the $2.3 trillion stimulus bill was being debated.  She points out:

*  Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck received more than $11 million from clients in the first quarter of 2020

*  The firm’s managing partner and shareholder, Marc Lampkin, was an adviser to former House Speaker John Boehner, a deputy campaign manager for George W. Bush’s first presidential campaign, and general counsel for the House Republican Conference

*  Al Mottur, another former managing partner, is a longtime Democratic strategist who served on Hillary Clinton’s finance committee during her 2016 campaign

In a Cato Institute blog, David Boaz pointed out:

*  Federal lobbying spending totaled $903 million in the first quarter of 2020, the most since the legislatively active first two years of the Obama administration

*  People invest money to make money.  In a free economy they invest in building homes and factories, inventing new products, finding oil, and other economic activities.  That kind of investment benefits us all, it’s a positive‐sum game, as economists say.  People become rich by producing what other people want

*  But you can also invest in Washington.  You can organize an interest group, or hire a lobbyist, and try to get some taxpayers’ money routed to you.  That’s what big business, small business, the farm lobbies, AARP, industry associations, and teachers’ unions do.  And that kind of investment is zero‐sum, money is taken from some people and given to others, but no new wealth is created.

A 2019 report by OpenTheBooks, a nonprofit government watchdog group, tracked a more obvious form of influence: "public giveaways and subsidies to corporations".  OpenTheBooks found between fiscal years 2014 and 2017, Fortune 100 companies spent $2 billion on lobbying and received $3.2 billion in direct federal grants, a 60% return on investment by that narrow measure alone.

A part of the money paid to lobbyists is donated to politicians to ensure “access”.  

OpenSecrets.org published the top Congressional recipients of lobbyists’ money in 2020:

$400,810   Kevin McCarthy
$333,746   Mitch McConnell
$320,209   Joe Biden
$273,833   Cory Gardner
$267,833   Thom Tillis
$246,189   Gary Peters
$238,213   John Cornyn
$215,292   Mark Warner
$214,824   Steve Scalise
$210,798   Jeanne Shaheen
$201,758   Richard Neal
$190,158   Steven Daines
$186,256   Doug Jones
$179,734   Susan Collins
$165,223   Lindsey Graham
$148,470   Ed Markey
$138,850   Joe Kennedy III
$135,470   Steve Bullock
$130,395   David Perdue
$128,384   Joni Ernst

As you can see, lobbyists are spreading around a LOT of cash, and it’s being distributed to both sides of the aisle.

Another large part of the money the lobbyists receive goes to hire former administration officials and former Members of Congress and Congressional staff who worked for influential Members.

There is an agreement among Congressional staff and the sitting Members they should listen to former staff and former Members because, in addition to campaign donations to Members, the present staff and many sitting Members want to collect large paychecks working for lobbyists after they leave Congress.

This is why many Congressional staffers like doing an internship which will let them make real money when they leave Congress to work for lobbyists.

The interesting thing about this is no one in D.C. sees anything wrong with this system which often puts money, or the prospect of future money, before the people’s interests.

The FAIRtax & Lobbyists

Will The FAIRtax eliminate lobbyists?  No.  As long as the federal government is distributing (stealing from one to give to another) trillions of dollars, there will always be lobbyists representing people wanting to get their hands on as big a chunk of it as they can.

However, one of the most lucrative activities for the lobbyists and their employees will be eliminated when The FAIRtax becomes law.  When the corporate income tax is gone, there can no longer be a long line of corporate interests looking to buy themselves favorable tax treatment.

With no exemptions and no deductions in The FAIRtax, corporations will no longer have to spend millions of dollars trying to buy special exemptions and deductions for themselves.

The other huge change for the lobbyists and Members of Congress will be they can no longer sell benefits and hide them deep in the Infernal Revenue Code.  This is a prospect the lobbyists, Members of Congress and The Ruling Class find quite frightening.

Despite their arrogance, these people know the only people they can fleece are the ones who don’t realize they are being fleeced.

This explains why The Ruling Class and their minions in D.C. oppose The FAIRtax so fiercely as it will upset the lucrative setup they’ve been using to line their own pockets at our expense for decades.

Conclusion

As humorist Will Rogers observed in the 1920’s, “You see the President only tells Congress what they should do, lobbyists tell’em what they will do”.

This is still the way things happen in D.C.  The politicians often promise one thing but almost always do what is best for them, not us.  Who often defines what is best for them?  Lobbyists.

When politicians dare to propose a staffer has to wait 2 years between leaving Congress and going to work for a lobbyist, they are met with howls of outrage from other Members.  Why?  Because many claim such a provision would cost them their best staffers.  No one is going to want to use a Congressional staff position as a stepping stone to working at a lobbying firm if it comes with a 2 year waiting period.

No, The FAIRtax will not stop the greed-driven relationship between the lobbyists, politicians and political staff.  It will just make it harder to operate in ways the public cannot really see.

The FAIRtax benefits the economy and the American people, not the lobbyists.

It’s time for The FAIRtax become the law of the land and replace the corrupt income/payroll tax system.  Instead of aspiring to become lobbyists profiting from government spending, these bright and capable people should instead devote their energy to helping businesses become more successful.
 
Demand Congress To Pass
The FAIRtax—the only “Fair tax”!

The author George Bernard Shaw said these words in a play he wrote, "You see things; and you say 'Why?'  But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not'?”

Isn’t it time for us to ask, “Why not?” 

President Trump, Embrace The FAIRtax, the only real tax reform!  Stand up to the Swamp.  They will oppose you anyway because they see you as a threat.  What have you got to lose?

The truth is the truth!  Remember, if we don't continue to tell the truth and demand a change, then George Orwell's "1984" quote may foretell our children's future: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever"
Thank you for staying FAIRtax strong!
 
Yours In Liberty!   Yours In Freedom!

Steve Hayes
Chairman, Americans For Fair Taxation


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Americans for Fair Taxation® is a 501(c)(4) non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization solely dedicated to replacing the current income tax system with a fair, simple and transparent national consumption tax – the FAIRtax® Plan. We rely entirely on contributions from concerned citizens like you who want a tax system that will generate jobs and stimulate the economy. Welcome to the FAIRtax team!

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