Congressman King presents an American flag to Dwight Hauff from Sioux City, America’s Oldest Worker. Hauff, 100, has been a staple in Sioux City business since 1933.
The following continues with more of the conversation that took place last Friday morning between Congressman Steve King and myself. We got into some of the stuff that FairTax supporters need to realize but may not know about the two way street between our FairTax co-sponsors and our grassroots efforts.
(Speaking first) We've spent years debating back and forth and I've listened to the same arguments being said two weeks ago that was being argued 2 years ago. It seems that we have to keep going over these same arguments over and over again because these people are just wasting our time with it. If the other side, and I'm not blaming the Democrats or the Republicans here, but if the people who are opposed to FairTax decided that they suddenly wanted to have a VAT tax, they would just jump on CNN and start selling it... A guest on CNN said last Sunday that the US would have to impose a VAT tax because the current tax code was sure to fail very soon. [The host] quickly agreed and thanked the guest for telling us what we will be looking at very soon. We had eight to ten thousand people at the republican [debate] in Columbia SC last year. CNN basically went out of their way to ignore us. The question I want to put to you is this: Since you have been very vocal for FairTax, what do the FairTax supporters like me need to do to help you get this thing moving along? I just don't think writing letters to our congressmen is going to get it.
Congressman Steve King of Iowa:
We have people come into this Congress that understand that the FairTax is a good idea and then they are pummelled by their political opposition who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to accuse them of wanting to raise the tax on a loaf of bread by 30%. Then [the FairTax supporting candidate] has to go out and raise enough money to offset that. Some are beaten, not that many, some curl up in a political fetal position and just slide away from it. That's what's been happening so when you have people who are solid FairTaxers and they get pounded, and they win anyway, then they slide away from it. Now I'm not speaking of anything that Pete Sessions has said, I just watched what happened down there a couple of election cycles ago. Pete got pounded for his support of the FairTax and he won the election. And Pete is a great guy, a fighter, and smart and all of that but he has not been very vocal about the FairTax since then and I'm not sure if he is a co-sponsor of the bill anymore, I've not looked. So, umm, thats part of it. So if the opponents are wounding members who are FairTax supporters, then there has got to be strong support on the part of FairTax to defend them. Now let's just say Pete Sessions's race, and then again, this is not anything that Pete has said to me, its just what I've seen from the outside, let's just say that when Martin Frost brought that attack on him, Lets say that FairTax had enough resources to come in and run independent ads beating up on Martin Frost by advocating for the FairTax. They could prep the landing zone, so to speak. If that were to happen and you were able to convince people by informing them before they could be mis-informed by those little bumper sticker phrases about raising the tax on a loaf of bread by 30% Those kinds of things would help. What I'm saying is "It does take money." Money is the mother's milk of politics. Now, I'm solid and I haven't asked for anything of FairTax. You know, I believe in it... I'm never going to change and I'm eager for the debate. Let somebody come and run against me on the FairTax and I'll drag them out in the open and make them defend the IRS. In fact, I did that when I first ran for Congress. I ran against a CPA who was very proud of his, I'll say, financial [status]. I dragged him out into the open and just pounded him mercilessly to the point where he would not even talk about taxes anymore in the last three weeks of the election. Then we went and took a debate that we did and played it on cable TV in his home town for two weeks solid. It ran several times a day. So, I'm not your typical person when it comes to that. [FairTax supporting candidates] have to know the issue well enough to want to fight! They have to realize that they can gain from that debate politically. The vulnerability has come because there has been money that has run against them and it has not been matched up on the other side. Putting the information out...running a website...getting as many interviews as possible... getting as many op eds as possible... Getting as many high profile people as possible who will advocate for the FairTax. We have Huckabee and we have Sean Hannity who are both very strong FairTax supporters. As much as that can come on so that people can get confidence, that it is a good solid idea and that it is the salvation of this economy. That is all good. You have to build enough grassroots out there so that you can have a PAC that will defend these members that are attacked. If not, they are going to curl up in that political fetal position.
Ok, That's some great information! That is some of the things we have been looking at doing. FairTax Nation is just a little bit different than FairTax.org, I mean AFFT, in that...well we think that FairTax.org has the greatest plan in the FairTax and all the [research] that they have right there. Ken Hoagland is the Communications Coordinator for AFFT. He was telling some of us that there were 175,000 people who submitted their names to FairTax.org just in the past fifteen months. That's just phenomenal in my opinion. But what's also my opinion is that we need to have these people out in the public eye. If we had 175,000 people screaming, yelling, and organized to do something we could press Congress to do something. Press CNN.. Press Fox News to be serious about it. I think we can do more. What do you think about that?
It's hard to press CNN on that and Fox will emerge a little bit. You have got to have a hook to get the news. You [AFFT] rallied all those people in South Carolina... How many did you say, Jim?
Somewhere between eight and ten thousand people. They surrounded the entire building but a handful of war protesters received all the coverage. If you looked back behind the war protestors, you could see this, I don't know... this huge stream of FairTaxers walking around the building. They did not get covered but a hand full of war protesters getting all this coverage at a republican [presidential debate].
Now I remember that happening and I remember seeing the FairTax film of that so it is kind of in my mind. Lots of people wearing those white tee shirts with FairTax on it. And that was all good. You said you've got 175,000 people signed up on FairTax.org? Ummmm...
That's just in the past 15 months or so. There's...
How many on the database all together? Do you know?
Well, I don't know for sure, but over the past 10 years or so I understand that the people have added up to over a million who have left their names with FairTax.org. In my mind, I feel like many of them think they are by themselves where FairTax Nation hopes to get them fired up in a community type effort. For example, the lady in Washington State named Jamie Wheeler kind of feels like she is out there all by herself but she is plugging away for it. Here she sees her efforts as part of a nation wide effort and her ideas are being talked about and discussed on the site. I mean people all over are able to get involved and see their efforts move the thing forward. We are only two months old and without any real advertising or anything, we have a couple thousand members already. Many, not all, of the FairTax activists are already starting to join the site. This is where we are really hoping that we can work hand in hand with FairTax.org and really get the grass roots moving.
I'm just thinking about how you energize and you get people to do the buy in.... @ 26:00 min
(to be continued).