We made it! As of 5:17 p.m. Eastern Time we have 28,062 signatures - and counting - on the petition to President Obama requesting him to invite Neal Boortz, the author of The FairTax Book, to spend one hour talking with the President about tax reform. See:
We got 3,062 more than the number needed for President Obama to respond, as he agreed he would - affirmatively, negatively, or neutrally. I feel a sense of relief.
Having said that, the initiation of this petition was risky and could have done damage. Our best case is that President Obama will be polite, invite Neal Boortz for tea, and at the end of the hour smile and say goodbye. Maybe there will be a photo op.
President Obama can also say he will not meet. If he finds a reason to say no, few will notice, and the FairTax will not advance.
Obama's senior member of the Council of Economic Advisers, Jason Furman, has already said the administration opposes the FairTax. A positive response from the Obama administration to the FairTax is unlikely under the best of circumstances.
We must consider for next time what could have happened if we had not garnered the necessary number of names. Such a shortfall would have given our opponents an argument that we have little grassroots support: we could not even muster the minimum number of signatures. The damage to the FairTax would have outweighed the gains we have now.
Next time let's deliberate before we act. Having said that, congratulations to all of us!
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Has there been any indication that there will indeed be a response?
I didn't see anything. The deal was supposed to be that with 25,000 signatures the White House would reply.