By Mike Bush
Riders supporting Fair Tax to visit all 48 contiguous states
ROSWELL — Mike McLean wants everyone around the continental United States to know about the Fair Tax.
So he and his wife, Carol, organized the Grass Roots Freedom Ride to let people across the country know about the proposal to replace the income tax with a consumption tax.
The McLeans were in Roswell Monday, where they met about 15 supporters, from Roswell, Carlsbad and Alamogordo. The Grass Roots Freedom Ride, which began in Horse Shoe, N.C., June 2, was to go through Alamogordo on its way to Tucson. Mike McLean said the group has come 9,300 miles through 19 states across the Southeast so far.
“We plan on going to all 48 (contiguous) states, but we are meeting with groups in a number of places,” McLean said. “The Pasadena (Calif.) Tea Party sent me a note they’re meeting next Saturday night.”
Riders carry two flags, the Fair Tax flag and the Revolution II American flag, both of which they are asking people at every stop to sign.
Mike McLean, leader of the Grass Roots Freedom Ride, sits on his motorcycle as Bob Mitzel of the Chaves County Tea Party Patriots hold out the Sons of Liberty flag McLean carries with the Latin phrase “acta non verba” (actions, not words). The Grass Rots Freedom Ride made a stop at Cahoon Park on Monday, on its way from Big Spring, Texas, to Alamogordo.
“We’re taking these flags to Congress in September when we’re up in D.C.,” McLean said. “We’ll be meeting with congressmen and show them how much support we have.”
The McLeans will be in Washington for the national ride of the Sons of Liberty Riders, of which they are members, scheduled Sept. 9-13.
There’s also a motorcycle being raffled off. The motorcycle is a special edition V-custom Twin “American Bagger” built by Harley Linville for the FairTax raffle
Tickets are $20 and proceeds will go to the NC FairTax GRFR account. Tickets can be bought at any Grass Roots Freedom Ride event or by sending a check to NCFairTax, c/o Russell Sockwell, P.O. Box 181, Morehead City, N.C. 28557.
5,000 tickets will be sold. Winner will be selected in late September after the ride is completed.
Those interested can also make donations and buy raffle tickets online at www.grassrootsfreedomride.com/rafflebike.
They’re also associated with the Americans for Fair Taxation (Website www.fairtax.org), proponents of the “Fair Tax.”
“The Sons of Liberty and Fair Tax, once you read about them, they’re going to both bring the power back to the people and away from the government, the way government started out,” McLean said. “We’re very much constitutional.”
The groups also believe in limited government and things like term limits, “but, really, the Constitution is our bible” for the way government should be operated, he added.
The Fair Tax is a proposed national consumption tax that would replace the federal income tax as well as payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, McLean said.
“People who are wealthy or don’t work don’t pay payroll tax, so it’s a limited group of people who are actually funding the government,” he said. “This spreads it out to anyone who spends money. All visitors to our country, the underground economy, all illegals still spend money in our country and therefore they will all share in the tax burden.”
Manufacturers would benefit because the Fair Tax would eliminate payroll taxes and the match that each business has to pay for each employee, “so it eliminates about 22 percent embedded tax in each manufactured item,” he added, “so now we will be much more competitive globally.”
This also would provide manufacturers with funds they could use to pay higher wages or hire more workers, he said. “It stimulates jobs, for sure.”
McLean said there has been $22 million in research on the Fair Tax bill, which is 133 pages long — compared to almost 70,000 pages in the current federal tax code, which even the Internal Revenue Service admits is so complicated that it takes an accountant to figure out what does and doesn’t apply to each taxpayer.
He said the Fair Tax also would eliminate income tax returns for all but the sellers, who would calculate the tax they would charge.
As the logo on his motorcycle says, April 15 would become “just another day to ride,” he added.
Other taxes, such as inheritance tax and capital gains tax, also would be eliminated.
He invited everyone to go to www.fairtax.org, which provides answers to questions and also has a calculator with which people can figure what they would pay under the Fair Tax.
“I guarantee you’ll come out better under the Fair Tax,” he said. “It’s just a matter of working the numbers.”
The tax also is revenue-neutral, which means the proposal is based on bringing in the same amount of revenue as the current tax system.
“The intention here is not to change the spending level of our government. I wish we could, but this is strictly to change how we collect tax, where we get it from,” he said. “Instead of just the working level of people (under the Fair Tax), it’s now coming from everyone that spends, which I think is a better way, personally” because it focuses on consumption — what people spend — instead of income — what they earn.
He noted the Fair Tax would be a federal tax and so would not affect state taxes, except those based on federal income tax.
“If we don’t have a federal income tax any more, the state has nothing to base it on, so they have to change,” he said, adding. “If the people of each state are supportive of the Fair Tax, chances are they’ll be supportive of it at a state level also, but that’s yet to come.”
Proposals similar to the Fair Tax have been introduced in several states, but none have passed yet, “but movement has begun,” he said.
Bills have been introduced into both houses of Congress, The House bill is HR 25 and has 66 sponsors and McLean said he is meeting with some representatives and candidates for the House. The Senate bill is SB 296.
He said he has not met with any congressmen or candidates for Congress in New Mexico.
The Grass Roots Freedom Ride began in Horse Shoe, N.C., and has gone through Lexington and Walton, Ky.; Dayton, Ohio; Lawrence, Ind.; Champaign, Ill; Galesburg, Iowa; Kansas City, Kan; Miami, Okla.; and Huntsville, Houston and Big Spring, Texas.
From Roswell, the ride was to go to Alamogordo; Tucson, Apache Junction and Sedona, Ariz.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Pasadena and San Francisco, Calif.; Grant’s Pass and Portland, Ore; Seattle and Spokane, Wash.; Coolin, Idaho; Browning and Helena, Mont.; Jackson Hole and Moran, Wyo.; Ogden and Jensen, Utah; Estes Park, Colo.; Scottsbluff and Dunning, Neb.; Sioux City, Iowa; Aberdeen and Rapid City, S.D.; Mandan, N.D.; Duluth, Minn.; Tomah, Eau Claire and Milwaukee, Wis.; Aurora, Ill. Michigan City, Ind.; Flint and Farmington Hills, Mich.; Lakeside Marblehead and Cleveland, Ohio; and Wheeling, W.Va.
Then, after a couple of days break, the ride will begin again at Horse Shoe and go to Floyd and Front Royal, Va.; Washington, D.C.; Altoona and Scranton, Pa.; Rochester and Watertown, N.Y.; Burlington, Vt.; Bangor, Maine; Duxbury, Mass; Howard Beach, N.Y.; Philadelphia; and end in Washington.