The most enjoyable parts about generating support for tax reform and my FairTax bill have been meeting energetic Americans, seeing the bill bring together hundreds of thousands of supporters and pressing forward with more co-sponsors in the House of Representatives than ever. The most disappointing aspect of the process is hearing someone say that it's a great idea, but it's really too bad because it will never pass.
I believe we can pass fundamental tax reform because that is what we, as Americans, have always done. We have always been able to achieve great things and provide more opportunities for ourselves.
Ronald Reagan is my political hero, not only because he knew what he believed in, but also because he knew that the American people could achieve anything.
From the day he took the oath, he knew our problems could be solved because the American people have always had the capacity "to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this greatest bastion of freedom."
The can-do attitude is an American trait. Read the following, and consider the first reaction to the proposal: "We shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun."
After outlining the challenge, John Kennedy set a self-imposed deadline to achieve this goal. He said we would do it and would do it in that decade. And he said if we were going to do it, we had to be bold.
A comparison between the exhilaration of a victorious space race to our planet's moon and changing the tax code is admittedly a stretch. But the point is that this is too great a nation to simply accept the fact that every aspect of our personal and business lives forever must be accompanied by the burden of a corrosive, bureaucratic and unfair system of taxation.
The FairTax fulfills our nation's principles of less government, personal responsibility and individual freedom by offering true long-needed tax relief - in the form of lower prices, nearly nonexistent compliance costs, and the ability to choose how much to spend in taxes - to all Americans, while eliminating the IRS and allowing Americans to keep their paycheck.
If you don't think that Congress listens when the people express themselves, ask Dan Rostenkowski who, as Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee in 1989, had senior citizens chase him through the streets of Chicago and attack his car in reaction to a health care bill he had shepherded through Congress.
Not surprisingly, Congress quickly voted to repeal the law.
I am not advocating hammering on the hood of someone else's automobile, but I have seen the people move Congress. The American people can move Congress on fundamental tax reform as well.
The FairTax generates excitement about what it can achieve for our nation and for future generations of Americans. At a Wednesday evening FairTax rally in Atlanta, 4,500 people packed a convention center and 3,000 more were turned away. The next rally in Orlando attracted 10,000 supporters on a Saturday morning.
The Orlando Sentinel told the story of Bruce Sofge and David Rady, who left home at 1:30 a.m. for a seven-hour drive to the Orlando rally, and Kim Nichols, a flight attendant who took off work and put 400 miles on her 12-year-old Toyota Camry to join the rally.
I believe that this is the next grass-roots revolution. And I know that we can make it a reality.
Big ideas take time and this is a big idea. Nonetheless, when a book I co-wrote about tax reform spends weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, and can compete, albeit briefly, with Harry Potter, anything is possible.
Rep. John Linder, R-Duluth, has served in the House of Representatives since 1992. Have any thoughts about this column? Share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be no more than 200 words and are subject to approval by the publisher. Letters may be edited for style and space requirements. Please sign your name and provide an address and a daytime telephone number. Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Gwinnett Daily Post, P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046-0603. The fax number is 770-339-8081.