The largest voter guide distribution in Iowa history wrapped up this week, just in time for Election Day. Iowans for Fair Taxation distributed half-a-million voter guides to every corner of the state. Instead of mailing them, the non-partisan organization relied on a handful of employees and volunteers to hand deliver the guides to convenience stores, hotels, bars, co-ops, bakeries, coffee shops and mom-and-pop stores throughout Iowa. Any place where the local community gathers received at least a few dozen voter guides.
The numbers are astounding:
|Voter guides distributed||500,000|
The organization’s travels are documented on their Facebook page. A snapshot was taken at each stop and posted online.
“The number one thing is to show everyone in Iowa that Iowans for Fair Taxation is real, it’s legit and we’re an active grassroots organization,” said Craig Bergman, the president of the group.
The voter guide is a 16-page, newspaper style publication that explains the Fair Tax, the organization’s purpose and provides information on where every federal and state candidate stands on several issues, not just taxes.
The guide also shows where Iowa’s federal candidates stand on Obamacare, judges, the Keystone pipeline, property rights, auditing the Fed, privatizing Social Security and school choice. Candidates running for the Iowa Legislature have their stances details on issues such as ending abortion funding, traditional marriage, constitutional carry, judicial selection reform, protecting property rights and banning traffic cameras.
The ultimate goal of Iowans for Fair Taxation is to see the state of Iowa, and the nation, adopt the Fair Tax plan. Basically, the plan eliminates all taxes and replaces them with a 23% sales tax. Workers would keep their entire paycheck. So, a laborer making $15 per hour actually takes home $15 for every hour he works.
All loopholes and exemptions are also eliminated. The convoluted tax code becomes very simple and the IRS becomes obsolete. You are only taxed on retail purchases. However, to offset the expenses for necessities like food and medicine, the Fair Tax provides a monthly universal prebate to ensure that each family unit can consume tax free at or beyond the poverty level. So, a two-parent, two-child household would receive a monthly prebate of $580, totaling $6,960 per year.
“Consumers would be the only people who pay taxes,” Bergman said. “The rich would pay more taxes because the rich buy more stuff.”
Advocates of the Fair Tax believe the plan would provide an instant boost to the economy. By eliminating corporate taxes, companies would stop shifting jobs overseas and bring their investments back to the U.S.
“If we went to a Fair Tax model here in Iowa, we would be one of the most competitive states in the nation. Immediately, ” said Judd Saul, vice-president of Iowans for Fair Taxation. “Iowa would prosper more than it has ever prospered before.”
Iowa Congressman Steve King is one of the nation’s top proponents of the Fair Tax. Although they are a non-partisan organization, Iowans for Fair Taxation hope the voter guides provide a boost to King’s reelection hopes.
“We would love to see him reelected to the congress,” Bergman said. “We hit pretty heavy in his district. Ames, for example, we probably distributed 50,000 voter guides there.”
King’s opponent, Christie Vilsack, has repeatedly attacked Steve King on the Fair Tax, although she proved her ignorance in a post-debate news conference by admitting she did not know the details of the Fair Tax plan.
“I think she’s an empty suit, or skirt, whatever you want to call it, who’s parroting whatever her consultants out on the East Coast told her to say,” Bergman said.
Iowans for Fair Taxation believe their views will be warmly received by state legislators. Even if the entire Fair Tax plan is not adopted, the group will advocate for important legislation such as a reducing the commercial property tax.
“Our organization does not want to have to exist in five years,” Saul added. “We want to get our job accomplished, get the state where it needs to be and then go away.”
The group’s voter guides can be viewed online at TheIowaStatesman.com.
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