Yesterday, I headed out to the local Barnes and Noble for the Neal Boortz book signing of The FairTax Book. They wrote up a little article about the event in the local paper:
By Alexis Gines
GREENSBORO -- Neal Boortz, a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host, stopped here Sunday to promote a book on tax reform.
More than 100 people gathered at a local bookstore to chat with him and to pick up a copy of his latest work.
Boortz -- along with U.S. Rep. John Linder, a Georgia Republican -- wrote "The FairTax Book." In it, they support legislation to place a national retail sales tax on new goods and services to replace the federal income tax....
I'm glad I went and picked up a couple of copies of the book (one for myself and one for my father). I've been a fan of The FairTax almost since the first time I heard about it a few months (a year?) ago. I read the book in its entirety yesterday, and I'm even more of a fan now than ever. Philosophically, I'm against income tax, so I definitely don't like the current system. I recognize that the government needs to be funded, and I think that a consumption-based tax like the FairTax would be a better system. The FairTax is designed to collect the same amount of taxes that is currently being collected -- so it's neither a tax cut or a tax hike. Instead, it's a much different way of collecting taxes. Whether or not taxes are too low or too high for the services that the government provides is an entirely different question.
I ended up reading the entire book yesterday. I showed up to the book signing 2 hours early, so I read a little less than half of the book before Boortz showed up. I read the rest of it before going to bed last night. I'm glad that I got to the signing early -- although the newspaper article says "more than 100 people" showed up, other estimates place the crowd size at about 800. The bookstore said that they had 500 books available and they sold out. Obviously, some people bought multiple copies (I bought 2, e.g.) and some people didn't buy any copies (a husband and wife might have only bought one copy, some people brought copies they had obtained elsewhere) so there's not a direct relationship between the number of books sold and the number of people who showed up, but from the crowd I saw in the bookstore, I would definitely put the crowd closer to 800 than 100. Since I got there early enough, there wasn't a big crowd when I arrived and I ended up near the front. By the time I left, I could tell that the large crowd that had gathered behind me would have made me much more uncomfortable if I were in the middle of the crowd instead of on the edge.
I highly recommend checking out the FairTax. Start with their website and go from there. Look for people who have bad things to say about the FairTax and see if the FairTax website provides a rebuttal or an answer in their FAQ. Buy the book and look at the pros and cons. One of the things that impressed me most about the book is that they devoted space to listing and responding to criticism. The plan is not perfect -- no plan will be -- but I think that it's definitely much, much better than our current system.
Full disclosure: the links to the book are via my associates account at amazon, so if you click and end up buying the book, I'll get a small referral.