Monday, 03 October 2005, 14:15:46 EDT

Do you enjoy being mugged every other week (once a month if you are on salary)? That is what the federal government does, you know; it mugs you. You don't believe me? Okay, then consider this example. Last Thursday I received my bi-weekly pay check. Before the paycheck was even in my hands the government had taken, sorry, "withheld" $149.53 of it for taxes thus leaving me with 78.64% of my money. Let's dwell on that word "withheld" for a moment. What does it mean? Well according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word withhold means "refuse to give (something that is due to or is desired by another." Just so you don't get your panties in a twist here is a secondary definition that the government would prefer you to use: "(of an employer) deduct (tax) from an employee's paycheck and send it directly to the government." If you look at it from the government's preferred angle then you are led to believe that your employer has given you all the money owed to you but immediately taken some back because the government has asked for it. That is just a fancy way of saying "refuse to give". Even if you don't agree with me that the government is refusing to give you the money you earned you must still agree that the government is going to get it at some point. If they didn't steal it out of your paycheck you would just have to write them a big check once a year. Or would you?

What would you say if I were to tell you that you can keep all of the money owed to you by your employer without the federal government getting one penny of it? Sounds good doesn't it? It can happen; the only thing that needs to be done is for you to quit being lazy and write your representatives. Write them and tell them that you are in favor of the FairTax Plan (H.R. 25). The FairTax plan would eliminate federal withholding and keep that money in your pocket. Instead, the government would get its dues from a national sales tax on all goods and services (minus the bare necessities which it will pay you to buy). Don't take my word for it, though. Pick up The FairTax Book by Neal Boortz and Congressman John Linder. It is a short book (Really, it is very short. I finished it last night amid my busy school schedule.) in which they detail how the current tax system reams the average American and how the FairTax would give us the financial freedom we deserve. Once you have read the book, I demand that you do, you will need to write your representative either supporting their backing of the Plan or urging them to get on board. If you don't know who your representative is then you can use the search engine on the House of Representatives website to find out. It is even easier to find out who your senators are; all you have to do is visit and choose your state. Once you know who your congressmen are, visit their sites and research their stances on tax issues. That way you will know how to write your letter. On this issue I think it would be best to compose the letter yourself instead of using a form letter (you can find one at

A note on contacting your congressmen. Do not send them a letter via the United States Post Office if you wish for them to receive it any time soon. Security precautions put in place after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have made that the worst possible way to contact them. It could take up to three months for your letter to reach them via the post office. Instead, either fax, email, or phone them. Faxing them is the most immediate way to reach them; the fax doesn't have to go through security checks and it shows a strong desire to actually be heard. Emailing is acceptable but you will almost always get a form letter back in reply. I have had good success with email; a reply is usually very forthcoming and isn't always a form letter but most often is.