Congressman Greg Walden’s town hall meeting on Jan. 25 brought questions from the audience about how the Medicare and Social Security trust funds will be kept solvent and what can be done about the 11 million illegal immigrants who take advantage of our medical and social programs, but in many cases do not contribute to them through taxes.

A bill pending in the House Ways and Means Committee, the Fair Tax Act, would help resolve all of these issues. This bill, after doing away completely with income taxes, as well as several other forms of taxation, would impose a tax on consumption. As such, everybody, including the 11 million illegal immigrants, would be participating in funding the federal government, and a portion of those funds would be directed to funding the Medicare and Social Security trust funds.

By broadening the tax base to include everyone who spends money, a larger and more stable source of funding just makes good sense. The bill would also catch many who now pay little or no taxes, such as foreign tourists, tax evaders and the rich who derive income from nontaxable sources. However, out of compassion, the bill provides relief for low-income families.

Passing the Fair Tax Act would constitute the biggest transfer of power from government to the people in the history of this republic. An extensive grassroots movement is under way to do just that. Please join in making this a reality by indicating your support on the website.

Patrick R. Burkett