John Linder endorses former chief of staff to replace him

You can’t categorize this as a surprise, but U.S. Rep. John Linder just endorsed his former chief of staff, Rob Woodall, as the man to replace him in Congress.

Woodall, who helped Linder and radio talk show host Neal Boortz write two books on the Fair Tax, said weeks ago that he entered the 7th District congressional race with Linder’s blessing.

(State Rep. Clay Cox of Lilburn, considered the other financially endowed Republican in the race, has been quietly collecting endorsements from his friends in the Legislature.)

But an endorsement from an 18-year congressman is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Said Linder in a press release:

“When deciding to retire from Congress, I had a fear that with all of the challenges facing our great nation, now would be the wrong time to change leadership in Washington. With Rob Woodall’s announcement that he would seek my current seat, that fear is gone. I am proud today to give Rob Woodall my unconditional endorsement in the race to be the next Congressman from the 7th District of Georgia.”

Linder on Woodall and the Fair Tax:

“He is alone among the field of candidates ready to continue the fight for the FairTax. Together, Rob Woodall and I made the decision to introduce the FairTax, and he has been an active partner in the effort ever since. He has traveled across the country promoting the bill and has invested countless hours improving the bill and educating its critics. To succeed, the FairTax cannot simply have a supporter; it needs a champion. I commit to you that Rob Woodall is that champion.”

So if you’re Clay Cox, even though you’ve already endorsed Linder’s national sales tax, your challenge is to make the July 20 primary something other than a referendum on the Fair Tax.
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32 comments Add your comment


April 13th, 2010
6:08 pm

But an endorsement from an 18-year congressman is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Said Linder in a press release:

“When deciding to retire from Congress, I had a fear that someone would win my seat and do something worthwhile. Now would be the wrong time to change leadership in Washington. With Rob Woodall’s announcement that he would seek my current seat, that fear is gone. Rob will be just like me. He will continue to do nothing for the 7th district. I am proud today to give Rob Woodall my unconditional endorsement in the race to be my stand-in Congressman from the 7th District of Georgia.”

The Snark

April 13th, 2010
6:16 pm

Oh goody. A guy whose chief intellectual accomplishment is helping a radio talk show host write a book about a tax that couldn’t possibly work.

[And before you start writing insults in favor of the Fair Tax, please show us all how the federal and state government could possibly have kept afloat over the last eighteen months with a tax based solely on spending. And "cut wasteful spending" doesn't count as an answer, unless you think maintaining roads and the United States Air Force are wasteful spending.]


April 13th, 2010
6:49 pm

Rob must be elected, The Fair Tax can cure everything including acme and cancer. Too bad it can’t cure stupid stuck on Boortz!

Where's he live?

April 13th, 2010
6:50 pm

Rob Woodall lives in Washington, but is about to be unemployed so he has my vote. I may be old fashion but I’ll actually vote for someone who lives in OUR district.


April 13th, 2010
7:01 pm

Loved Woodall’s first speech about serving Gwinnett. I guess he forgot about the rest of the district – Walton, Barrow, part of Newton, and part of Forsyth. Sorry John. But a single issue candidate gets nowhere. Lots more to fight on than a tax that is a failure before it even begins. Add to the fact Obama’s health plan just dug the IRS in deeper. You’ve got a long way to go before this country could even begin to implement such a plan. Move along. Nothing to see here but some carpetbagging endorsement.

Mike Smith

April 13th, 2010
7:02 pm

The federal government is running a huge debt, so it’s not staying “afloat” under the current system of income taxation.


April 13th, 2010
7:24 pm

The people who have posted comments so far are no better than the ones they seek to tear down. The Politics of Destruction has got to stop. i’m betting not many on here have if bothered to get to know any of the candidates.


April 13th, 2010
7:37 pm

The nice thing about the flat-tax klan is that they don’t even pretend to be Christian.

Nice change after having watched ‘w’ use The Bible as toilet paper for eight years!


April 13th, 2010
7:56 pm

The Cynical White Boy

April 13th, 2010
10:53 pm

That’s convenient, the lobbyists with the real power and access already have his cell phone number, and have probably been schmoozing him (and wife, if applicable) for some time period now.

Bitter EX democrackkk

April 14th, 2010
6:02 am

Most of you people are too friggin illiterate to have even READ ANYTHING ABOUT THE FAIRTAX!!!

If you understood what it would do for YOU, then YOU would be wild for it! Course, I like Ron Paul’s
goal of NO TAX even better!

STRIVE to be SMARTER than the ORIGINAL ‘party’ of SLAVERY wants YOU to BE ! ! !


April 14th, 2010
6:29 am

Check out Doug Heckman. He just entered the race and he is a patriot. Citizens of the 7th Congressional District – it is time to throw the incumbents (Woodall and Cox) to the curb. Check him out:

unfair tax

April 14th, 2010
6:38 am

This bogus “fair tax” was dreamed up by a radio talk host and linder based on phony economic data bought from some economist. It’s a fraud and will end up taxing moderate and lower income people on all the money they make, while letting rich fatcats pay taxes on only a small portion of their income. It will never pass–bank on it!

Bill Orvis White

April 14th, 2010
7:50 am

@unfair tax
But overtaxing those who already pay most of the federal income taxes in this once-free nation only hinders job growth. Most of those high achievers create jobs and the wealth in our nation.

From what I have read, Mr. Woodall is a top-notch candidate who will fight for and most likely, implement the patriotic FairTax system.

Sorry, but Mr. Heckman is a bad choice. I thank him for serving his country, but he’s still a tax and spend liberal Democrat who has a record of supporter Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and all of the other crooked Dems in this state and nationally.
God-willling, Mr. Heckman will be stopped. He’s a “Stuck-On-Stupid” Secular Progressive Democrat who needs to be badly defeated.



April 14th, 2010
8:29 am

If only all our problems could be solved by calling one another names.

LOBBYIST for Woodall

April 14th, 2010
8:32 am

Since my good friend Rob lives in D.C. it is cheaper for us lobbyist to buy him. When you lower the lobbyist cost of doing business it is like a tax cut for the common man.

Ga Values

April 14th, 2010
8:37 am

Mike Smith 7:02 pm

We have a SPENDING PROBLEM not a tax collection proclem, Woodall is part of the big spending culture that has ruined this country.


April 14th, 2010
8:42 am

Linder said, “now would be the wrong time to change leadership in Washington”. Never thought I’d see the day John Linder would want to keep Obama, John must have started drinking really early yesterday.

Paddy O

April 14th, 2010
8:54 am

James – the shut up unless you know everything. Very effective manipulation. Makes me think he was raised by a single mom.


April 14th, 2010
9:15 am

Vote out the incumbents and start over

No For Status Quo

April 14th, 2010
9:22 am

In times like these we do not need “status quo” politicians. We need someone with a fresh message and the courage to stand by it. The only viable 7th candidate I see who is not already a career politician is Josh McKay. If there are any other non-career politicians I would like to know.

Paddy O

April 14th, 2010
10:42 am

Hmm. Previous comment was deleted – here it is again: The Fair tax pushers forget one portion of the fair tax equation – the ability to pay. However, no one should have to pay over 20% of their income to the FEDS, who have an insatiable ego which they satisfy by proposing feel good programs which do what government is not designed to do – do things for people they should do for themselves.

Paddy O

April 14th, 2010
10:46 am

I would propose eliminating deductions and provide everyone with a standard $35,000 single individual deduction, then if you make over $250,000 you receive another standard $50,000; and for every $250,000 you again receive $50,000. Or, simply provide everyone who earns over the $35,000 a flat 20% income no tax zone; HOWEVER, all citizens over 18 must pay a minimum of federal tax – at least 1% of their income, regardless of how much they earn – if they earned only $500 last year, they would pay $5.00; if they earned $50,000, they would pay at least $500. This would be fair and give everyone some skin in the game.

Paddy O

April 14th, 2010
10:50 am

I am also waiting for a congressional candidate who would push a constitutional amendment which would mandate a balanced budget, with no borrowing.

Tax Question

April 14th, 2010
11:12 am

Under the tax laws, you can deduct unlimited mortgage interest on million dollar homes, but cannot deduct the cost of a college education. Why is that?


April 14th, 2010
1:47 pm

I wish people would really learn about FairTax before they talk about it! A lot of research and money was put into this future law! Open you mind before you open your mouth! Go to Utube and look for information or buy the books. God Bless America we really need his help!

GOP Voter

April 14th, 2010
2:45 pm

Check this out – a pretty balanced piece on the FairTax:

It is from the nonpartisan National Review:


April 14th, 2010
5:08 pm

The National Review pulls the same old line “is it 23% or 30%” trick that’s been going around for years. Compared to your Income Tax if you make $10,000 and pay $2,300in taxes that’s 23% – right? With the FairTax if home theater system costs $10,000 in the store, 23% – or $2,300) of that would go to sales tax. The actual store selling price was $7,700, but the marked price of $10,000 includes the $2,300 (and it will be shown on the receipt). The $7,700 price is the FairTax price after all the taxes on the manufacturer and the supply chain are removed. This makes the product cheaper to manufacture (and suddenly American can compete overseas again). But anti-FairTax folks like to say that the INCREASE from $7,700 to $10,000 is a 30% increase. Even though the store price is still the same. If you are going to use that math then if your TAKE HOME after taxes is $7,700 and you pay $2,300 in taxes, then you are taxed at a 30% rate – not the 23% rate. The FairTax is only to provide the SAME INCOME to the government, without the burden of the IRS. It was never advertised to fix the budget, but by taking the taxes off the businesses they can be competitive. Businesses don’t pay taxes, they just pass them on to the consumer. Putting the tax at the register means American business can be competitive overseas. The FairTax PRE-BATE lets people at the poverty level pay NO TAXES until they go above that level.

[...] Clay Cox (R), Jef Fincher (R), Jody Hice (R), and Tom Kirby (R) in the GOP primary on July 20th. Political Insider Jeff Galloway has the scoop: You can’t categorize this as a surprise, but U.S. Rep. John Linder just endorsed his former [...]


April 15th, 2010
8:38 am

A Misleading Sales Pitch
For a misguided sales tax


Here’s the pitch: The FairTax — a plan to replace the federal income tax and payroll tax with a national sales tax — will get rid of the IRS forever. It will let workers keep their entire paychecks and retirees keep their entire pensions. It will raise just as much money as the current tax code. It will promote economic growth. It won’t hurt the middle class, and it won’t cause prices to rise. It will even end our illegal-immigration problem.

These claims are drawn from the leading proponents of the plan: a group called Americans for Fair Taxation, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and the trio behind the book FairTax: The Truth. By painting an attractive picture of a prosperous America without an IRS, they have gotten many conservatives to become enthusiasts for their cause. Rising conservative star Marco Rubio, a Senate candidate in Florida, has endorsed the FairTax in the past (although more recently he has hedged on it). Republican congressman John Linder of Georgia, a FairTax co-author who just announced that he will not run for reelection, has made promoting it his principal mission in Congress. The Iowa Republican party has endorsed it. It seems to be gaining support among tea partiers.

The FairTax sounds too good to be true. It is. The campaign for the FairTax is deeply misleading, and much more likely to set back the cause of tax reform than to advance it.

The FairTaxers give a misleading answer to the first question everyone asks about their idea: How big will the tax be? The FairTaxers say they want a 23 percent sales tax. Most people will assume that a product that costs $100 before the tax is added would cost $123 with the tax. Actually, the tax would be $30 and the total price $130. They call it a “23 percent” rate because $30 is 23 percent of $130. Those FairTaxers who understand the numbers defend this way of calculating the tax rate because it makes it comparable to the income-tax rates they’re trying to replace. But it’s not the way any of the 45 states that have sales taxes calculate their rates. Whether or not the FairTaxers intend to mislead people by using the 23 percent figure, confusion is the effect.

It is not at all clear that this 30 percent sales tax would raise enough revenue to eliminate income and payroll taxes. Brookings Institution economist William Gale has estimated that to replace current federal tax revenues, the tax rate would have to be 44 percent (or 31 percent the way the FairTaxers calculate rates: A $100 product would cost $144 after tax). Gale’s calculation assumed that nobody would evade the sales tax and that Congress would not narrow the tax base by, for example, exempting medical services from the tax. Relaxing those assumptions increases the rate required even further.

Several groups of people would be adversely affected by the tax. Retirees, for example, have paid taxes on their wages during their working lives. After a FairTax was implemented, they would find themselves also having to pay higher taxes on everything they used their accumulated savings to buy. The value of non-retirees’ accumulated savings would drop, too.

The middle class would also pay higher taxes. Under the FairTax plan, the federal government would give all legal residents of the U.S. a “prebate” to cover sales taxes on all purchases up to the poverty line. That would protect the poor (except for illegal immigrants; higher prices are supposed to induce immigrants to come legally so they can get their prebate). And the rich would pay less than they do now, since returns to investment typically are a large share of their income, and these would go untaxed. So if revenues are to stay the same, the middle class will have to pay more. If the change in tax policy increases economic growth, this effect will be mitigated — but it will take a very long time for it to disappear under any plausible assumptions. Governor Huckabee’s claim that voters in all income groups would come out ahead while the federal government would raise the same amount of revenue as before is of course unsupportable.

FairTax proponents generally respond to these criticisms with what we would have to call flimflammery if we thought they understood the issues. Existing taxes are embedded in today’s consumer prices, they say, so getting rid of them would cause prices to drop. Adding sales taxes would be “a wash,” says Huckabee. So prices don’t go up, and workers get to keep their “entire paycheck.” Again, it sounds too good to be true.

And again, it is. If prices stay flat after a sales tax, workers can’t keep their “entire paychecks”: Wages have to fall. The paycheck you’re keeping would be smaller. (Think about it this way: If existing taxes are embedded in the cost of every product, they’re embedded in the cost of labor, too.) If wages don’t adjust downward, then unemployment has to rise. If the Federal Reserve increases the money supply to prevent this combination of falling wages and rising unemployment, then consumer prices will increase.

Most experts in tax administration also say that enforcing sales taxes gets hard quickly once the rates hit double digits. That’s one reason that many countries with broad-based consumption taxes levy value-added taxes, which are collected in smaller amounts at each step along the production and distribution chain, instead of sales taxes, which are collected in one big lump at the end. The fact that no country relies on sales taxes to the extent the FairTaxers advocate does not, however, faze them. Americans for Fair Taxation’s website discusses the issue thus: “Two of the largest economies in the world rely almost solely on sales taxes: Florida and Texas. Many civilizations in history have relied solely on transaction-based consumption taxes: a percentage of a grain shipment in exchange for a safe harbor.” Sales taxes in Florida and Texas are under 10 percent. Might imposing a 30 percent tax rate on the sales of a non-grain-based economy pose different issues? AFT doesn’t say.

Even some of the real advantages of the FairTax are overstated. Households would not have to prepare returns, and would thus enjoy more privacy. On the other hand, the federal government would still have to know people’s wages in order to determine how much they have earned in Social Security benefits. (Which leads to another problem, albeit a surmountable one. Those benefits are now linked to payroll taxes paid, which would of course end with the FairTax. As a result, people would have an incentive, for the first time, to make the federal government think they earned more than they actually did: They would accrue higher Social Security benefits while paying no extra taxes. Waitresses would start over-reporting their tips. The FairTax proposal has to take steps to combat this misreporting.)

And we haven’t even gotten to the politics of it. How likely is it that Congress and the president — any Congress, any president — will agree to create a new tax system that punishes the middle class and senior citizens? One that taxes people when they buy a home in which to live, but not when they buy a house as an investment? (This example comes from The FairTax Fantasy, a fairly comprehensive attack on the idea by Hank Adler and Hugh Hewitt.) That requires state and local governments to pay taxes to the federal government whenever they buy something — and thus, in all likelihood, to raise their own taxes? Let’s even stipulate that these are good ideas, and that the protests of the homebuilders and the charities at the loss of their popular deductions should be ignored. What are the odds that they will be?

AFT also advocates the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, which permits a federal income tax. Doing so would require the approval of 38 states’ legislatures. Good luck with that.

In their book FairTax, talk-show host Neal Boortz, Congressman Linder, and Linder aide Rob Woodall dismiss the notion that their campaign is quixotic by arguing that the American Revolution seemed that way too. Abandoning the FairTax as politically impractical, they say, would betray “the American spirit.” They add: “How sad it would be if the FairTax came so very close to reality, then failed legislatively because just a few people — people who could really have helped, people who could have made such a positive difference — just shrugged their shoulders and said, ‘Hey, it’s a good idea, but I don’t see it happening.’”

They need not worry about that scenario. The FairTax is not going to come close to reality. It is true that some things once considered unlikely have come to pass, but working to enact the FairTax is still a waste of time. The American spirit has historically included a fair amount of calculating of odds. And the vast majority of times that people have said, “That will never happen,” they were right.


April 15th, 2010
9:31 pm

And the vast majority of times that people have said, “That will never happen,” they were right.

Terrible logic. Besides, the odds that a fledging country like America in the 1770’s would grow to become the world’s only superpower weren’t great either, were they? They were miniscule. Luckily we had some courageous leaders that believed in something, and we are sorely lacking in that department these days.

Jackson Walls

April 17th, 2010
5:21 pm

BE alert to a large Democratic crossover. The Republicans liked it when they voted McKinney out a few years ago. Will they like it when the Dems crossover and vote for a lesser known Republican in the Primary?? Doug Heckman’s only chance is to make sure that neither Clay Cox or Rob Woodall get 50% of the primary vote. If the primary goes to a runoff and either Cox or Woddall isn’t in the top two, then the Dems will have their second chance and easier pickings and just maybe give it to one of the other horses running behind. The Libs are planning to ID a lesser known Republican in the race and vote like crazy to get them in the November Race. Then Doug Heckman can chew them up. The DNC is planning all this and throwing lots (I mean lots) of money at it. I have my sources and you watch. If you don’t think it is possible, look who is in the White House and look who is super organized.

And it will chew up the cash all the way to November.