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Tax Symposium

The Income Tax:
Necessary Evil, Or the Root of All Evil?

Moderated By Dr. Murray Sabrin

April 17, 7pm, Trustees Pavilion

Income Tax Symposium Video

Sebastian J. Raciti Memorial Scholarship will be awarded at the Tax Symposium

The 16th amendment to the United States Constitution was passed in 1913, authorizing the federal government to implement an income tax.  The amendment was hotly debated for years before it obtained the necessary support from states to be added the Constitution.

In 1954, Frank Chodorov wrote a blistering critique of the income tax, The Income Tax: Root of All Evil.  In his short book, Chodorov makes the philosophical and economic case against income tax.  Sixty years after Chodorov’s book, and 100 years after the 16th amendment, income tax reform is still hotly debated in Washington DC.

To discuss the impact of the progressive income tax on the U.S. economy over the past 100 years and proposals to reform or replace the income tax, a panel of experts has been assembled for the symposium.  They include:

Jim Bennett

Jim Bennett will serve as the spokesperson for the proposal known as the FairTax®. The Fair Tax Act, HR25 and S122, is a bill in Congress that is designed to replace Subtitles A, B and C of the Internal Revenue Code and phase out the Internal Revenue Service that will become obsolete, over a three-year period.

Jim Bennett is an attorney employed by the State of New Jersey for the past 14 years as a Deputy Attorney General. Jim asks that it be made clear that the comments you will hear are his, and do not reflect any position of the State of New Jersey, its departments or agencies.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Lafayette College and a Juris Doctor from New York Law School. Jim also took graduate law courses in International Law at the NYU Law School before serving in Germany as a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the United States Army.

Jim worked in Mannheim, Germany with the Army for three years, then took a position at Gerling-Konzern, an insurance conglomerate in Cologne Germany for three more years. Jim was was transferred to New York where he was promoted to Vice President. Jim later became a Vice President and General Counsel at the Colonia Insurance Group in New York. Jim is fluent in German.

Jim started a private law practice in Summit, New Jersey in 1990 before taking his current position.

Jim was a proponent of consumption taxes as a replacement of income taxes before having heard of the FairTax. Jim heard about the FairTax® in 2005 and decided immediately it was a worthy pursuit. He now is the Volunteer Regional Director for Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, a member of the Board of FairTax® New Jersey, a member of a national FairTax® grassroots steering committee.

Jim has appeared on Television and Radio, including the John Gambling Show on WOR Radio, New York, Local Edition of Headline News Network and the Jim Gearhart show on New Jersey 101.5. Jim is a frequent contributor of blogs and articles, having had a letter published in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times. Jim is a Guest Lecturer at New York University and recently returned to his alma mater, Blair Academy, to speak to the Society of Skeptics. Last year Jim met with the Coordinator of Tax Policy of the Government of Chile to discuss the FairTax®.

The FairTax® movement is active throughout the United States and is a single issue and non-partisan undertaking.

Constance Crawford

Constance Crawford is professor of accounting in the Anisfield School of Business at Ramapo College.  She holds a B.S. degree from Fordham University and a MBA from Iona College.  Prof Crawford has extensive public accounting experience and is a CPA.  Her publications have appeared in the Journal of Modern Accounting and Auditing, Public and Municipal Finance, The Global Journal of Business Research, Journal of Business and Accounting, and the International Journal of Green Economics.  Prof. Crawford’s research interests include the Ethical Implications of Taxation on Society and the  Viability of Guest Worker Program on U.S. Economy.

Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger,  founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years and also an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. In 1989 he founded The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is a contributor or co-editor of the eight books published by FFF.

Dan Mitchell

Dan Mitchell currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC. His major research interests include tax reform, international tax competition, the economic burden of government spending, and other fiscal policy issues. He is one of the nation’s leading experts on the flat tax, and has been the leading international voice in the fight to preserve tax competition, financial privacy, and fiscal sovereignty. His responsibilities at the Institute include authoring papers, writing editorials, working with the public policy community, and presenting the free-market viewpoint to newspaper, television, and radio media.

Prior to joining the Cato Institute in 2006, Dan spent nearly 17 years as an economist at the Heritage Foundation. Earlier in his career, he served as an economist for Senator Bob Packwood of Oregon and was Director of Tax and Budget Policy for Citizens for a Sound Economy. For more than three years in the mid-1990s, Dan began every day by co-hosting the morning show on NET, the Political NewsTalk Network. The program, “Mitchells in the Morning,” was available in more than 10 million households, and featured in-depth discussion of current events with elected officials, journalists, pollsters, authors, and public policy experts.

A prolific writer, Dan is the author of The Flat Tax: Freedom, Fairness, Jobs, and Growth. In addition, Dan’s work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Washington Post, New York Times, Washington Post, National Review, Villanova Law Review, Journal of Regulation and Social Cost, Forbes, Emory Law Journal, Public Choice, Journal of Financial Crime, Foreign Policy, Pace Law Review, USA Today, Offshore Investment, Playboy, Investor’s Business Daily, Worldwide Reinsurance Review, and the International Tax Planning Association’s Yearbook. He has appeared on all the major networks, including CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX, CNBC, and C-SPAN.

Dan is also an accomplished public speaker, and has spoken to a wide variety of groups in dozens of cities and more than 30 foreign countries. Audiences have included the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Bermuda International Business Association, the Business Roundtable, the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Swiss Bankers Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, and dozens of other groups and organizations.

In addition to his Cato Institute responsibilities, Dan founded the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, an organization formed to protect international tax competition. Born in Mt. Kisco, NY, Dan Mitchell holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Georgia and holds a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University.

Steven Pressman

Steven Pressman is Professor of Economics and Finance at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ, North American Editor of the Review of Political Economy, and Associate Editor and Book Review Editor of the Eastern Economic Journal, and Treasurer of the Eastern Economic Association. He has published more than 150 articles in refereed journals and as book chapters, and has authored or edited 16 books, including A New Guide to Post Keynesian Economics (Routledge, 2001), Alternative Theories of the State (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2006), and 50 Major Economists, 3rd ed. (Routledge, 2013), which has been translated into 5 different languages. He is also a frequent contributor to local newspapers, and appears frequently on local and national TV.