John Linder

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John Linder
John Linder, official portrait, 111th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 7th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Bob Barr
Succeeded by Rob Woodall
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 11th district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Cynthia McKinney
Succeeded by Phil Gingrey
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Ben L. Jones
Succeeded by Cynthia McKinney
Personal details
Born (1942-09-09) September 9, 1942 (age 71)
Deer River, Minnesota
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lynne Linder
Residence Duluth, Georgia
Alma mater University of Minnesota Duluth
Occupation Dentist
Religion Presbyterian
Military service
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1967-1969

John Elmer Linder (born September 9, 1942) is an American politician who was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1993 to 2011. His district was numbered the 4th from 1993 to 1997, the 11th from 1997 to 2003, and the 7th from 2003 until 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Linder announced that he would retire from Congress at the end of the 111th Congress.[1]

Early life, education and career[edit]

He was born in Deer River, Minnesota, was educated at the University of Minnesota Duluth,[2] served in the United States Air Force, was a dentist and businessman, president of a lending institution, and a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Committees assignments[edit]

Party leadership[edit]

  • Republican Steering Committee

Linder has taken a leadership role in the effort to enact fundamental tax reform. His legislation, the Fair Tax Act (H.R. 25), is a proposal for changing United States tax laws to replace all federal personal income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes, capital gains taxes, self-employment taxes, gift taxes and inheritance taxes with a national retail sales tax and monthly tax rebate to households of citizens and legal resident aliens.[4]

In 2006, he voted against renewal of the Voting Rights Act.

Fair Tax Act[edit]

U.S. Rep John Linder holding the 132 page Fair Tax Act in contrast to the more than 50,000 pages of tax code laws and regulations currently in effect.

Linder is coauthor of The FairTax Book with radio talk show host Neal Boortz, which spent time atop the New York Times bestseller list.[5] The book discusses H.R.25, also known as the Fair Tax Act, which Linder sponsored. They released a follow up book FairTax: The Truth in 2008.[6]

Linder first introduced the legislation in July 1999 to the 106th United States Congress. He has reintroduced substantially the same bill in each subsequent session of Congress. While the proposed bill has yet to have a major effect on the tax system, the Fair Tax Act has the highest number of cosponsors among tax reform proposals (attracting 76 in the 110th United States Congress),[7] gathering much stronger support than popular flat tax legislation. A number of congressional committees have heard testimony on the FairTax; however, it has not been voted on in either Chamber. The bill is cosponsored by former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, but has not received support from the Democratic leadership.[8] Matching legislation has been introduced into the Senate by Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss. The FairTax has generated a large grassroots tax reform movement in recent years, led by the non-partisan group Americans For Fair Taxation.[9]

Interest groups[edit]

Linder has worked with interest groups such as Americans for Fair Taxation as well as National Taxpayers Union. Since 1996 [10] Linder has backed the National Right to Life Committee 100 percent of the time. Since 1996 Linder has backed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at least 90 percent of the time except in 2005 where he backed them 75 percent of the time. Throughout his career he has supported groups like National Small Business Association, National Association of Manufacturers, National Restaurant Association, and Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. He also has backed the interests of the NRA throughout his career.[10]

Campaign finance[edit]

A former dentist, Linder has received $40,100 from health professionals as well as $57,900 from the health sector as a whole. He also ran his own lending firm so he receives backing from the Insurance and Finance sector amounting to $86,839 as 12/31/2008.[11] He has received $25,401 from the Construction industry and $25,300 from the Energy and Natural Resources industry. Overall in the 2008 cycle he has a total income of $581,976 of which he spent $375,540, and by the end of the cycle he had accumulated no debt at all.[11]

Voting record[edit]

Linder’s voting record is conservative. He has shown throughout his career that he is pro-life, voting for bills like Prohibit Partial-Birth/Late Term Abortion bill and Ban on Partial-Birth/Late Term Abortion.[12] He is also a fiscal conservative, voting against every piece of the stimulus package and most spending programs throughout his career, such as Auto Industry Financing, Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis, Housing Bill with Energy Tax Credit Extensions, Medicare Bill, and Public Transportation and Alternative Fuel Grants.[12]

Criticisms[edit]

FairTax presentation[edit]

Some have criticized Linder, Neal Boortz, and Americans For Fair Taxation for the way they have presented the FairTax plan, a tax reform that replaces all federal income taxes with a single national sales tax on personal consumption above poverty level. The most common critique is the method of presenting the FairTax rate as a 23% sales tax. Under the plan, consumers would pay to the government $23 out of every $100 (referred to as tax inclusive): items priced at $100 would contain $23 of taxes.[5] American sales taxes have historically been expressed as a percentage of the original sale price (referred to as tax exclusive): items produced at $77 pre-tax, cost $100 with the tax added (30% on top of $77).[13] Congressman John Linder has stated that the FairTax would be implemented as an inclusive tax, which would include the tax in the retail price, not added on at checkout—an item on the shelf for five dollars would be five dollars total.[6] The receipt would display the tax as 23 percent of the total.[4] Linder states the FairTax is presented as a 23 percent tax rate for easy comparison to income tax rates (the taxes it would be replacing). Proponents believe it is both inaccurate and misleading to say that an income tax is 23 percent and the FairTax is 30 percent as it implies that the sales tax burden is higher, when in fact the burden of the two taxes is precisely the same. The plan's opponents call the semantics deceptive.[13] FactCheck called the presentation misleading, saying that it hides the real truth of the tax rate.[14]

The Fair Tax has also been questioned by Social Security groups which believe the economic assumptions of the Fair Tax are unsound. The basis of the Fair Tax is that taxes affect economic decisions. The Fair Tax would remove all payroll taxes. Yet, the impact analysis of Social Security done by the Fair Tax supporters claims that the Fair Tax will not change the number of beneficiaries under existing law. Under economic principles normally applied by the Linder and Boortz, removing the cost of participation would increase not only the number of beneficiaries but the size of claims.

Non-disclosed travel[edit]

Linder has also been criticized for omitting a trip paid for by a client of lobbyist Jack Abramoff from travel disclosure forms, even though he declared it on his personal income filings. According to John Byrne and Ron Brynaert of The Raw Story, "Linder should have filed a travel form shortly after his trip and could have corrected it when he belatedly filed for other trips last year. Failing to properly report sponsored travel is a violation of House rules."[15]

Political campaigns[edit]

Georgia gained two seats after the 2000 census, but the Georgia state legislature produced a map intended to produce a congressional delegation of seven Democrats and six Republicans. Linder and fellow Republican Bob Barr were drawn into a heavily Republican district that, while retaining Barr's district number (the 7th), contained more of the territory Linder had represented in what had been the 4th District from 1993 to 1997 and the 11th District since 1997. Linder handily defeated Barr in the 2002 Republican primary, all but assuring him of a sixth term. Linder ran unopposed in 2004. In 2006, he was re-elected with 70.9% of the vote.[16]

Electoral history[edit]

Georgia's 4th congressional district: Results 1992–1994
Georgia's 11th congressional district: Results 1996–2000
Georgia's 7th congressional district: Results 2002–2008[17]
Year District Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
1992 4th Cathey Steinberg 123,819 49% John Linder 126,495 51%
1994 4th Comer Yates 65,566 42% John Linder 90,063 58%
1996 11th Tommy Stephenson 80,940 36% John Linder 145,821 64%
1998 11th Vincent Littman 53,510 31% John Linder 120,909 69%
2000 11th (no candidate) John Linder 199,652 100%
2002 7th Mike Berlon 37,124 21% John Linder 138,997 79%
2004 7th (no candidate) John Linder 258,982 100%
2006 7th Allan Burns 53,553 29% John Linder 130,561 71%
2008 7th Doug Heckman 128,158 38% John Linder 209,349 62%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Linder to retire - Jonathan Martin". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  2. ^ "Linder, John Elmer". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. 
  3. ^ "John Linder Biography". The Online Office of John Linder. Archived from the original on 2006-08-23. Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  4. ^ a b Linder, John (2005-01-04). "H.R. 25: Fair Tax Act of 2005". govtrack.us. 109th U.S. Congress. Retrieved 2006-07-20. 
  5. ^ a b Boortz, Neal; Linder, John (2006). The Fair Tax Book (Paperback ed.). Regan Books. ISBN 0-06-087549-6. 
  6. ^ a b Boortz, Neal; Linder, John (2008). FairTax: The Truth: Answering the Critics (Paperback ed.). HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-154046-2. 
  7. ^ "H.R.25 110th Cosponsors". 110th U.S. Congress. The Library of Congress. 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  8. ^ Bender, Merrill (2005-06-01). "Economists Back FairTax Proposal". Budget & Tax News. The Heartland Institute. Retrieved 2006-07-20. 
  9. ^ "Committee on Ways and Means Hearing — Statement of Leo Linbeck". Committee on Ways and Means. 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-01-12. Retrieved 2007-01-25. 
  10. ^ a b "Project Vote Smart - Representative John Linder - Interest Group Ratings". Votesmart.org. 2010-05-14. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  11. ^ a b "Project Vote Smart - Representative John Linder - Campaign Finances". Votesmart.org. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  12. ^ a b "Project Vote Smart - Representative John Linder - Voting Record". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  13. ^ a b Vance, Laurence (2005-12-12). "There is No Such Thing as a Fair Tax". Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved 2006-07-20. 
  14. ^ Miller, Joe (2007-05-31). "Unspinning the FairTax". FactCheck.org. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  15. ^ Byrne, John; Brynaert, Vance (2006-02-27). "Georgia congressman failed to declare Abramoff client trip". Raw Story. Archived from the original on 2006-05-14. Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  16. ^ "Georgia Election Results". Georgia Secretary of State. 2006-11-16. Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  17. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ben Jones
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 4th congressional district

January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1997
Succeeded by
Cynthia McKinney
Preceded by
Cynthia McKinney
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 11th congressional district

January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2003
Succeeded by
Phil Gingrey
Preceded by
Bob Barr
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 7th congressional district

January 3, 2003 - January 3, 2011
Succeeded by
Rob Woodall