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Barbarians at the gates…

September 13, 2011
“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” Thomas Jefferson A full-blown debate – and a likely overhaul – of the nation’s tax policy is coming. Whether it is triggered by the recommendations of the “Deficit Super Committee” that are due by Thanksgiving, or whether it is postponed until after the November 2012 elections, the state of the nation’s economy and realization that major changes are needed to secure the viability of our two primary entitlement programs (Medicare and Social Security) combine to ensure that a line-by-line (and exemption-by-exemption) review of the Tax Code will take place within the next two years. There are many oxen that could be gored in this debate – corporations taking advantage of tax loopholes, non-profit hospitals, university endowments, the NCAA, fraternals – and a cacophony of voices that will be clamoring for the attention of lawmakers. The life insurance and financial services industries alone will be competing to be heard in this very crowded field – commercial insurers, insurance agents, financial planners, and investment managers will all be making their (sometimes conflicting) cases to public policymakers. But there is only one organization – the American Fraternal Alliance – that will be representing the best interests of our 72 member societies and the more than 9 million families that count on fraternals for their financial independence and community service projects that strengthen the nation’s social fabric. The Alliance’s ability to positively impact the public policy debate is dependent on the participation of its members – executives of member societies, leaders of members’ local networks, and the millions of individuals who live, pay taxes and vote in virtually every congressional district in the United States. Are you and your society ready to engage? Understanding the issues and the nuances of the political debate is an important first step. We urge each of you to take a few minutes to listen to THIS PODCAST where a key member of the Alliance’s federal advocacy team – Gabe Horwitz of McBee Strategic Consulting – provides an overview of the coming tax debate and our responsibility to affect its outcome. You can hear more from Gabe at the Alliance’s Annual Meeting later this month in Denver. Gabe will be a featured speaker at the conference and, more importantly, will be available to answer your questions about the tax reform debate and the specific steps your society can take to participate in this critical advocacy initiative.