It's very disappointing, but not surprising that the Tax De-Form Panel
has taken the weak, easy way out. They did not reform anything. They did not do what the President asked them to do. And, they did not do what the people want.
Bloomberg has a good summary of what the did(n't) do here
Regarding the FairTax, Connie Mack, Chair of the Panel, said "I get the sense -- I've picked this up since the first meetings we've had -- that this is an area the panel does not want to pursue." AMAZING!
So essentially, it was a done deal from the beginning that the panel was going to ignore all of the evidence for the FairTax and deliver another window dressing to the American People. They first put out a report titled "America Needs a Better Tax System" and then basically kept the same system with a few tweaks. They didn't simplify the tax code or promote economic growth. They essentially said there is nothing wrong with the current tax code except for the alternative minimum tax.
Fortunately, members of Congress are elected by VOTERS, not by panels or the National Retailers Association. The revolution is well underway. There are some on the GaFairTax YahooGroup who see that as the silver lining. The panel dumped the whole tax reform ballywick back in the lap of Congress. Therefore, the fence sitters can't hide behind the Panel any longer.
Someone has suggested that the panel members be fired and sued for fraud by the taxpayers who are paying them to REFORM the tax system. I'd go along with that.