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Oklahoma State University

Accounting grad students quiz tax reformers

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

OSU accounting master's student Diana Healey (left) poses a question to FAIRtax Power Radio/TV podcast hosts Ron Maiellara (center) and Bob Paxton who filmed their program at Spears Business recently.

Oklahoma State University students will be featured guests this week on a special streamed national podcast produced at the Spears School of Business. The producers of the FAIRtax Power Radio podcast recorded their program at Spears Business May 24 showcasing accounting master’s degree students who quizzed the program’s hosts about the details of a national grassroots tax reform proposal. Part one of the podcast will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube this week.

As part of accounting instructor of professional practice Sarah Johnson’s Practicum in Professional Accounting graduate course, FAIRtax Power Radio podcast hosts Ron Maiellara and Bob Paxton, known as the FAIRtax Guys, were invited to Stillwater on May 24 to produce their podcast. Johnson’s students questioned the pair about the details of the proposal to eliminate the federal income tax and payroll taxes in favor of a national retail consumption, or sales, tax.

Part one of the program will stream at 7 p.m. central time Tuesday, June 4, and again at 10 p.m. at Maiellara and Paxton will take questions during the segments. Video of the program will also be streamed on YouTube at 8 p.m. central time Wednesday, June 5, at and archived at Part two of the program will be available the week of June 10.

The tax reform effort known as the FAIRtax was launched as a national grassroots campaign by Americans for Fair Taxation in 1995 and was first introduced in Congress in 1999. Proponents believe a national sales tax on the purchase on all new goods and services for personal consumption would be fairer and less complex than the federal income tax and would increase savings and investment.

“The purpose of education is to develop our students’ desire and ability to think and learn about the world around them,” said Johnson, who holds the Patrick B. Dorr Professorship in Accounting. “We are interested in challenging our students to explore new ideas and specifically, to model discourse based on a critical analysis of facts.”

Johnson worked with OSU alumnus Jade Walle to bring Maiellara and Paxton to Spears Business. Walle is an assurance partner with the PwC auditing firm in Denver and a supporter of the FAIRtax proposal.

“I wanted the students to gain valuable experience in assessing a new idea from a clear non-partisan perspective,” said Wade, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from OSU. “The analysis is what is key, and based on the class, the students performed exceptionally. The students’ questions were well thought out, insightful and stimulated great discussion.”

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