PETTISVILLE - Danny Dymarkowski's first job last summer gave him a stunning glimpse of the real world.
It wasn't the work or the hours, but the taxes deducted from his paycheck as a construction crew assistant that got to him most.
Tonight he hopes to start doing something about that.
The 16-year-old, who was home-schooled this year but will be a junior at Pettisville High School in August, is hosting a public meeting to present the Americans for Fair Taxation Fair Tax Plan.
He likes the little-known organization's idea of replacing the income tax and all other federal taxes with one national sales tax.
Such a plan, he said, should eliminate the considerable expense of operating the Internal Revenue Service, cut down on cheating on taxes, and save taxpayers the hassle of studying rules, sifting through financial records, and filling out forms every year.
He hopes to draw interest from "anybody who has any concern about their money whatsoever" and gain enough support for the idea locally that it gets the attention of legislators representing the area, such as U.S. Rep. Paul Gillmor (R., Old Fort).
Those goals, Danny admits, have given him the reputation of being 16 going on 40. He followed local Republican primary campaigns with the same interest many boys have in sports. But his friends, he said, know that he is so interested in politics that he hopes to run for office as soon as he turns 18.
"He's the most impressive 16-year-old I've ever met," said Chad Baus, who represents Archbold's northwest precinct on the Fulton County Republican Central Committee.
He met Danny when they were both working on the campaign of State Rep. Steve Buehrer (R., Delta) for the Republican nomination to the Ohio Senate District 1 seat.
"He knows way more than I did at 16, and I thought I was into politics at that age," Mr. Baus said.
The Fair Taxation plan calls for a single-rate, federal retail sales tax on new goods and services for personal consumption. It would not tax used items or business-to-business purchases for the production of goods and services.
It could replace, according to its promoters, all other federal taxes, including income, estate, gift, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, and Medicare.
And it would include a rebate to all U.S. citizens who hold a valid Social Security card for the amount of tax a person at the poverty level would pay.
At his meeting at 7 tonight in Pettisville Missionary Church, Danny plans to show a video of the Fair Taxation plan, share his own views on it, encourage the audience to ask questions, and sign up volunteers to promote the idea with him.
Taxes aren't Danny's only big political interest.
He has strong feelings on the right to carry arms and was one of 42 students from across the country chosen through an essay contest to attend the National Rifle Association's Youth Education Summit in the Washington area next month.
"He's pretty conservative," said Jeff Fryman, an Archbold village councilman who met Danny at Pettisville Missionary Church, which they both attend. "He doesn't like big government. And when he finds something that's a good cause, he chases after it."
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