"Blow up the tax code."12:08 PM, Jun 18, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Kentucky senator Rand Paul has introduced a tax reform proposal that promises to "blow up the tax code" and replace it with a flat tax on individual and business income. Here's Paul introducing his proposal in the Wall Street Journal:
Some of my fellow Republican candidates for the presidency have proposed plans to fix the tax system. These proposals are a step in the right direction, but the tax code has grown so corrupt, complicated, intrusive and antigrowth that I’ve concluded the system isn’t fixable.
So on Thursday I am announcing an over $2 trillion tax cut that would repeal the entire IRS tax code—more than 70,000 pages—and replace it with a low, broad-based tax of 14.5% on individuals and businesses. I would eliminate nearly every special-interest loophole. The plan also eliminates the payroll tax on workers and several federal taxes outright, including gift and estate taxes, telephone taxes, and all duties and tariffs. I call this “The Fair and Flat Tax.”
In addition to the flat rate on all income, Paul's plan would remove all deductions from the code except those for mortgage interest and charitable donations. "The first $50,000 of income for a family of four would not be taxed," he writes. "For low-income working families, the plan would retain the earned-income tax credit."
Paul says he developed the plan with the helps of Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation, flat-tax advocate Steve Forbes, and economist Art Laffer. He also says the Tax Foundation estimated the plan would add 1.4 million jobs and 10 percent to GDP over ten years.
Paul is not the first or only Republican presidential candidate to release a tax plan, and there's a surprising amount of diversity in the plans of those running for the GOP nomination:
Texas senator and contender for the presidential nomination Ted Cruz has argued for a flat tax that would allow an American taxpayer’s return to “fit on the back of a postcard.” John Kasich, the Ohio governor who also may run for president, told reporters in Washington this month he’s been “in conversation” with conservative activist Steve Forbes about the flat tax as well. And the newest declared presidential candidate, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, used his announcement speech to reiterate his support for the FairTax, a single-rate consumption tax replacing numerous federal taxes including the income tax.
But at the center of the debate is the proposal put forth by first-term senator and White House hopeful Marco Rubio of Florida. Coauthored by fellow senator Mike Lee of Utah, it’s the first serious tax plan by any presidential candidate this cycle. It’s also the first to break the strict “lower the rates” Republican mold. Briefly, Rubio and Lee propose two individual income-based tax brackets of 15 percent and 35 percent; a corporate tax rate of 25 percent; stripping the code of all deductions except those for charitable contributions and mortgage interest; and—perhaps the most controversial feature on the right—a significant increase to the child tax credit. Rubio and Lee called it “pro-growth, pro-family” tax reform.
A surprising divide on a core issue.
May 18, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 34 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan has an unusual decoration on the wall of his Capitol Hill office: a framed Laffer curve. This totem of supply-siders everywhere is drawn on a napkin and signed by the economist Art Laffer himself. “To my friend, Paul Ryan,” reads the note.
Here's why.11:38 AM, May 7, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The ice is finally melting. Not the Arctic ice, although that might be melting too. I mean the frozen position critics of the global warming hysterics have been taking. They disagree with Obama’s contention that the science of climate change is settled, and prefer reading actual temperatures recorded on thermometers to print-outs of assumption-ridden models.
1:33 PM, May 1, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Ohio governor John Kasich, who may run for the Republican nomination for president, said he is in talks with publisher and conservative activist Steve Forbes to develop a flat tax reform proposal.
"I’m in conversation now with Steve Forbes on the flat tax," Kasich said Friday afternoon at a lunch sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
It’s still a good idea. May 4, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 32 • By STEPHEN MOORE
Almost exactly 20 years ago, a gawky conservative renegade magazine publisher named Steve Forbes threw his hat in the ring for the 1996 GOP presidential nomination. Forbes’s run was first seen as a joke. But he wound up rocking the Republican establishment by injecting fresh and bold reform ideas into a party that had become crusty and tired.
4:04 PM, Apr 15, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
While Hillary Clinton was meeting with voters in Iowa on her second full day as a presidential candidate, Marco Rubio spent part of his discussing a tax policy white paper at a Washington think tank. The newly declared candidate joined with Utah Republican Mike Lee at the Heritage Foundation to talk about their proposal to reform the tax code, which has already become a point of contention in Rubio's nascent presidential campaign.
7:31 AM, Mar 4, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah have returned to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to tout their latest tax reform proposal. The Republicans call their plan both "pro-growth" and "pro-family," and say it addresses inequities in the tax code for businesses and middle-class families.
Here's an excerpt:
The case for GOP boldness. Sep 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 03 • By FRED BARNES
Big ideas sometimes play a role in political campaigns, but not in this year’s midterm elections. Republican candidates concentrate on linking their opponents to President Obama and his policies. That’s it. Democrats are understandably wary of defending Obama. They go after Republicans on minor or trumped-up issues, often in unscrupulous TV ads.
Why do lobbyists work so hard to counter a tax bill that has no chance of passing? Mar 17, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 26 • By IKE BRANNON
When House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, introduced a major tax reform proposal at the end of February, the entire tax policy world in Washington was set into motion. I have friends who lobby on tax issues who claim they did not sleep the two days after the release, working through consecutive nights to read the bill, confer with colleagues, and conceive of a plan to counter what’s in the bill that impacts their clients.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:11 PM, Oct 15, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer John McCormack on the latest in the government shutdown and debt ceiling talks:
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:05 PM, Oct 11, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Jay Cost on the government shutdown and whether the GOP has a strategy to end it with a policy victory.
Sep 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 04 • By YUVAL LEVIN
Republicans these days are eager to replay the Reagan revolution. It is not hard to see why: In the 1980s, the GOP was the party of ideas, and the vision that Ronald Reagan and his supporters brought to Washington proved immensely popular with voters and profoundly improved American life. But in their effort to repeat Reagan’s particular policies, rather than his more impressive feat of developing policies that applied conservative principles to the problems of his day, today’s Republicans risk becoming detached from the country’s real concerns.
Obama and Reid kill tax reform.Aug 12, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 45 • By FRED BARNES
Tax reform is dead. President Obama killed it, with an assist from Senate majority leader Harry Reid.
To be exact, it’s officially dead now for this year and next. But in truth, it’s been dead for months because Obama, in private negotiations with Republicans conducted by his aides, rejected the one thing that makes tax reform politically possible: revenue neutrality. It allows the tax base to be broadened and tax rates to be lowered.
10:23 AM, May 14, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Seems K Street and Max Baucus were looking forward to a fun year of fixing up the tax code and making it stand up and salute. But now the IRS has gone and muddied the waters. As Erik Wasson and Peter Schroeder write at The Hill:
Don't expect White House leadership on corporate tax reform.Apr 22, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 30 • By IKE BRANNON
The Obama administration recently signaled to the business community that it could countenance some version of a territorial tax system for income earned abroad by U.S. businesses. Tax reform enthusiasts have seized on this perhaps a little too desperately, as evidence that reform will occur this year. It’s a thin reed, however: If any tax reform does pass Congress it will happen in spite of, and not because of, this administration.