Archive for the ‘Flat Tax’ Category


Sunday, January 15th, 2012
The Wall Street Journal

  • JANUARY 14, 2012

‘Supply-Sider’ for the Working Man

Mitt Romney’s conservative rival Rick Santorum wants to grow the economy with tax breaks for manufacturing—and babies.


Manchester, N.H.

‘I’m someone who believes that making things creates wealth,” says Rick Santorum. It is primary day in New Hampshire, and the former Pennsylvania senator and current presidential candidate is describing his plan to slash corporate tax rates. To encourage companies to make things, he would completely eliminate the federal income tax on manufacturers. For all other businesses, the rate would be cut in half, to 17.5% from 35%.

Mr. Santorum also believes that making babies creates wealth. It’s very difficult to grow an economy with a shrinking population, he says, pointing to the “demographic winter in Europe” as a cause of that region’s troubles. To help avoid that fate in the U.S., he wants to triple the per-child tax credit and also cut individual tax rates.

In a still-crowded field of non-Romneys trying to compete for the Republican nomination, Mr. Santorum could emerge in the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary as the man who can bring together the old Reagan coalition. A champion of cultural conservatives with a blue-collar background, he is also making the case for deep cuts in federal spending. His credibility on this last issue derives from the political price he paid for being an early promoter of entitlement reform.

But as we drive around southern New Hampshire, he is still focused on making his final pitch in the Granite State. Though a career politician, he seems refreshingly unwilling to pander.

Outside a polling place in Bedford, a young mother expresses interest in early childhood programs. Mr. Santorum responds that Head Start has not delivered the promised results.

At Mastricola Elementary School in Merrimack, a wise voter suggests that Mr. Santorum should push even harder for growth with a flatter tax system that applies equally to everyone. Mr. Santorum is cheerful but gives no indication he’ll take the advice.

Related Video

With little money in his campaign account, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has used a socially conservative message is still working to show he can capitalize on his early success. Danny Yadron has details on Campaign Journal. (more…)



Friday, December 30th, 2011
The Wall Street Journal

  • DECEMBER 29, 2011

Reagan Had the Recipe for Success. Let’s

Follow It

Tax reforms to maximize economic growth, a sound dollar, and smarter regulations will touch off another historic boom.

Officially, the recession ended two and a half years ago. President Obama tells us the economy has been moving in the right direction since June 2009.

Few will take solace in that statistic. Americans are suffering. For nearly three years, nearly one in 10 have been out of work. Almost double that number are either underemployed—working part time when they would rather be full time—or have simply given up looking.

Historically in America, the deeper the recession, the stronger the recovery. By historical standards, we should be completing the second year of a booming recovery. Recall that, just like President Obama, President Reagan inherited a terrible economy when he took office. But Reagan enacted historic income tax rate cuts, regulatory reforms and spending controls. The recession officially ended in November 1982, and in the following two and a half years the unemployment rate dropped 3.6 percentage points, more than eight million Americans went to work at new jobs, and the longest period of economic growth in American history commenced.

Mr. Obama’s policies have been just the opposite: trillion dollar stimulus-spending waste, a government takeover of the health-care system, an activist EPA attacking businesses, and demonization of job creators. The president barnstorms the country advocating tax increases for investors, entrepreneurs and small businesses, teeing up the country for another crash in 2013 when the Bush-era income tax rates expire. Meanwhile, America’s businesses continue to suffer from the highest business tax rate in the industrialized world, with no relief in sight.

This nightmare will not end until Reagan-era economic policies are restored: tax reform, a sound dollar and smarter regulations. If they are, within a year the American economy will take off on another historic boom.

First, we must reduce the federal business tax rate to 12.5%, eliminate the capital gains tax as a double tax on capital income, and eliminate the estate tax. We must allow immediate expensing (writing off the costs in one year) for investment in capital equipment so American workers can continue to be the most productive in the world, using the latest and most advanced technology.


Associated PressPresident Ronald Reagan addresses a joint session of Congress in January 1982.




Friday, October 28th, 2011



Thursday, October 27th, 2011


Paul Ryan on the Perry Plan: ‘I Can Tell You This: It Would Grow The Economy’

Posted on October 26, 2011 3:11 PM

In a conference call today sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, Paul Ryan answered some questions regarding the Perry plan for an optional flat tax. Ryan once proposed an optional flat tax, with two brackets of 10 and 25 percent. “I can tell you this: it would grow the economy,” Ryan said of the Perry plan. “This enters the good stage of the campaign . . . where the candidates are putting forth actual ideas and bold solutions.”

Ryan made two counter-arguments, one practical and one political, against the concern raised by Shannen Coffin and others that an optional flat tax will increase the complexity of the tax code instead of reducing it. “The practical argument is, people have their lives organized around the current code . . . You’ve got to give people time to adjust and prepare. When you completely convert over to a system by halting a tax expenditure, you [introduce] a lot of economic dislocation to the economy . . . You can smooth that transition.” (more…)



Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
The Wall Street Journal

  • OCTOBER 25, 2011

My Tax and Spending Reform Plan

Individuals will have the option of paying a 20% flat-rate income tax and I’ll cap spending at 18% of GDP.

The folks in Washington might not like to hear it, but the plain truth is the U.S. government spends too much. Taxes are too high, too complex, and too riddled with special interest loopholes. And our expensive entitlement system is unsustainable in the long run.

Without significant change quickly, our nation will go the way of some in Europe: mired in debt and unable to pay our bills. President Obama and many in Washington seem unable or unwilling to tackle these issues, either out of fear of alienating the left or because they want Americans to be dependent on big government.

Related Video

Kim Strassel explains the Texas governor’s tax reform plan.

On Tuesday I will announce my “Cut, Balance and Grow” plan to scrap the current tax code, lower and simplify tax rates, cut spending and balance the federal budget, reform entitlements, and grow jobs and economic opportunity.

The plan starts with giving Americans a choice between a new, flat tax rate of 20% or their current income tax rate. The new flat tax preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents. (more…)



Monday, October 24th, 2011
Updated: Sun., Oct. 23, 2011,  home

Feeling flat


Last Updated: 12:27 PM, October 23, 2011

The nightmare on Main Street — the federal income tax code — is ending, which is fantastic news for our beleaguered economy. Dramatically simplifying this monstrosity would unleash a powerful wave of prosperity and job creation.

Thankfully in 2012 we will get a mandate to make this happen. Presidential contender Herman Cain vaulted to the head of the Republican pack when he proposed his 9-9-9 plan — a flat 9% income tax, corporate tax and national sales tax. Even better, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will, in a few days, unveil his version of a flat tax, a concept that I have long advocated.

To put things in perspective: Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which defined the character of the American nation, is only 272 words; the Declaration of Independence, 1,500 words; the Constitution with all its amendments, 7,200 words; and the Bible, which took centuries to put together, 773,000.

The federal income tax code and all its attendant rules and regulations — almost 10 million words and rising.

The code has been changed 14,000 times since 1986; last year alone there were 500 changes. The cost of compliance is horrific. The IRS itself calculates that we spend more than 6 billion hours a year filling out tax forms, the equivalent of almost 3 million full-time jobs. The Tax Foundation calculates that by 2015 annual compliance will be costing the American people some $483 billion a year. (more…)



Sunday, October 9th, 2011



Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
The Wall Street Journal

  • SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Flat Is the New Fair

Is President Obama paving the way for GOP tax reform?

‘Suddenly, liberal Democrats are making the same argument about the tax code that I’ve been making for 20 years,” laughs former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey. “Welcome to the party.” Mr. Armey, who along with Steve Forbes has been the torch bearer for the flat tax since the early 1990s, believes that the latest applause line from President Obama that “billionaires should pay the same tax rate as janitors” may be the political gateway to sweeping tax reform.


Flat-tax proponent and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes

Mr. Forbes sees an opening here too and says: “The flat tax is the perfect issue for these times. It fixes the economy and doesn’t cost a dime.” He’s right. It’s the teed-up GOP response to a jobless recovery and the near-universal sentiment among voters that the tax code is corrupt beyond repair.

That case is inadvertently helped as Mr. Obama and his new best friend, billionaire Warren Buffett, barnstorm the country trashing the tax system for, as the Oracle of Omaha puts it, “coddling the super rich.” In truth, the system isn’t nearly as skewed in favor of those at the top of the income pyramid as they allege: Today the top 1% pay 38% of the income tax. But in Washington, perception drives policy. The virtue of a flat tax with no deductions is that it provides an ironclad guarantee that the rich pay no lower a tax rate than janitors and secretaries. (more…)

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