(AP) Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback, looking ahead to Tuesday’s tax return deadline, on Monday suggested a flat tax as an option for taxpayers.
“I’m not taking on the current tax code from the standpoint of removing it,” the Kansas senator said. “I’m saying create an alternative and let people pick.”
I think this is an important distinction about Brownback’s plan. Let the people choose. If it’s successful (as it will be) it will become popular. And nobody’s forced into the program. It’s their choice. It’s a great way to bring this idea into reality.
Brownback, who spoke with reporters after meeting with customers at bookstore in Des Moines, Iowa, said his flat tax plan would not, at least initially, reduce federal revenue.
“Not as part of a system’s change I am proposing,” he said. “We would design a system that would yield comparable revenues.”
This is very important. Critics have spun chicken little stories about how the sky will fall if we implement a sensible flat tax. These stories have been used to defeat the idea before. This time, not only is it optional, but it will not affect tax revenues. Win-win.
Brownback said several details of his plan haven’t been set but would be in the coming months. One possibility is to require taxpayers to pick an option and stick with it for some time, likely five years, he said.
Businessman Steve Forbes sought the Republican presidential nomination twice, with the centerpiece of his campaign a flat tax that would have cut deeply into revenues. He failed to get the nomination both times.
Perhaps out of spite, Forbes has endorsed RINO Rudy who recently adopted the flat tax as his own idea. Back when Forbes was running, Giuliani ridiculed the flat tax. So he flipped and he flopped and is now for it. Maybe Forbes doesn’t want to see Brownback succeed with a better variant of the flat tax where he himself previously failed.
Brownback said he was pushing a more modest package as an option to the current system, which he called “unintelligible.”
“You can call 50 different auditors with the same question and get 50 different answers,” he said.
And Mitt Romney? He’s against the flat tax, for now anyway. He may flip-flop yet.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said he would like to overhaul some elements of the federal tax system if he reaches the White House, but he ruled out support for the flat tax.
Romney called the concept “unfair.” So is a RINO running for the GOP nomination, Mitt.
Update: CBS News link broke. Added MSNBC link.