Politics

GOP Candidates Resurrect ‘Flat Tax’ Proposal

| by Ethan Brown
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2016 Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul recently wrote on his campaign website about a proposal to simplify the increasing tax code, cut taxes for all Americans, and help small businesses grow.

“As President, I would promote a Fair and Flat Tax plan, known as the 'EZ Tax.’ My tax plan would be the largest tax cut in American history, reforming individual, business, and worker taxes,” wrote by Paul for his campaign website.

However, the idea of the Flat Tax is nothing new, and was used as a talking point by many Republican candidates in the 2012 presidential election.

2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney released two tax proposals during his run for the nomination four years ago – the first was considered too weak by the Republican voter base, the second was similar to other candidates’ proposals. Other candidates, such as small business owner Herman Cain and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich also campaigned on changing the American tax code to a simpler “flat tax,” but were largely ignored as many saw this as a final effort to draw in Republican support, The Hill reported.

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Like every controversial issue in politics, both sides have voiced their support and opposition to this idea, providing statistical data and ideological beliefs.

Speaking at an event last month for The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, former Republican presidential candidate and businessman Steve Forbes advocated for the nation to adopt a “flat tax.”

“The flat tax is absolutely crucial to turbo charging our molasses-like economy,” Forbes said.

Opponents state that the flat tax would only assist the one percent in this country. Speaking specifically to Paul’s proposal, which presents a flat tax rate of 17 percent, economic analysts agree that this would represent a major decrease in revenue than that of the levels of tax revenue received today. According to analysts, a level of 25 percent would be needed to maintain the status quo, CNN reported.

Other 2016 Republican contenders, such as Marco Rubio, have released more specific details about their tax ideas, once again largely criticized by opponents who believe Rubio’s proposal would add trillions of dollars to the $18 trillion national debt.

Sources: The Hill, CNN, U.S. News and World Report

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons, WashingtonTimes.com