Politics
Politics

As President, Rick Santorum Would Look To Dismantle The IRS, Enact A Flat Tax

| by Alexander Rubinstein

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum promised to dismantle the Internal Revenue Service, crack down on illegal immigration, cut federal spending and establish a flat tax.

Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, announced his bid for the 2016 presidential election near his childhood home in Cabot, western Pennsylvania. Santorum said “big government” and “big business” are responsible for leaving American workers behind. He blamed immigrants in the country illegally for robbing Americans of their jobs, RawStory reports.

During Santorum’s election campaign in 2012, the Cato Institute called him a “big government conservative” due to his votes for No Child Left Behind and Medicare prescription drug benefits. The Club for Growth said he was “plagued by the big-spending habits”, FiveThirtyEight reports.

In 2012, Santorum was the main challenger to Mitt Romney in the Republican primary. He even won the Iowa caucus. FiveThirtyEight attributes much of Santorum’s success to the 2012 Republican field being historically weak. In 2012, only six candidates had recently served in a prominent elected position, such as a governor, senator or vice president. For 2016, more than 13 Republican candidates meet that criteria, making the current field one of the most highly qualified in the modern era.

In 2012, Santorum relied on the born-again and evangelical Christian constituencies, which carried him further in the race than any Republican candidate besides Romney.

Now, Santorum faces more competition for the vote of the religious right. Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Gov. Rick Perry all poll well with evangelical voters. Currently, Santorum sees no more favorability among evangelicals than among Republicans voters as a whole. Born-again and evangelical Christians even find Gov. Chris Christie, who is not known for religiosity, to be more favorable than Santorum.

Though Santorum appears to be stuck at or below 2 percent in national polls, he was in roughly the same position at this point in 2012, and he was able to gain traction in the Republican field that year.

“I know what it’s like to be an underdog,” Santorum said at his campaign launch. He added that he won 11 state GOP primaries in 2012.

Sources: RawStory, FiveThirtyEight

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons