Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson called for a major simplification of the U.S. tax code in his plan rolled out Monday. He is proposing a flat tax and the elimination of deductions and loopholes.
The retired pediatric neurosurgeon called for a uniform 14.9 percent tax rate on income 150 percent above the federal poverty level. The proposal would also lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 14.9 percent, which Carson says is necessary to stay competitive in the global market.
During an appearance on “Fox and Friends” where he debuted the tax plan, the candidate, who has recently slipped in the polls, said his proposal would treat everyone in America as a citizen and would enable upward economic mobility for the working class.
“Go back to the Constitution. Recognize why taxation exists. It’s because we need money to run the government,” he told the hosts. “It’s not to control people’s behavior and do all these other things that’s been added in with these 80,000 pages of tax regulations.”
Carson said everyone would pay something – including those below the poverty line, though at a lower rate than the 14.9 percent to avoid stunting growth – to even the playing field.
“Under my plan, two people who earn the same amount of income will pay the same amount of taxes,” he said in his proposal. “And, someone who earns 10 times as much as his neighbor will pay 10 times as much in taxes.”
Carson would, like several of his GOP rivals, do away with the estate tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax. Taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest income would also become a thing of the past.
“My flat tax plan has the power to rekindle our nation’s founding ideals by eliminating the needless complexity and treating every American, rich and poor, with or without lobbyists or lawyers, equal in their ability to achieve the American Dream,” Carson touted in the proposal. “Simple, transparent and fair: that is the promise of my tax plan, and I believe it delivers on every count.”
The plan comes on the heels of two of the campaign’s top aides resigning at the end of last month.
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