Gop unrest great good will follow
The disarray among Republicans in the House of Representatives and the reality-tv-show, circuslike atmosphere surrounding the multi-candidate GOP presidential feld obscure two heartening developments that bode well for the country after the 2016 elections.
First, almost every Republican White House aspirant has put forth a serious plan for drastically changing the federal income tax code in ways that would be an enormous stimulant for economic growth. After seven lean Obama years of economic stagnation this would be rapturously welcome.
Former senator Rick Santorum and Senator Rand Paul have both unveiled serious fat-tax proposals. While not as streamlined as I would like, they’re lightyears better than what we have now. Each plan would junk the existing code and start over. Their simplicity would remove a major source of lobbying and political corruption, and their low single rates would give a powerful boost to investment.
Dr. Ben Carson has spoken in favor of the idea of a fat rate of 10%, with no deductions whatsoever. He’ll probably fesh out his idea of a tax “tithe” in the weeks ahead.
Former governor Mike Huckabee wants to replace the income tax and payroll tax with a national sales tax of 30%. Politically, this is a nonstarter, but it taps into the desire to drastically change what we have now.
The other candidates’ plans ofer two or three tax rates. With one exception, none of these plans has a top rate higher than 28% (a couple of them are 25%). Senator Marco Rubio is the outlier, with a 35% bracket, which isn’t a big break from what’s already in place. Worse, his plan hits taxpayers at far lower thresholds than does the current code. He must “fne-tune” this in the near future or risk conservatives looking elsewhere.
All the candidates want to kill the death tax, and all lower taxes on investment income and corporate profts.
What the Republicans are putting on the table is so much more appealing than the dreary, more-taxes twaddle of the Democrats that there will be a mandate for drastic, progrowth tax simplifcation coming out of the 2016 election cycle.
Second, the new House leadership will be much more oriented toward pro-growth policies than the outgoing crew. They’ll want to do big things regarding taxes, spending and regulation. At the least they’ll be laying the foundation for reforms on a scale exceeding that of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s—if the GOP nominates the right candidate.