November 2015 Brief: Volume 22, Number 33
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A Pro-American Tax Plan
by John Hendrickson
Steve Forbes, publisher of Forbes and a former Republican presidential candidate who championed the flat tax, wrote that several Republicans currently contending for the presidential nomination have “put forth a serious plan for drastically changing the federal income tax code in ways that would be an enormous stimulant for economic growth.” “Former Senator Rick Santorum and Senator Rand Paul have both unveiled serious flat-tax proposals,” stated Forbes. In addition, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is campaigning “to replace the income and payroll tax with a national sales tax [Fair Tax] of 30 percent.”
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2012 and authored Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works, has stood out for his tax plan, not just because of its impact on economic growth, but also because it is a pro-American plan. The Santorum plan is rooted in policies that historically worked. In The Wall Street Journal article outlining his tax reform plan, Santorum describes the problem confronting the American economy today:
In order to reverse the current economic malaise Senator Santorum proposes “The 20/20 Flat Tax: A Clear Vision For America,” which calls for individuals to “pay a simple, low 20 percent individual rate that will be applied to all streams of income.” “It eliminates the marriage penalty, death tax and alternative minimum tax. It will treat every American the same. No longer will savings and investment be penalized,” explains Santorum. Some further details of the plan include:
The 20/20 plan is also pro-business as it will “replace the current corporate income tax rate of 39.1 percent,” which is one of the highest rates in the world economy. As Santorum explains:
Senator Santorum, along with other Republican candidates such as Governor Mike Huckabee and Businessman Donald Trump, has addressed what is becoming the 21st century version of the “forgotten man” — the middle-class worker who has suffered tremendously in the recent economy. All of these candidates are demonstrating that Republicans can connect with middle-class voters who once made up the Nixon-Reagan coalition. These candidates all share a goal of creating a strong middle class based on resurrecting manufacturing and achieving this goal through tax, spending, and regulatory reform, but also securing trade deals that place America first.
Senator Santorum’s ideas behind his 20/20 flat tax proposal and his desire to make the United States a manufacturing leader that will provide strong wages for the middle class, along with his limited-government philosophy are characteristic of the philosophy that governed President Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan, who both ushered in periods of strong economic growth.
 Steve Forbes, “GOP Unrest: Great Good Will Follow,” Forbes, October 14, 2015, <http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveforbes/2015/10/14/gop-unrest-great-good-will-follow/> accessed on October 20, 2015.
John Hendrickson is a Research Analyst with Public Interest Institute, Mount Pleasant, Iowa.Contact him at Public.Interest.Institute@LimitedGovernment.org.
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