Republican presidential candidate and famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson has released a flat tax plan as he aims to revive his candidacy.
Carson’s campaign underwent a shakeup in recent days as three of his top aides announced their resignations.
On Monday, he released the flat tax plan that he has referred to in recent Republican debates. The plan would replace the tax code with a true flat tax with no deductions, tax shelters or loopholes. Carson’s plan would also tax all income at a uniform 14.9 percent rate. To protect those rising from poverty, Carson’s plan would apply the flat tax only to income above 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, or FPL. A family of four would not pay the 14.9 percent tax on their first $36,375 of income, according to a description on Carson’s website.
“Treat everyone in America as citizen-owners and require those whose income is at or below 150 percent of the FPL to make a de minimis tax payment annually,” said the plan.
The plan would also tax income only once, to avoid double taxation of capital gains, dividends and interest income at the personal level.
Carson’s plan would also eliminate deductions for home mortgage interest, charitable giving and state and local taxes, with his campaign claiming the overwhelming majority of Americans do not benefit from these itemized deductions.
In addition, the plan would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax. Under the current tax system, Carson’s campaign noted, the AMT forces middle-class Americans to calculate their tax liability twice and punishes them by requiring them to pay the larger of the two tax bills.
The plan would also abolish the “death tax,” that is, the estate tax, in its entirety.
“My flat tax plan will increase our existing anemic 2.2 percent economic growth rate by an additional 1.6 percent, resulting in nearly 4 percent growth annually,” Carson said in a statement. “I am confident that over the first 10 years of my plan, this surge in growth will increase our real gross domestic product by more than 16 percent. This expanded growth will result in more than 5 million new jobs over the coming decade and an increase in wages of nearly 11 percent during the same period.”
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