No stranger to offering proposals that might be considered left of center (or right of center, as it were), Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, authored a commentary in today’s Wall Street Journal, in which he writes that the country’s tax rules are “so corrupt, complicated, intrusive and antigrowth,” that the entire U.S. tax code needs to be abolished.
In the first-person piece, Paul writes that he plans to introduce a bill that would repeal the entire complex Internal Revenue Service tax code and replace it with a flat tax, with one notable exception – the mortgage deduction.
Here is part of Paul’s plan, in his own words, from the Wall Street Journal:
“So on Thursday I am announcing an over $2 trillion tax cut that would repeal the entire IRS tax code—more than 70,000 pages—and replace it with a low, broad-based tax of 14.5% on individuals and businesses,” Paul writes.
“I would eliminate nearly every special-interest loophole. The plan also eliminates the payroll tax on workers and several federal taxes outright, including gift and estate taxes, telephone taxes, and all duties and tariffs,” Paul continues.
Paul calls his plan the “The Fair and Flat Tax.”
Paul says that his plan will eliminate payroll taxes and create a system that’s fair for all taxpayers, may they be people or businesses.
Paul argues that the IRS is a “rogue agency,” which “routinely abused its auditing power to build an enemies list and harass anyone who might be adversarial to President Obama’s policies.”
Paul states that this plan is to “blow up the tax code” and start from scratch.
“My tax plan would blow up the tax code and start over,” Paul writes. “In consultation with some of the top tax experts in the country, including the Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore, former presidential candidate Steve Forbes and Reagan economist Arthur Laffer, I devised a 21st-century tax code that would establish a 14.5% flat-rate tax applied equally to all personal income, including wages, salaries, dividends, capital gains, rents and interest.”
In Paul’s plan, one vestige of the current tax plan that would remain is the mortgage deduction. In fact, in Paul’s plan, only two current deductions would survive his overhaul – mortgages and charities.
Opponents of a flat tax, in Paul’s words, argue that the plan could “blow a massive hole” in the budget deficit. Paul writes that it’s just the opposite actually.
“Here’s why this plan would balance the budget: We asked the experts at the nonpartisan Tax Foundation to estimate what this plan would mean for jobs, and whether we are raising enough money to fund the government,” Paul writes. “The analysis is positive news: The plan is an economic steroid injection. Because the Fair and Flat Tax rewards work, saving, investment and small business creation, the Tax Foundation estimates that in 10 years it will increase gross domestic product by about 10%, and create at least 1.4 million new jobs.”
Paul doesn’t go into any additional detail on his reasoning for salvaging the mortgage deduction, and while the likelihood of passing his massive tax overhaul is slim, it’s nice to know that even some of the most radical political operators still view the mortgage deduction as a good thing.