Huckabee Woos Voters With 23% Sales Tax

'Fair tax' would abolish IRS, and be a windfall for the rich
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2007 12:00 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee, speaks to supporters, Saturday Dec 22, 2007 during a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa.(AP Photo/Dave Weaver)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Supporting a 23% sales tax ought to be political suicide, but Mike Huckabee is making it work, the Los Angeles Times reports. Huckabee has championed the so-called “fair tax,” a radical proposal that would abolish the federal income tax and tax spending instead. The plan favors the rich, but by tapping into America’s hatred for the IRS, it has helped vault Huckabee into the top tier of candidates.

Huckabee proposes to alleviate its effect on the poor with a monthly "prebate," but that would cost $600 billion, and the plan would still favor the rich. The math might be fuzzy, too. Independent analyses say 23% won’t be enough to fund the government—the figure might need to be closer to 50%. “It’s a crackpot plan,” said one conservative economist.