Huckabee Plan Is Catnip to Tax-Phobes

But the 'fair tax,' a gift to the rich, perplexes nearly everyone
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2008 4:07 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks during a campaign stop at the Barley House restaurant on the last full day of campaigning before the nation's earliest presidential...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – “Our tax system can’t be fixed with WD-40 and duct tape,” proclaims Mike Huckabee in promoting a more radical change—the 'fair tax,' which stirs taxpayer rebellion even while inciting economist ire, Politico reports. The plan, which would replace the IRS with a uniform 23% sales tax, is a somewhat perplexing choice for the affable populist, says Salon’s Brad Delong, since it's a massive penalty for the middle class and a gift to the rich.

DeLong credits the proposal with creating a more honest revenue stream than other GOPers’ plans, but quotes bipartisan estimates saying the rate would actually have to start at 30% and rise to 57%. Huck’s pitching on faith though, “counting on people not knowing what he is really promising.” And it's not really playing in New Hampshire—where they dislike the sales tax so much they don't have one.