Rand Paul doesn't want to reform what he thinks is a ridiculously complicated and corrupt tax code, he wants to destroy it. In the Wall Street Journal today, the presidential candidate lays out a plan to "blow up the tax code" and replace it with a 14.5% flat tax for individuals and businesses. Among other things, he would eliminate payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare, leaving workers' paychecks fatter, and get rid of all deductions except for mortgage and charities. Also, the first $50,000 of income for a family of four would not be taxed. Paul says he remains committed to a balanced budget and maintains that his plan would help get there because it's an "economic steroid injection."
"The left will argue that the plan is a tax cut for the wealthy," writes Paul. "But most of the loopholes in the tax code were designed by the rich and politically connected. Though the rich will pay a lower rate along with everyone else, they won’t have special provisions to avoid paying lower than 14.5%." He calls his plan the Fair and Flat Tax and describes it as "the boldest restoration of fairness to American taxpayers in over a century." Click to read his full column. (A blog post at the libertarian site Reason is enthusiastic, but says more details are needed, especially about exemptions, to fully assess.)