WASHINGTON, January 9, 2016 — Dr. Ben Carson recently revealed the details of his tax plan, Prescription for Growth. Although experts are just beginning to evaluate the economic impact of Carson’s plan, real economists, not just pundits, are already heaping high praise upon it.
Writers praising Carson’s plan include Daniel J. Mitchell for Forbes, “With a Bold and Pure Flat Tax, Ben Carson Sets the Standard for Pro-Growth Reform“; Chris Edwards at CATO.org, “Ben Carson’s Tax Plan“; and Stephen Moore from Freedomworks with “Ben Carson’s Tax Plan Would Make America More Competitive in the World.”
According to these experts, Carson’s plan will stimulate growth and reduce the deficit. This is especially true when coupled with his plans to reduce government spending and regulation, further reducing the deficit and ultimately balancing the budget.
According to Carson, “This expanded growth translates into more than five million additional jobs over 10 years, with a nearly 11 percent increase in wages.”
Everybody benefits, not just the rich, as some critics of the plan have alleged.
Edward’s article at Cato.org points to a unique aspect of Carson’s proposal. “I like the fact that he (Carson) makes both an economic and moral case for flat and equal taxation on all American’s above a low-income threshold.”
A moral case for taxation? Yes, Carson’s Prescription for Growth has principles behind its policies.
Carson’s plan is:
- Fair. Every citizen pays something. A lot of people talk about “equal justice under the law” until it comes to paying taxes. Currently, 45 percent of American households pay no income tax at all. Some of them have little income, and some are very wealthy but take advantage of legal loopholes. Why should 55 percent of Americans pay for 100 percent of America’s expenses? Under Carson’s plan, everyone will pay income taxes, including that 45 percent who don’t pay them now. People earning less than 150 percent of the federal poverty line will make only a de minimis tax payment, but everyone will have skin in the game. One would hope this would get us all attuned to how the government spends our money.Carson emphasizes this by referring to Americans as “citizen-owners,” putting the idea of America being of, for and by the people front and center in his plan.
- Proportional and compassionate. Before the details came out, Carson said in the August 6 GOP debate that his plan is based on the biblical concept of tithing, because “God is a pretty fair guy.” Under his plan, almost everyone, individuals and businesses, pays the same percentage. Carson’s number crunchers have settled on 14.9 percent with an exception for the poorest among us. Those at 150 percent of the poverty level or below will pay perhaps $50 to $100 rather than 14.9 percent, in keeping with the idea that everybody should participate.
Constitutional. The Constitution gives Congress the right to raise revenue, but Dr. Carson says that over time, Congress has increasingly used the tax code to “redistribute wealth, micromanage free citizens or intrude on privacy.” Taxes should be used solely to fund the functions of government, not control our behavior. The current tax code is a violation of our liberty and often an unconstitutional confiscation of property.
- Impartial. Carson’s plan has no loopholes, no deductions, tax credits, no tax shelters, no alternative minimum tax. None. “There is no danger,” he writes, “of the government favoring one group over another.” Often we think of tax exemptions as a good thing—they encourage home ownership and charitable giving—but more often they result in armies of accountants, lobbyists and lawyers gaming the system for the benefit of some at the expense of others. The idea of impartial treatment is based on the biblical principle that God, like true justice, does not play favorites. With these changes, the IRS will no longer have that kind of power over us.
- Encourages honesty. Carson’s plan is simple. He writes, “Simplicity is a virtue; it serves as the hallmark of honesty and fairness.” His plan’s simplicity makes it harder to cheat, and there is little incentive to try.
- Frees up time and resources. Carson writes, “According to the National Taxpayers Union, the American people wasted more than $230 billion and spent 6 billion hours last year, just to prepare our taxes.” His plan frees up time, money and talents for other more important things, like the pursuit of happiness!
- Encourages investment and entrepreneurship. Carson’s plan eliminates double taxation of capital gains, dividends, interest income and estate taxes. It encourages capital investment by replacing depreciation schedules with an immediate write-off of capital purchases to help release the powerful economic engine of the United States. Americans will be encouraged to start saving money again.
There will be more details in the future, but how refreshing to see a leader propose policies based on sound constitutional and moral principles, as well as economic ones.
Thank you, Ben Carson!
All quotes not attributed are from Ben Carson, Prescription for Growth