CNBC 2015 GOP primary debate: on Tax Reform


Ben Carson: Tithing at 15%, plus removing all loopholes & waste

Q: You have a flat tax plan of 10%. I've had a really tough time trying to make the math work on this. It's going to leave us in a $2 trillion hole.

CARSON: I didn't say that the rate would be 10%; I used the tithing analogy. The rate is going to be much closer to 15%.

Q: 15% still leaves you with a $1.1 trillion hole.

CARSON: You also have to get rid of all the deductions and all the loopholes. You also have to do some strategic cutting in several places. Remember, we have 645 federal agencies and subagencies. Anybody who tells me that we need every penny in every one of those is in a fantasy world.

Q: You would have to cut government by about 40% to make it work with a $1.1 trillion hole.

CARSON: It's not true.

Q: It is true. I looked at the numbers.

CARSON: When we put all the facts down, you will be able to see that it works out very well.

Gov. KASICH: We're going to have a 10% tithe, and just fix everything with waste, fraud, and abuse? Folks, we've got to wake up!

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate Oct 28, 2015

Bobby Jindal: Set tax brackets at 25% and 10%, then 2% even for the poor

Q: What's your tax plan?

JINDAL: I'd simplify the brackets to 25%, 10%, 2%, so that an average middle-class family that pays 25% today, would pay 10% under my plan. I think everybody should pay something, even if it's only 2%. That's the most important 2% in my plan. There are millions of folks that wouldn't pay taxes in Jeb's plan and Trump's plan. I think that's a mistake.

Q: But every working American pays 6.2%, when it comes to Social Security taxes. They pay another 1.45% of Medicare. Isn't that skin in the game?

JINDAL: You're talking about payroll taxes that fund programs. People pay for their Medicare, they pay for their Social Security. I want every American to worry and care about how those folks in D.C. are spending our money. I don't want us to continue to create one class of Americans that pays income taxes, that pays for government, another class of Americans that's growing more and more dependent on government. That's what we have today.

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate Oct 28, 2015

Bobby Jindal: FactCheck: JFK lowered top income tax rate from 91% to 65%

Gov. Jindal quoted JFK as saying "paradoxically, lowering tax rates now is the best way to produce higher government revenues later." Jindal asserted that the same paradox would apply today, so we should "cut taxes, shrink government, grow the American economy. Kennedy said it to the Democratic Party. Why can't we say it in the Republican Party in 2015?"

Jindal was referring to a 1962 speech in which JFK pledged "across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes" for the purpose of stimulating the economy. So is Jindal making a fair analogy?

No, because the top marginal tax rate in 1962 was 91% and JFK proposed lowering the top rate to 65% (compared to a top rate of 37% today). In the context of much higher rates in 1962, cutting tax rates meant something very different than today--Jindal knew that context, and hence was lying about JFK's proposal. No politician of any party today would even consider RAISING tax rates to the LOWER 65% levels proposed by JFK in 1962!

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on GOP 2015 CNBC debate Oct 28, 2015

Carly Fiorina: Reduce 73,000-page tax code to 3 pages

Q: What's your tax plan?

FIORINA: How long have we been talking about tax reform in Washington? For decades. We now have a 73,000-page tax code. There have been more than 4,000 changes to the tax plan since 2001 alone. There are loads of great ideas, great conservative ideas from wonderful think tanks about how to reform the tax code. The problem is, we never get it done. We need a leader in Washington who understands how to get something done. Not to talk about it, not to propose it, to get it done.

Q: You want to bring the 70,000 pages to 3?

FIORINA: That's right. Three pages. You know why three? Because only if it's about 3 pages are you leveling the playing field between the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well-connected who can hire the armies of lawyers and accountants and lobbyists to help them navigate their way through 73,000 pages. Three pages is about the maximum that a single business owner or a farmer or just a couple can understand without hiring somebody.

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate Oct 28, 2015

Donald Trump: Cut taxes by $10T but don't increase deficit

Q: You say you'd cut taxes $10 trillion, and the economy would take off like a rocket ship.

TRUMP: Right. Dynamic.

Q: I talked to economic advisors of both parties. They said that you can't cutting taxes that much without increasing the deficit.

TRUMP: Then you have to get rid of Larry Kudlow, who sits on your panel, who the other day said, "I love Trump's tax plan."

BUSH: The Tax Foundation looked at all of our plans, and his creates, even with the dynamic effect, $8 trillion [in deficit].

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate Oct 28, 2015

George Pataki: In NY, I cut taxes with Dem Legislature

I would lower the tax on manufacturing to the lowest in the developed world--12 percent. My plan, the Tax Foundation said, would create five and a half million new jobs over the next decade. I will get my plan enacted because, when I was governor of New York, I passed sweeping tax cuts in a Democratic state with a Democratic legislature.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate Oct 28, 2015

Jeb Bush: Obama term resulted in $2,300 less in middle class pockets

Barack Obama got his massive tax increase, and there were no spending cuts. More spending, more tax increases, more regulation. The net result is, the middle class has $2,300 less in their pockets than the day Barack Obama got elected President. And now they see Hillary Clinton proposing a third term of economic policy for our country. We need to reverse that. And my record was one of cutting taxes each and every year. I have a record. $19 billion of tax cuts, 1.3 million jobs created.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate Oct 28, 2015

John Kasich: My plan is no fantasy; I moved Ohio from $8B to $2B surplus

Q [to Ben Carson]: Your 15% flat tax plan leaves you with a $1.1 trillion hole.

CARSON: You also have to get rid of all the deductions and all the loopholes. You also have to do some strategic cutting in several places. Remember, we have 645 federal agencies and subagencies. Anybody who tells me that we need every penny in every one of those is in a fantasy world.

Gov. KASICH: We're going to have a 10% tithe, and just fix everything with waste, fraud, and abuse? Folks, we've got to wake up! These plans would put us trillions of dollars in debt. I actually have a plan. Why don't we just give a chicken in every pot while we're coming up with these fantasy tax gains? You have to deal with entitlements. You have to control discretionary spending. I went into Ohio where we had an $8 billion hole, and now we have a $2 billion surplus. We are up 347,000 jobs. In Washington, I fought to get the budget balanced. I was the architect. We cut taxes, and we have a $5 trillion projected surplus when I left.

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate Oct 28, 2015

John Kasich: No taxes on small business; kill the death tax

In our state, we went from a loss of 350,000 jobs to now a gain of 347,000 jobs to the positive. Our wages are growing faster than the national average, and I've cut taxes more than any sitting governor in this state, 5 billion dollars, including no taxes on small business and killing the death tax.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate Oct 28, 2015

Marco Rubio: My tax reform gives more to lower earners, percentage-wise

The largest after- tax gains is for the people at the lower end of the tax spectrum under my plan. In addition to a general personal exemption, we are increasing the per-child tax credit for working families. We are lowering taxes on small business. Under my plan, no business, big or small, will pay more than 25 percent flat rate on their business income. That is a dramatic tax decrease for hard-working people who run their own businesses.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate Oct 28, 2015

Rick Santorum: My tax plan reduces taxes for every income bracket

If you look at my flat tax, it actually takes the best of what many have been advocating for a long time, which is a strong pro-growth tax code. We have a system that has a low single rate, but we take care of American families. I'm talking about $2,750 per person. That means a family of four has a $11,000 dollar tax credit.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate Oct 28, 2015

Ted Cruz: Eliminate payroll tax, death tax, business tax, and IRS

PAUL [to Cruz and others]: Much of the discussion is centered over whether or not the different tax plans help the middle class. Mine is unique in the sense that my tax plan actually gets rid of the payroll tax as well. It shifts it to the business, and it would allow middle class people to get a tax cut. If you just cut their income tax, there isn't much income tax to cut. Mine actually cuts the payroll tax, and it would spread the tax cut across all socioeconomic levels.

CRUZ: Rand is exactly right. His plan is a good plan, and I will note that my 10% plan also eliminates the payroll tax; eliminates the death tax; eliminates the business income tax; the 10% flat rate is the lowest personal rate any candidate up here has; and what it would also enable us to do is for every citizen to fill out their taxes on a postcard so we can eliminate the IRS.

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate Oct 28, 2015

  • The above quotations are from CNBC Two-Tier 2015 GOP primary debate
    Your Money/Your Vote
    First Tier: Ten candidates by polls
    Second Tier: Four other Republicans
    .
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Tax Reform.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
  • Click here for more quotes by Carly Fiorina on Tax Reform.
  • Click here for more quotes by Ben Carson on Tax Reform.
2016 Presidential contenders on Tax Reform:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Sep 05, 2016