More headlines: Steve Forbes on Tax Reform

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)

McCain agrees with Forbes’ flat tax goal, but not 1st step

FORBES [to McCain]: Cutting the capital gains tax is key to a prosperous future. In New Hampshire you indicated support for a flat tax and I was wondering if you might put flesh on those bones and tell us what you have in mind for tax reform?

MCCAIN: I want to thank you for your efforts on behalf of a flat tax. I think we’ve got to eliminate the marriage penalty, the earnings test, raise the 15% tax bracket, put a level of $5 million on the inheritance tax. But this tax code is 44,000 pages long. It’s an abomination. It’s a cornucopia of good deals for the special interests and it’s a nightmare for American citizens. We’ve got to get rid of the special interest loopholes that are right in this tax code. That’s the first step in cleaning it up to reach your goal of a simplified tax system. I appreciate your efforts. But until the day arrives when we remove the influence of the special interests, we’re not going to be able to achieve your goal.

Source: (cross-ref. to McCain) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

No tax reform is possible - kill the hideous beast

We can’t tinker with this tax code monstrosity or try to reform it around the edges. The only thing we can do with this hideous beast is kill it, drive a stake through its heart, bury it, and hope it never rises again to terrorize the American people!

People are sick and tired of business-as-usual, and they don’t want a “friendlier” IRS; they want no IRS.

Source: “A New Birth of Freedom,” p. 67-8 Nov 9, 1999

Politicians oppose simplifying taxes because they lose power

Every time in American history that we’ve lowered the tax burden, the American people have responded with energy, imagination, and innovation. The standard of living has improved, better jobs were created, and government revenues have gone up, not down.

The dirty little secret in Washington: What the politicians really fear from tax relief and tax simplification is not a loss of revenue. What they really fear is a loss of power.

Source: “A New Birth of Freedom,” p. 78-9 Nov 9, 1999

No tax on pensions, no tax on capital gains, no death taxes

Q: Do you favor a flat tax? A: This is a delightful evening because when I ran four years ago, virtually every Republican denounced the idea of a flat tax. So education works.

My plan is very simple. Basically, I give generous deductions and exemptions to each adult and each child. For a family of four, their first $41,000 of income is free of federal income tax, then only 17 cents on the dollar above $41,000. No tax on pensions, no tax on capital gains, and no death taxes.

Source: Republican Debate at Dartmouth College Oct 29, 1999

Enforce tax limits with Amendment & other laws

Steve has fought for a Tax Limitation Amendment to the Constitution to make it extremely difficult for Congress to raise taxes. He vigorously fought taxes on Internet commerce and fought to lower taxes on trade. In 1998, Steve [supported] a bill to replace the federal income tax code with an honest, simple, single-rate tax system by 2002. A few months later, the “Tax Code Termination Act” passed the US House. Although it failed in the Senate, it remains one of Forbes’ top priorities.
Source: “Economic Security” May 21, 1999

Tax system fosters corruption and moral breakdown

There is a moral reason for junking the tax code. People realize that it is a form of legalized corruption. If you have power in Washington, you get a legalized tax break. If you don’t, you lose out. It has had a corrosive impact on life in America. We were once noted for self-compliance with the tax code, unlike many nations. We always hated taxes, but we considered it our civic duty to pay our share of taxes. That has been undermined.
Source: Speech at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Nov 27, 1995

Flat income tax with large exemptions; no savings taxes

A flat tax under my plan would have generous exemptions for individuals and for children. There’d be $13,000 of exemption for each individual, $5,300 for each child. For a family of four, the exemptions would be a little above $36,000. If you have three children, it would be almost $42,000. Anything above that $36,000 level for a family of four would be taxed at only a 17% rate. On the personal level, there’d be no tax on your savings, no tax on your pensions, no tax on social security.
Source: Speech at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Nov 27, 1995

Income taxes simple enough to file on a postcard

    The virtues of the flat tax are numerous.
  1. It is simple. You can literally fill it out on a postcard
  2. It is honest. It removes the principle source of political power & corruption
  3. It is fair, because it removes millions of people from the tax roles
  4. It is good for growth, enabling people to move ahead by keeping more of what they earn
  5. It’s also good for productivity. We spent up to six billion hours a year just filling out tax forms.
Source: Speech at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Nov 27, 1995

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