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September 01, 2011

Some Guy Named "Jon Huntsman" Offered A Bold Tax Reform Plan

James Pethokoukis is intrigued.

1) Eliminate all deductions and credits in favor of three drastically lower rates of 8%, 14% and 23%.

2) Eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax.

3) Eliminate taxes on capital gains and dividends in order to eliminate the double taxation on investment.

4) Reduce the corporate rate from 35% To 25%. Huntsman would also shift to a territorial tax system and implement a tax holiday for the repatriation of foreign earnings.

Pethokoukis calls it, "perhaps the most pro-growth, pro-market (and anti-crony capitalist) tax plan put forward by a major U.S. president candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1980."

Pethokoukis spoke with Huntsman about the economy and more here.

Sounds like an interesting plan. As I've said before, Republicans need to run on cutting spending and shrinking government but also on growth and optimism. A growth oriented tax plan is going to be important. Of course running on getting rid of things like mortgage and child deductions is not going to be popular even with the most pure of the Pure.

Still, if we are talking about entitlements, anything is possible. Maybe someone actually running for President will pick up on Huntsman's ideas.

This brings me to the question of why Huntsman is such a non-starter for so many, myself included. I guess it's his claim that Obama's failed so-called "stimulus" should have been bigger but he could fudge that by saying he meant more pro-growth GOP stuff like a full payroll tax holiday. He could also survive the whole working for Obama thing by saying you serve when asked. It's all thin but might not be fatal if not for other problems.

For me the biggest issues is hiring of John Weaver. Weaver was once John McCain's top political guys, including the period of time when Maverick was flirting with switching parties. Weaver has a history of of working for Democrats as well.

Huntsman has adopted this pose of being too good for the GOP and running not so much against Democrats like Obama but as the hero saving the Republicans from themselves and their low class voters.

When he tweated, "To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy," he wasn't just taking a shot a Perry but at large segments of the GOP base.

Personally, I'm not a creationist or an ID guy but I don't care if a President is. It's simply not something that a President deals with on a day to day basis, so who cares what someone personally believes?

As for the global warming thing...does Huntsman trust the physicists at CERN? If not, is he crazy by his own standard?

If Huntsman had kept his mouth shut, skipped the stupid taunts and led with his tax plan he might have actually gained some traction. Probably not but at least he would have had a shot.

I can forgive and overlook a lot of things in presidential candidates, being a bad politician isn't one of them. Huntsman has the same vibe McCain did...that he alone holds the truth of what a Republican should be and screw anyone, including actual Republicans who disagree with him. That's simply not the way a good politician acts. And no matter how interesting your tax plan is, that's a disqualifying trait.

(I put this in draft when I realized Ace posted about the same time but it's back)

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posted by DrewM. at 12:04 PM

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