Pence touts flat tax in economic address
November 29th, 2010
01:06 PM ET
3 years ago

Pence touts flat tax in economic address

(CNN) - One of the top Republicans in the House wants to overhaul the country's tax code and implement a flat tax.

Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, who may make a bid for the next GOP presidential nomination, will say "the time has come for Congress and this administration to take bold action to simplify our tax system and lower people's taxes," according to excerpts from a speech he will deliver in front of the Detroit Economic Club Monday afternoon.

"The best option, the most pro-growth option is a flat tax. I believe it is time that America adopted a flat tax and scrapped the current system once and for all," Pence will say.

A flat tax, which has been proposed in the past by other conservative candidates for president, is short for a flat rate tax, a tax system with a constant rate for all Americans.

In his speech, Pence also highlights his opposition to TARP, known more commonly as the Wall Street bailout, and his support for less federal government spending and fewer regulations on the private sector.

"To restore incentive and encourage growth we must reduce the regulatory burden on our economy. There is a place for regulations that ensure safety and soundness and protect people from danger, but our regulatory structure has grown out of control," Pence will say.

In touting his free-market principles, Pence mentions the late President Ronald Reagan multiple times in his address.

The GOP congressman from Indiana's 6th Congressional District easily won re-election earlier this month, beating his Democratic challenger by a more than a two to one margin. The third ranking House Republican then announced that he would step down at the end of the year from his leadership role as Republican Conference Chairman, sparking more speculation that Pence might gear up for a 2012 bid for the GOP presidential nomination or a run for Indiana governor.

While Pence polls in the low single digits in most national surveys on a hypothetical 2012 GOP nomination match-up, he did create a lot of buzz by winning the presidential straw poll at the Values Voter Summit in September.

Read excerpts here.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN


Filed under: 2012 • Mike Pence • Taxes
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Ben in Texas

    When Pence says "lower peoples' taxes", you know that he means "lower rich peoples' taxes". After all, those are the people he works for.

    He can easily forget about the fact that the rich use a far greater proportion of the things those taxes pay for. Forget the welfare payments the rich receive, in the form of government contracts, grants, farm subsidies, and on and on. Forget that they benefit disproportionately by having a minimal welfare system for the poor, effectively keeping the poor from rising up and killing them all. Forget that the rich get all kinds of perks from and access to the legal system and legislators, which the average person doesn't get.

    When the IRS system was instituted, it was recognized that the "fair share" of the rich was a higher percentage than it was for the wage slaves the rich employ. That fact has not changed. The only thing that has changed is the proportion of legislators that are owned by the rich (Pence being a notable example) and the loopholes that have been added for the rich.

    November 29, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    In a country where, in theory, "we're all equal under the law," there is no defensible justification for assessing taxes unequally. The so-called "flat tax," while an improvement over the utterly pernicious "progressive" tax structure, still treats people unequally by discriminating against productivity, education, skill, competence, and every other factor by which some people contribute more to society than others.

    November 29, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Gobama!

    Flat taxes favor the rich. It is far easier to XX% of income when you make $5 million a year, than when you make $5,000 a year. The poor/middle class have to spend most of their income. The rich can save large percentages of their income. This is why a progressive tax system (like the one we have) is the most fair. This Pence guy is an idiot, or maybe he just thinks his constituents are idiots. Lets see how many people he convinces, how many people he was right about.

    November 29, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Tigman2

    To wake up in the morning as clueless as Pence does, you've got to go to bed as clueless at night-night time too, I guess.

    November 29, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. Mark

    Everyone pays the same percentage of their income. What a novel idea! Until that 40+% that pay no taxes realize that they have to pay their fair share as well....

    November 29, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. John Boehner is the dumbest person to become speaker

    A flat tax should help his rich cronies get their taxes lowered. He really does not care much about middle Americans.

    November 29, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. chill

    How can these republicans stand there with a straight face after all the unregulated banks did to us and world's economy and claim we need less regulation. We've had one corrupt company disaster after another over the last decade and this fellow wants to invite more of them. Government is the ONLY counterweight we have to a corporate oligarchy. There probably are some regulatory rules or schemes that are out of date or have proven counter-productive, but companies are formed to make profits. Period. That's there job. It's government that should be creating a fair and even playing field.

    November 29, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. Greg in Cabot, AR

    So the person that makes minimum wage will be taxed at the same rate as....say a congressman???

    Minimum wage EARNS $15,080 per year and doesn't get health free care, pension or perks.

    Pence gets paid $174,000.00 a year to come up with this???? and STILL push for the "Free Trade" policies that sent the good paying jobs overseas....."Reduce egulatory burden" like the oversite that didn't happen on Wall Street, Big Banking OR BP????

    He must think people are stupid.

    November 29, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Greg in Cabot, AR

    So the person that makes minimum wage will be taxed at the same rate as....say a congressman???

    Minimum wage EARNS $15,080 per year and doesn't get health free care, pension or perks.

    Pence gets paid $174,000.00 a year to come up with this???? and STILL push for the "Free Trade" policies that sent the good paying jobs overseas....."Reduce regulatory burden" like the oversite that didn't happen on Wall Street, Big Banking OR BP????

    He must think people are stupid.

    November 29, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Take America Back from the Libs

    I vote for that one! But the Democrats will NEVER go along with a flat tax.....because they then could not "control" through More Government whatever they like!

    November 29, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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