Pence touts flat tax in economic address
November 29th, 2010
01:06 PM ET
10 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. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Pence is going to the home of the American Auto Industry when it was him and his Re"Farscists"ican colleagues that voted against bailing Detroit out. Such hypocrites. Now he wants Detroit to listen to his malarky. The Detroit Economic Club sounds like a country club to me.

    November 29, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Snow

    This is an excellent idea. Get rid of the IRS and you are taxed on products you buy. This is an idea long overdue to be implemented but you can bet the demorats will be against it because they would have to get rid of the IRS thereby the government will be losing some power over the people.

    November 29, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Ferret out the B.S.

    A flat tax has been proposed and rejected numerous times, how would the Representative's proposal differ? I personally believe that it's "pie in the sky" thinking that any corporate or big business would actually go along with this concept unless they could prove they have no income to tax and again the middle class will be left holding the bag.

    November 29, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Poser

    The flat tax idea is a big scam. If you ever look at the numbers in the plans and do the math, you find lower and middle class people pay the same or more and rich people get a gigantic tax cut. It's yet another idea which fits nicely on a bumper sticker but is a terrible idea when you look at the details. Ugh. More of the same nonsense from the same folks.

    November 29, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    OR we could just continue down the current DemocRAT approach of... you make it, we take it, to redistribute it!

    November 29, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. Bruce

    Instead of a flat tax where it is unfairly taxing only working class people, there should be a national sales tax so EVERYONE will be contributing equally. In addition there could be a flat tax on corporations with no loopholes.

    November 29, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. The Equalizer


    It is easy to say "I'm for a flat tax", but if you don't come out with at least a ballpark percentage you are considering then you are just panfering to your base. In other words Pence spewings should garner no coverage at all. It's like saying I am for cutting the deficit, & for lowering taxes – without mentioning some specific and meaningful programs you'd cut.

    This type of assertion is no more valuable than the "water cooler" banter.

    AT what rate? Approximately? You know what number give or take. Or is Pence just another politician with a mouth bigger than his brain?


    The Equalizer

    November 29, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Pence, "I want to be President so let me tout flat tax cuts, that ought to get my foot in the door." BS

    November 29, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |

    Jobs.Where are the jobs pinhead?

    November 29, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. thomas

    Great Idea ! I'm Dem and I'm all in !

    November 29, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. John Kenneth

    Flat tax? Does he still believe the world is also flat? He better go back to school and study up on some economics.

    November 29, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. stufthis

    Pence was opposed to TARP, yet he voted for it. What a pile of crap this man exudes.

    November 29, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. speekers

    Wow. I like the flat tax rate idea! However, I don't know if I'd vote this guy in for president though. Honestly, I'd need more info on him.

    November 29, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Chas in Iowa

    Someone needs to ask him if his plan is a flat tax without any exemptions or deductions.
    If the plan eliminates all the tax loopholes and targeted deductions the rich have enjoyed for years I would be willing to listen.

    November 29, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Whatever

    Check out the guy in the background of the picture!!! Too funny looks like his moving the entire building starting with the window or door. Good spoof – – Now that they are in charge time to pick and up leave!!!!! LOL

    November 29, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Thinker

    As someone who lives in Indiana, I can honestly say I wouldn't vote for pence for dog catcher right now. He's know nothing republican.

    November 29, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    One thing is certain......the middle class can no longer support the poor. So, a new tax system is going to be required, but obviously a flat tax, to be affordable by the poor, who SHOULD be paying some minimal taxes, will let the wealthy off, far too easy.

    November 29, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. John Boehner is the dumbest person to become speaker

    Like Pence, the republicans in congress voted in favor of giving $775 billion in unrestricted money, while John of Orange bawled like a baby to get everyone to support the Bush bailout

    November 29, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. Ken, AZ

    Here we go again. It's time for the republicans to pay their benefactors back for buying the 2010 election. If the Flat Tax is such a good idea among republicans, why wasn't it put forward or implemented when they held the majority in both houses of congress and the White House? And, the lack of regulation is what contributed to the near collapse of our, and the global economy. Thanks to President Obama for saving Capitalism and the Free Market system and for putting regulations in place to ensure that nothing like this will happen again.

    November 29, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. Whammybar

    5% Federal & 5% State, no exceptions, no deductions, no loopholes. Applies the same to individuals as well as business. Eliminate the inheritance tax nationwide and allow the family farm or business to go to the kids or relatives if that is the wish of the owner.
    This would probably take in more revenue than we currently do. Then we can start working on eliminating welfare for the world, foriegn aid!

    November 29, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. Emile Zola

    I was told, from very early, to make sure I check the source of every thing to see if it was possible to give it credibility and since the source is tainted, ergo, there is no credibility. This, should I say, tea partier? is trying to give us an economical Trojan horse, so Joe Q. Public continues to be milked to the last drop by the crooks at Wall Street, the same ones that brought us a second great depression and since in the house of the hanged, you don't mention the noose, tea partiers, republicans called recession, even though, when Bush was in office and we were in the middle of an economical tsunami, many of them referred to that tsunami as "the fundamentals of the economy are strong." In other words, spinning the facts is what they are masters at. Facts not included. I think you can put this flat tax in the same column as the 23% sales tax that, again, the same crowd loves. If Hitler says he loves, loved the Jews, the whole world would know he was up to something really evil. Ditto here. If the same guys that gave us the great depression want something, buyer beware: Proceed at your own risk. Your life will depend on it, but why take a chance. The epitome of hypocrisy is when these same guys, purchased, sealed and delivered by special interests, want to balance the budget, they actually mean the stupid voters, otherwise, how can a sane person justify these snake oil sales, but don't mind giving billions of tax payers dollars to our democracy's owners. Something is rotten in Denmark, oops, I meant America.

    November 29, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. justwondering

    A flat tax makes sense to me, as long as it is applied fairly and across the board. I am generally a liberal, but this is one area where I agree we have what results from years and years of our elected officials granting special favors or trying to cause behavior. All by playing with the tax rules. But it will never happen. Why because first the concept that everyone pays according to their ability has to be universal. Then the idea that certain classes deserve deductions (my mortgage interest deduction or a corporations R&D deduction) has to be eliminated. This calls for the kind of shared sacrifice that our 'whats in it for me' culture will never be willing to accept.

    November 29, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. T'sah from Virginia

    "...I believe it is time that America adopted a flat tax and scrapped the current system once and for all," Pence will say..."

    What the??? And what is the FLAT RATE?????? I love STORIES that suggest something but then EXPLAINING it drops off the cliff??? Therefore, this story is NULL and VOID just like the person who the story is about!!!!

    Please let's continue to MOVE AMERICA FORWARD with more "logical" policies with our current leader, President Obama!!

    November 29, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. CBKWit

    This is the stupidest thing I have heard in a long time, and I read the Sarah Palin South/North Korea article.

    November 29, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. Ken in Maryland

    Yeah, let's get rid of all those pesky tax deductions, like mortgage interest, college tuition, and charitable donations. Who needs rental property or college? Charities don't need money! And make sure the poor pay a higher tax rate and the rich pay a lower tax rate than they do now! That's called "fair and balanced." Just like FOX "News".

    I get so tired of hearing the Repubs talk of "new ideas" that are really the old ideas that never worked before. Fewer regulations? Remember waaaay back in 2006-2008? Lax banking regulations almost led us over a cliff. Cutting regs is what every big business wants, so that's what the Repubs want. Catering to corporate America = big campaign contributions. Which, apparently, he doesn't want a tax deduction for.

    November 29, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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