Huntsman plan would restructure tax code
August 31st, 2011
10:27 AM ET
11 years ago

Huntsman plan would restructure tax code

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman will portray himself as the responsible fiscal conservative running for the White House as he announces a jobs plan that includes restructuring the tax-code to remove all loopholes, deductions and tax expenditures and eliminating the home mortgage deduction, in a speech Wednesday, according to a campaign official.

The plan – which the former governor of Utah will release a week before former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama announce their jobs plans – is called "Time to Compete" and focuses on four areas: tax reform, regulatory reform, energy independence and free trade.

"Meeting our challenges will require serious solutions, but above all, it will require serious leadership – a quality in high demand in our nation's capital, and among my opponents on the campaign trail," Huntsman plans to say in remarks at Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson, New Hampshire.

Huntsman would eliminate capital gains, dividends taxes, and the Alternative Minimum Tax, and reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent. His plan calls for three individual tax brackets set at eight, 14 and 23 percent. The changes to the tax code would be revenue-neutral.

In his speech Huntsman will fault the president for his role in the debt ceiling negotiations, and will continue attacking his GOP opponents for failing to support the eventual deal. Huntsman was the only candidate to support the deal.

He will tell an audience at the metal fabricating plant "it's time for America to compete again. I believe with a new administration we can do just that."

"The President believes that we can tax and spend and regulate our way to prosperity. We cannot. We must compete our way to prosperity," Huntsman plans to say. "We need American entrepreneurs not only thinking of products like the iPhone or Segway; we need American workers building those products. It's time for made in America to mean something again."

Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. myk_H

    Eliminate capital gains and dividend taxes? And someone thinks the wealthy will pay more? This silly! Dividends are how wealthy people make their money. You think they pay too little now? Wait and see if something like this gets enacted.

    August 31, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Eliminating capital gains taxes is an obvious giveaway to the rich and the Wall Streeters and bankers. Those taxes are already low and it has NOT resulted in reinvestment in our country.

    Folks, wake up to the fact that the Republican plan is to have the non-wealthy of our country finance the global expansion of the rich.

    That's like giving all your money to your spouse so he/she can divorce you, take up with someone else and then demand you continue paying for their new lifestyle.

    August 31, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Mr. Moderate

    Here is how the income tax should work. Take income from all sources, exempt all income up to the federal poverty line with additional exemptions for dependants and take a flat percentage of everything above that amount. No loopholes, no deductions just a flat percentage. Lower income earners would have a larger proportion of the income exempted and billions would be saved on preparation and enforcement costs. Done, let's move on!

    August 31, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Couragoues wrote:
    Kudos to Huntsman! This is a bold plan and one that no candidate on either side of the aisle would ever be willing to propose if they were focused on getting elected.
    If the plan is so great, then why did you criticize it so much. You pointed out the flaws in all of the major features. No wonder other candidates are not proposing anything like this.

    Or, are they just waiting for someone else to be the first one in the pool? So that they can find out the water temperature. But, wait. These are Republicans we're talking about. They will tell the American people what the water temperature is. Well, at least they will try. Voters are not buying into Republicans telling them what to think anymore. It only works on their base, now.

    August 31, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    "We need American entrepreneurs not only thinking of products like the iPhone or Segway; we need American workers building those products. It's time for made in America to mean something again."

    While I agree wholeheartedly that it's time for "made in America" to mean something again, fact is, don't these products (Huntsman's a bit short on the details here) first have to actually BE MADE IN AMERICA again. I'll sit back and await the details before I decide whether Hunstman is serious about bringing jobs back to America, or just panding for votes.

    August 31, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. YetiGrowler

    If Republicans would really listen to Huntsman we may have a presidential candiate who be palatable to both the left and the right and who may be able to navigate his way through the partisan gridlock in Washington. No one is ever going to be completely happy with the tax code but Huntsman's approach is the most fair and realistic I have seen so far.

    In response to Rudy NYC, many on the left complain that the mortgage deduction is favorable to the rich because they are more likely to own homes rather than rent and therefore be eligible for the interest deduction. However, if the mortgage deduction is removed those same people now complain that the middle class can't take advantage of the deduction.

    Huntsman 2012.

    August 31, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. ThinkAgain

    "The average middle class wage earner pays around 28%. The average individual managing his stock portfolio only pays 15%, on his capital gains. The article states that Huntsman wants to eliminate the capital gains tax."

    Folks, this is it in a nutshell. Huntsman's plan would further accelerate the funneling of money upward to the rich in this country, at the expense of everyone and everything else.

    August 31, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Joe

    If you think the housing market is bad now, just wait and see what happens when there is no mortgage interest deduction. This idea would be terrible for the middle class, terrible for the economy, and terrible for any politician who tries running on it.

    August 31, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. Steve/Oklahoma

    Jon Huntsman, the ONLY republican worth voting for. To bad the crazies have taken over the GOP. I think Huntsman would make a good president.

    August 31, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Bill from GA

    "Huntsman would eliminate capital gains, dividends taxes"

    Does that mean rich people pay NO TAXES on capital gains and dividends, or that those incomes are taxed as regular income??

    It really makes a difference.

    I imagine he means Warren Buffett pays NO TAXES on his huge capitol gains.

    August 31, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Many Top CEOs earn more than their companies pay in income taxes” The Huffington Post


    August 31, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. Bill from GA

    A lot of commenters seem to think Huntsman wants to tax dividends and capitol gains as income. GET IT IN WRITING, before you sign the dotted line (vote).

    August 31, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. Bill from GA

    The mortgage interest deduction should be replaced with a credit (non-refundable), limited to maybe $10K per year (or less). This would encourage house-buying to those in need of encouragement, limit the cost to the government, and allow the credit for those who would not otherwise itemize.

    August 31, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Tom

    Taking away the home mortgage interest deduction would be a net tax increase especially on the middle.class. With 25-30% of homes underwater many households now.just getting by will be pushed over the edge. Foreclosures and short sales will rise, the housing sector recession will be prolonged, consumers will have even less discretionary funds and the downward spiral accelerates.

    August 31, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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