NewsEdge, Rick Santorum

GOP presidential candidate Santorum pitches tax code revamp in Fort Worth

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rick-santorum.gi.topOct. 12– FORT WORTH — Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum says it’s time to revamp the country’s tax code.

On Monday, during a local campaign stop, he unveiled an “economic freedom agenda” that is geared to overhaul the country’s current tax system and replace it with a 20/20 flat tax.

“America has lost hope,” the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania told a crowd of around 100 at a World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth lunch at the Fort Worth Club. “Most Americans are pessimistic about the future of our country.”

Part of the problem, he said, is because Republicans haven’t done a great job connecting with working-class voters and the poor.

“If you listen to Republicans, they never talk about workers. They’re always talking about businesses. They’re always talking about economic growth,” he said. “They’re not talking about, ‘What are we going to do to help individual workers?'”

Democrats, on the other hand, do go out and talk about the problems workers are facing.

“Then they go out and make it worse,” Santorum said. “These programs that are intended to help actually make things worse.”

Santorum, who is making his second bid for the White House, said his plan to overhaul the tax code and eliminate the IRS as it is known today will create a fair, across the board tax for all Americans.

The most you’d be taxed on a dollar is 20 cents. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum

“It is time for a President who will take a blow torch to the tax code, end the IRS as we know it, and create a new tax system for a new century — a single-rate system that is honest, simple and fair,” he said.

“No longer will Warren Buffett pay less than his secretary, no longer will American industry be hamstrung on the World marketplace, and no longer will three letters, I-R-S, strike fear into the hearts of law-abiding citizens.”

Proposed change

Santorum’s plan would set up a 20 percent individual tax rate for all income levels. Itemized deductions would go away, except for mortgage interest — capped at $25,000 a year — and charitable donations.

Each person would receive a $2,750 tax credit and the current child tax credit would remain in place.

Any drop in revenue that might come as a result of this plan, he said, would be made up by repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“I wanted to make this tax code strong pro-family,” he said. “Human capital is as strong as economic capital. … You look at a tax system that robustly supports families in America.”

And he said his tax plan comes at a time when it can help jump start an economy that has seen around 15,000 American factories closed since 2007 and more than two million manufacturing jobs eliminated or transferred overseas.

Currently, more Americans than in the past — 46 million compared with less than 30 million seven years ago — now use food stamps.

“The chief causes of low growth and the woeful lack of sufficient job creation are the hideously complex federal income tax code, sky-high corporate tax rates, and the scandal-ridden Internal Revenue Service,” Santorum’s plan states.

“We are liberating people,” he said Monday. “The most you’d be taxed on a dollar is 20 cents.”

Melany Rodriguez, a 13-year-old eight grader who was among nearly a dozen World Languages Institute students who listened to Santorum’s speech, isn’t sure Santorum has the right approach.

“I respect his idea, his tax ideas,” she said. “It’s a very good idea.

“But imagine repealing all of Obama’s work — that’s eight years wasted.”

A true leader?

Santorum detailed his tax plan in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal Monday, and he criticized other presidential candidates’ lack of experience.

” Donald Trump’s plan to make America great again? He’s offering a complicated tax cut that the Tax Foundation reports will explode the deficit by more than $10 trillion over a decade,” he wrote. “Are any Republicans offering serious, specific proposals to scrap the toxic tax code? Jeb Bush wants three rates. Marco Rubio wants two. Rand Paul has proposed a single rate and creating a European-style value-added tax.

“America deserves better.”

Santorum, one of the more socially conservative candidates, suspended his last campaign in April 2012 weeks before Texans ever got to cast their ballots.

The 57-year-old will be back in North Texas this weekend, as he is among the GOP presidential candidates who have agreed to attend the North Texas Presidential Forum at Prestonwood Baptist Church on Sunday.

So far, Santorum as well as Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee have said they will participate in the event.

And Santorum reminds Texans that polls don’t determine the winner of the race.

“This race is a long long way from being over,” he said. “Don’t let these national polls fool you.”

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

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(c)2015 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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  • don allen

    well richie using your 20% flat tax plan and assuming no exemption deductions just
    mortgage and charity you will cost me $1600 more a year in taxes and i’m a senior. go
    back to the drawing board. may i suggest a smaller tax rate and throw in a consumption tax which would put all in the pot to help pay for things.

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