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Brownback campaign revives the flat tax


Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:Sen. Sam Brownback (R) ![][1][(Wichita Eagle) Brownback adds flat tax to platform:][2] Remember the flat tax? The policy proposal gained traction among conservative politicians for a while in the 1990s, but it withered amid little real-world political support. Now it's back, as a fiscal policy cornerstone of Sen. Sam Brownback's campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. "We need a flat tax instead of the dreadful, incomprehensible tax code we now have," Brownback wrote in the letter that announced the creation of his presidential exploratory committee.[(The Ethiopian Herald) Senator Brownback says US gov't appreciates Ethiopia for crushing terrorist group in Somalia:][3] After holding talks with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Senator Sam Brownback told journalists yesterday that the US government and its people are stunned by the fact that the Ethiopian Defence Forces crushed terrorists in Somalia within a short period of time. Ethiopia's victory over the terrorist group in Somalia after swift military intervention is indeed exemplary to other countries, the senator said. "I am here to express appreciations on behalf of the US government and its people on Ethiopia's victory over the terrorist group in Somalia," Senator Brownback told journalists.Rep. Nancy Boyda (D)![][4][(LJW) Boyda criticizes Bush's new plan for Iraq:][5] U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Topeka, on Friday criticized the Bush administration's new plan for the Iraq war that includes a troop surge. Boyda said she believed there was no evidence that Iraqis would be able to take more of a leadership role under the plan. She also said she would vote against a nonbinding resolution to support the plan and against funding it if the troop surge were presented separately.Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R)![][6][(Wichita Eagle) Tiahrt gains influence in key appropriations post:][7] Life in the Congressional minority is turning out well for Rep. Todd Tiahrt of Kansas. The seven-term incumbent reportedly has been tapped to be ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on the interior, environment and related agencies. Late last week, the Republican Steering Committee and the Republican conference on Friday ratified his nomination as ranking member of the subcommittee. Tiahrt will wield greater influence in the minority than he ever did in the majority.Etc.[(McClatchy) House OKs drug-price bargaining:][8] House Democrats ignored a White House veto threat and passed legislation Friday that would require the government to negotiate lower drug prices for the Medicare prescription drug program. By a vote of 255-170, with 24 Republicans joining the majority, Democrats scored a symbolic if not substantive victory, rejecting a Republican-crafted ban on government negotiations that many feel is too generous to the drug industry. In the Kansas delegation, Democrats Dennis Moore and Nancy Boyda and Republican Jerry Moran voted for the bill. Republican Todd Tiahrt voted against it.[(LJW) Kansas delegation focuses on Farm Bill:][9] Members of the Kansas delegation to Congress know most of their work this year will involve reauthorization of the Farm Bill. "It's going to be a tough row to hoe. There's already been quite a bit of criticism in the national media," said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. In the U.S. House, Jerry Moran, R-Hays, and Nancy Boyda, D-Topeka, have spots on the agriculture committee. Roberts also has one in the Senate. [1]: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/fr/thumb/c/c8/Sam_Brownback.jpg/150px-Sam_Brownback.jpg [2]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/local/16463292.htm [3]: http://allafrica.com/stories/200701130048.html [4]: http://www.actblue.com/images/entities/9536.gif [5]: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/jan... [6]: http://gala.ntdtv.com/2006/en/vips/i/ks_todd_tiahrt.jpg [7]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/16463294.htm [8]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/local/16452286.htm [9]: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/jan/14/kansas_delegation_focuses_farm_bill/?politics


overthemoon 11 years, 5 months ago

UH OH...brownback has had two reasonable ideas in one week?


agree completely. what would hrblock do with their shiny new heasquarters building???

i recall seeing an analysis of a 10% flat tax some years back. the conclusion was that it would increase gov't revenues considerably both through direct collections and reduction of tax processing costs. the problem is that it would actually increase taxes for the wealthy who can afford tax lawyers to minimize their tax liability using all the convenitent sheltering devices and loopholes at their disposal. so it's a topic that's been deep six'd every time it comes up.

Atreides 11 years, 5 months ago

As overthemoon pointed out, the wealthy are the ones who are against the flat tax the most(because they will be paying more than ever before). Unfortunately the plan will go nowhere because Brownback is its current champion, thus it will be seen as the passion of Christocrats, which Brownie is(Taliban wing of the GOP).

It is not pie in the sky. The Flat Tax has been implemented in some former communist countries and both economic and revenue growth has manifested wherever the Flat has been implemented;however there is no proven smoking gun link between Flat and growth, and wages remain low in said Flat tax nations.

But I think that many would concur that the Flat is a better than Bush's current system where the affluent make out like bandits, or the Left's old age proposal to progressively tax the rich at Scandinavian levels?

Stephen Roberts 11 years, 5 months ago

I hate to break your bubble, but we already have a flat tax. It is called Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). AMT was designed as way of getting the rich to pay more tax. As the years went by more and more of the midfdle income earners are running into paying AMT.

The tax code states everything is included in income and nothing is deductible unless specifically noted in the Internal Revenue Code.

In order to go to a flat tax, Congress will have to eliminate some of the credit. They could elimnate the child care credit, child credit or they could eliminate the Earned Income Credit.

There has been a push to eliemnate AMT but it brings in so much revenue, Congress would have to increase the tax rates for all or elimate all credits including the EIC. That is why AMT is still around.

overthemoon 11 years, 5 months ago

by determining a fair threshold for exempting income below a certain figure, those who benefit most from the credits would still pay less or no taxes.

check out this commentary


scetwe 11 years, 5 months ago

Here's an interesting look at the current 'income tax', something that every taxpayer ought to at least take a look at. It's time that we demand to see the 'law' that requires individuals to pay income tax. If anyone knows of this law, please post a link to it.


more info can be found here:


Tom McCune 11 years, 5 months ago

Even in the extremely unlikely event that some form of flat tax did pass, it would never stick. Within 3 years, it would be right back where it is now, with all kinds of disparate treatment. DC Pols receive too many contributions (bribes) to give special treatment to certain groups. One main way of doing this is to offer special tax incentives to certain industries. It is very easy for them to pass bills & amendments giving these special exemptions and deductions and very difficult for them to pass budgets, raise revenue, and hand out contracts.

Bruce Bertsch 11 years, 5 months ago

The key element of a flat tax is the definition of "Earned Income." I guarantee you that Sam and his cronies don't see investment income as "earned." Of course this also eleiminates such things as tax free bonds, as all income would become taxable. No need for "Capital Gains", its earned income. Of course you would also get to give up the mortgage deduction as flat taxes don't work with deductions or credits. At the end of the day, guess who a flat tax benefits the most? Hint, its not the poor or middle class.

BunE 11 years, 5 months ago

Don't forget that we will lose the mortgage deduction, slowing down the mortgage and housing sectors even more!

Jackson 11 years, 5 months ago

Maybe Brownback's flat tax issue is to draw attention away from his weak stand re. illegal aliens.

Sam's DOA.

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