Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Huntsman to Propose Revenue-Neutral Tax Reform

Aug 31, 2011 | Taxes

It's no secret that taxes will be a central element in national politics over the next fourteen months leading up to the Presidential election. With that in mind, Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is prepared to offer up a comprehensive tax reform plan.

His reform would lower individual income tax rates and eliminate the AMT while axing all tax expenditures. Sounds like the Fiscal Commission tax plan, right? For the most part, it is. The difference is that instead of devoting the remaining revenue raised to deficit reduction, Huntsman would use it to eliminate capital gains and dividends taxes. This is actually the opposite of what the Commission did in this regard--taxing capital gains and dividends as ordinary income.

It's good to see that the idea of pro-growth tax reform is making its way on the campaign trail as well as in Washington. Huntsman's plan would certianly make the tax code simpler while fostering more growth and investment. In a time of such serious fiscal imbalances, however, we should also be looking to raise more revenue to finance our spending priorities while also keeping deficits and debt under control. Our tax code should be simplified, but it should also accomplish the goal of providing the government with sufficient revenue for its operations.

We look forward to learning more details of Hunstman's tax reform plan as well as how he would address other areas of the budget.