"Hillary will cut taxes for hard-working families to increase their take-home pay as they face rising costs from child care, health care, and sending their kids to college...
Hillary supports ending the 'carried interest' loophole, enacting the 'Buffett Rule' that ensures no millionaire pays a lower effective tax rate than their secretary, and closing tax loopholes and expenditures that benefit the wealthiest taxpayers to pay for her plan to make college affordable and refinance student debt."
Source: Hillary for America, "A Plan to Raise American Incomes," hillaryclinton.com accessed Nov. 5, 2015)
[Editor's Note: Hillary Clinton characterized the flat tax as "harmful" in a post on her campaign website, titled "Republican Tax Plans Fight for the Highest Earners" (accessed Nov. 5, 2015), in which she stated: "Ben Carson supports a harmful flat tax."]
"Governor Johnson advocates the elimination of tax subsidies, the double taxation embodied in business income taxes, and ultimately, the replacement of all income and payroll taxes with a single consumption tax that will allow every American and every business to determine their tax burden by making their own spending decisions. Taxes on purchases for basic necessities would be 'prebated', with all other purchases taxed equally regardless of income, status or purpose."
Source: Gary Johnson 2016, "Taxes," garyjohnson2016.com (accessed Apr. 20, 2016)
"[W]e're calling for a fair tax system. So we have, for example, a financial transaction tax, which would bring hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy; an offshore tax haven tax; and a progressive tax on millionaires and billionaires."
Source: The Real News Network, "Why Is the Green Party's Jill Stein Running to Be President?," therealnews.com, Mar. 19, 2012
"Well, I think fair tax is okay. And I think flat tax is okay. But, I think the simplest thing to get approved is just the simplification of the existing. You know, we can just simplify the existing, and then we can start thinking about other things. But, to move fast, the simplification would be very easy. I mean, we could take so many of these deductions, these false deductions off and lower, which, by the way, benefit the wealthy. And lower taxes."
Source: Ian Hanchett, "Trump: 'Flat Tax Is Okay,'" www.breitbart.com, Aug. 22, 2015
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear below in black and white and in alphabetical order.)
"I am in favor of a flat tax. Everybody should be hit exactly the same… In order [to] have to, you know, remain revenue neutral, we would have to make that rate at about 15 percent, and eliminate all the deductions and all the loopholes."
Source: Reuters, "Presidential Candidate Carson Pushes 15 Percent Flat Tax, End to All Deductions," www.reuters.com, Nov. 9, 2015
"It's time for the next American revolution; it's time to reignite growth in our economy. And the best way to do that is through fundamental tax reform. Cruz’s Simple Flat Tax abolishes the IRS and replaces the byzantine tax code with a simple, fair tax…
Under the Simple Flat Tax, the current seven rates of personal income tax will collapse into a single low rate of 10 percent. For a family of four, the first $36,000 will be tax-free. The Child Tax Credit will remain in place, and the Simple Flat Tax Plan expands and modernizes the Earned Income Tax Credit with greater anti-fraud and pro-marriage reforms. As a result, the Simple Flat Tax will ensure that low- and middle-income Americans have greater opportunities – not only through minimal taxes, but also through better, high-paying jobs that the Simple Flat Tax will generate."
Source: Cruz for President, "The Simple Flat Tax," tedcruz.org (accessed Nov. 10, 2015)
"Our tax code is 73,000 pages... We need to radically simplify the tax code so that we can re-start the real engine of growth in our economy. That means our tax code needs to go from 73,000 pages down to about three pages.
[W]e need to lower every rate and close every loophole. I will support a low, flat tax for businesses and individuals so that we fix the tax base and grow the economy. The Hoover Institution and Congressman Michael Burgess, M.D. both developed tax plans that do exactly this. Under their plans, both businesses and individuals can file their taxes on a simple form. They won't need armies of accountants, lawyers, and lobbyists to figure out how to take advantage of loopholes and game the system because there will be no system to game."
Source: Carly Fiorina, Facebook post, www.facebook.com/CarlyFiorina, Nov. 10, 2015
"My tax plan would blow up the tax code and start over. In consultation with some of the top tax experts in the country, including the Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore, former presidential candidate Steve Forbes and Reagan economist Arthur Laffer, I devised a 21st-century tax code that would establish a 14.5% flat-rate tax applied equally to all personal income, including wages, salaries, dividends, capital gains, rents and interest. All deductions except for a mortgage and charities would be eliminated. The first $50,000 of income for a family of four would not be taxed. For low-income working families, the plan would retain the earned-income tax credit.
I would also apply this uniform 14.5% business-activity tax on all companies—down from as high as nearly 40% for small businesses and 35% for corporations."
Source: Rand Paul, "Blow Up the Tax Code and Start Over," wsj.com, June 17, 2015
"I want to lower taxes and make the tax code simple, fair and clear…
We will cut individual rates from seven brackets to three: 28%, 25% and 10%. At 28%, the highest tax bracket would return to where it was when President Ronald Reagan signed into law his monumental and successful 1986 tax reform."
Source: Daniel J. Mitchell, "Jeb Bush's Pro-Growth Tax Plan Is Solid, But a Flat Tax Is Still the Gold Standard for Reform," forbes.com, Sep. 9, 2015
"Let's lower the rates for every American by simplifying the income-tax system to just three individual income-tax rates, instead of the current six. The top rate should be no higher than the 28% set in the country's last major successful tax-reform effort--the Bradley-Gephardt reform during the Reagan era. And the bottom rate should be a single digit."
Source: Chris Christie, "My Plan to Raise Growth and Incomes," wsj.com, May 11, 2015
"Americans spend upwards of $1 trillion each year complying with our 75,000-page tax code that is so confusing and complex, our government cannot explain it.
Instead of tinkering with the tax code, we need a tax revolution that helps every hard-working American and eliminates the IRS once and for all.
Abolish the IRS. Help me pass the Fair Tax."
Source: Huckabee for President, "Abolishing the IRS – FairTax," www.mikehuckabee.com (accessed Nov. 4, 2015
[Editor's Note: The FairTax is a 23% national sales tax on new goods and services that would replace income taxes. We categorized this position as CON because a flat tax is an income tax and the FairTax would eliminate income taxes.]
"John Kasich will work with Congress to cut personal and business taxes, simplify the tax code and initiate a top-to-bottom review of our tax system to eliminate barrier to innovation, and root-out bias, arrogance and corruption in the Internal Revenue Service...
Lowering income tax rates, reducing the number of brackets, and increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit will allow all tax payers, especially low and middle income earners, to keep more of their own money and be better able to save and invest for the future."
"I have gathered input from Americans of all economic backgrounds and engaged in discussions with leaders across the conservative movement to form a complete, pro-growth, pro-family tax reform agenda for the 21st century.
My plan is a significant departure from the old school tax reform ideas that so often come out of Washington. First, on the individual side, my plan reduces the number of brackets from seven to three: 15%, 25%, and 35%. The plan eliminates all exemptions and deductions, except for a charitable contribution deduction and a reformed home mortgage interest deduction. Taxpayers will instead receive a personal tax credit that phases out for higher-income Americans. This greatly simplified code will cut taxes for the vast majority of people."
Source: Marco Rubio, "Rubio: My Pro-Family, Pro-Growth Tax Reform Plan for the 21st Century," foxnews.com, Oct. 27, 2015
"[Sanders] In the last 30 years there has been a massive redistribution of wealth...
The problem is this redistribution has gone in the wrong direction. Trillions of dollars have gone [from] the middle class and working families to the top 1/10 of 1%… Yes, I do believe that we must end corporate loopholes such that major corporations year after year pay virtually zero in federal income tax because they're stashing their money in the Cayman Islands...
[Moderator] Well, let's get specific, how high would you go? You said before you'd go above 50% [income tax rate]. How high?
[Sanders] We haven't come up with an exact number yet. But it will not be as high as the number under Dwight D. Eisenhower which was 90% [for top income earners]...
[B]illionaires pay an effective tax rate lower than nurses or truck drivers. That makes no sense at all. There has to be real tax reform and the wealthiest corporations will pay when I'm president."
Source: CBS News, "Democratic Debate Transcript: Clinton, Sanders, O'Malley in Iowa," cbsnews.com, Nov. 14, 2015
[Editor's Note: Graham co-sponsored S.1921 (“A bill to promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and replacing such taxes with a national sales tax and a business tax”) on Oct. 26, 2005 that would have repealed the federal income tax and replaced it with an 8.4% sales tax. The bill failed in the Senate.]