Santorum Hits Romney Tax Plan for Taxes on ‘One Percent,’ Limiting Charitable Deductions

Monday, 27 Feb 2012 04:56 PM

By Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter

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Rick Santorum tells Newsmax that his Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney is “accepting the rhetoric of the left” by calling for the top one percent of earners to pay for tax reductions for the rest of Americans.

In an exclusive interview with NewsmaxTV on the eve of the crucial Michigan primary, the former Pennsylvania senator also slammed Romney’s new tax plan which claims to cut tax rates across the board by 20 percent.

“The other thing Governor Romney does, he just proposed a lowering of rates across the board and said he would pay for those lower rates by increasing taxes on, and these are his words, the top one percent, using the Occupy Wall Street one percent crowd, saying they would pay for all the reductions in the rest of the brackets,” Santorum told Newsmax.

“One of the ways they would do so is by limiting deductions for charitable organizations,” Santorum complained. “It’s almost incredible that Governor Romney would put in place something that would undermine the very fabric of society that allows for government to be limited because nonprofit and charitable organizations fill in the gap so government doesn’t have to be big. So it’s a very, very odd way of paying for this, accepting the rhetoric of the left and then undermining the civil society that can keep government limited.”

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Santorum also says that Romney has been forced to “spend the ranch” in his home state to defeat him, largely on negative ads that reflect Romney’s “dark view of things.”

With polls showing Santorum and Romney in a very close race in Michigan, Santorum tells Newsmax.TV about his prospects in Tuesday’s GOP primary.

“We’re doing well here and we’re certainly excited about the possibility of doing well in a state where I don’t think anyone gave any candidate other than Governor Romney a chance of walking to an easy victory,” he says.

“He and I have been doing battle here and he has had to spend the ranch, if you will, to hold on to his home state, and we continue to hang in there in spite of being outspent and the butt of unfortunately a bunch of negative ads.

“But we’re out there talking about our plan to grow this economy and shrink the size of the federal government, strengthen our national security, and confront the enemies abroad, and that positive message is still resonating with people here.”

Santorum says in the remaining hours before the Michigan election he is attempting to meet as many people as possible and attend several events across the state.

“We’re all over the place trying to get votes here in Michigan,” he declares.
Romney has reportedly spent more than $50 million on ads attacking Santorum and fellow White House candidate Newt Gingrich.

Asked if the negative campaign has been turning off voters, Santorum responds: “If you don’t have much positive to say you can destroy other people by falsely accusing them of things and twisting their records, which is pretty much what he has done to both me and Newt.

“But I think at some point the voters are looking for someone who has something upbeat, positive and visionary. That’s why we stuck to our guns here. All of our ads have a very positive component, talking about where we want to take Michigan, where we want to take America, why we’re the best candidate for the job. And we’ll contrast ourselves with Governor Romney in that regard.”

In an Op-Ed piece in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Santorum calls for slashing the corporate tax rate in half and simplifying the tax code into just two rates. Comparing his plan to Romney’s call for across-the-board rate reductions, Santorum says: “The difference is that he has six tax rates, we have two.

“He keeps the complex code that is in place. He doesn’t really make any fundamental changes to the way taxes are paid. We eliminate the tax code and replace it with five simple deductions — children, charities, pensions, healthcare, and housing.

Santorum explains why the left has so vehemently attacked him over his stance on the separation of church and state.

“Because they have a completely opposite view of what separation of church and state means,” he says.

“They believe that people of faith should not be able to bring their faith into the public square and they should have the freedom not of religion but of worship.

In other words, say whatever you want in your private life but keep it in the church, don’t bring it out and don’t try to practice your faith and try to influence public policy. Of course that is what is at the heart of freedom of religion.”

Asked what actions he would take today to address the Iranian nuclear threat, Santorum responds: “I would work hand in glove with the Israelis trying to discern the state of the Iranian nuclear program and then I would take actions accordingly.

“Imposing sanctions on their oil program, I would have done that a long time ago, but I’m glad President Obama has finally gotten around to it even though he’s seemingly still hesitates and shows himself uncomfortable. He was sort of forced into doing that by Congress.

“I think we also need to work with the pro-democracy movement in Iran,” he says.

Santorum adds that he will continue his campaign regardless of the outcomes in Tuesday’s elections in Michigan and Arizona.

“We had almost zero expectation of winning either of those states two weeks ago, and the fact that we are in play, particularly in Michigan, is pretty remarkable from our standpoint.

“I don’t know if we’ll win here or not but we’re excited about finishing strongly. There are a lot of states that we feel we can do very well in on Super Tuesday.

And the states that I’m doing well in are the states which ultimately Republicans are going to have to win to win the general election. And that will be a very strong message sent out of Super Tuesday.”

Editor's Note: Santorum to Newsmax — Strike Iran Before It Has Nuclear Weapons

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