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Jack Kemp to John McCain: Endorse the Flat Tax

By David A. Patten   |   Wednesday, 08 Oct 2008 11:19 AM

Sen. John McCain should turbocharge his presidential campaign with a dramatic announcement supporting a modified version of the flat tax, according to former congressman and vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp.

Writing in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, Kemp says McCain “needs to show the nation that he has the economic recovery plan to resort long-term economic growth. To do that, he needs to refocus his campaign with a new tax plan. Mr. McCain should come out for an alternative, optional flatter tax system.”

Pundits and political analysts generally agree that McCain will need a “game-changer” to close the gap with Sen. Barack Obama. Kemp thinks the flat tax could fit the bill.

Kemp, who was former Sen. Bob Dole’s running mate in 1996, says McCain should propose a system similar to the one advanced by former presidential candidate Steve Forbes. It would give Americans the option of filing under the current tax code, or using a simplified, alternative system with a rate as low as 10 percent.

“Such a proposal would include a cut in income taxes, and tax rates, for every American who pays taxes,” Kemp writes in the article, which is co-authored by Peter Ferrara, director of budget policy for the Institute for Policy Innovation.

One of the advantages of the new system, Kemp says: Americans could file their taxes on a single sheet of paper, instead of hiring a CPA to complete voluminous IRS documents.

“Under this optional tax system,” Kemp predicts, “savings would increase and investment would soar as capital around the world is drawn to a suddenly more confident U.S. economy.”

Kemp says the proposal “would be an antidote to the class warfare, neo-collectivist tax policies of Barack Obama,” and would “jump start” the economy. He warns that Obama’s economic proposal “offers tax increases on savers, investors, small business, employers, and other job creators.”

“That has no prospect of restoring economic growth. It will only do the opposite,” Kemp writes.

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