With just over 24 hours to go before Georgia Republicans take the first step toward picking a U.S. Senate nominee, Rep. Jack Kingston hit hard at leading Senate primary foe David Perdue over his recent pro-tax increase statement.
Millionaire businessman and first-time candidate Perdue raised eyebrows during a recent editorial board meeting with the Macon Telegraph when he characterized increasing tax revenues as a “reality” to get the country, “out of an economic ditch.”
Kingston hit this hard, emphasizing that he has signed the no-tax pledge of Americans for Tax Reform and underscoring his vow to "get government out of the way of job creators."
The latest salvo over the issue of taxes came as Kingston, a staunch conservative, was endorsed by the two Republicans considered fathers of the flat tax and fair tax. Publisher Steve Forbes, whose 1996 presidential campaign was key to making the flat tax part of the modern political lexicon, weighed in strongly for Kingston.
Forbes' endorsement of Kingston came on the heels of that from former Rep. John Linder, R-Ga., who helped put the Fair Tax on the map when he introduced it back in 1999.
In denouncing Perdue’s most recent statement on taxes, Kingston told reporters that this is not the first time his opponent had suggested a tax increase. The congressman noted that in February, Perdue “proclaimed his support for an Internet Sales Tax that could increase taxes on American consumers by as much as $23 billion.”
“David Perdue apparently thinks raising taxes will improve our economy,” said Kingston.
Although there are six Republicans vying for nomination to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss, several recent polls have shown Kingston and Perdue leading the pack and most likely to make it into the run-off in July. Under Peach State election law, if no candidate wins a majority of votes in the primary, the top two vote-getters meet in a subsequent run-off to determine the party's nomination.
Should Kingston and Perdue advance to the run-off after Tuesday, it is almost a certainty that a key point of their coming debates will be taxes — once characterized as "the gold standard of conservative politics" by venerable conservative author M. Stanton Evans.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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