Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is attempting to single himself out from a plethora of potential presidential contenders by making bold but risky policy moves.
While preparing for his expected entry into the White House race for 2016, Rubio has already been creating waves in the GOP by pressing his strategy for retirement security and higher education reform, according to CNN.
His latest gamble is a tax reform plan, constructed with his colleague, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, aimed at cutting the highest corporate tax rate while giving some families larger child tax credits.
"It's a move that that carries plenty of political risk for Rubio," says CNN correspondent MJ Lee. "Making big changes to the tax code is typically divisive and inevitably attracts criticism from across the political spectrum.
"But in a crowded Republican primary that is likely to include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, his one-time mentor, taking on dense debates can help establish Rubio as an 'ideas' candidate and boost his political and policy gravitas."
While Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scot Walker are the unofficial front-runners for the GOP nomination, Rubio trails in the race with just 5 percent of likely voters backing him in a recent poll.
However, his "brainy" tax strategy is getting him the type of attention he's been yearning for, and some say he deserves, CNN reported.
"He's not going to be the guy that organizes the most money or the guy that goes out to build the traditional coalition," said Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker and presidential candidate. "He's going to be the guy that says: Look, if you think we need someone with big ideas about the future, I'm your guy."
And Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and a leading anti-tax advocate, said:
"He's put forward something that will be part of any final Republican proposal."
Referring to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, Norquist added: "If you get a Republican president, what will they do? Something between what Ryan does, and this."
His tax plan would lower the top rate from 35 percent to 25 percent for corporations and let companies expense investments and eliminate taxes on capital gains and dividends for individuals. On the other hand, they would no longer be allowed to deduct interest payments, according to CNN.
The plan also proposes changes in child tax credits and creates just two individual income tax brackets — 15 percent for a person making up to $75,000, or $150,000 for married couples, and 35 percent for all other Americans.
Rubio's initiative is aimed at letting voters know he's "an ideas candidate," a perception he's endeavored to enforce ever since his days in the Florida legislature when he hosted town halls dubbed "idea raisers" and published his first book, "100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future," CNN reported.
"We've been rolling out detailed policy plans for over a year now," said Rubio spokesman Alex Conant. "And he's going to keep talking about policy for the next two years."
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