U.S. White House hopeful Paul backs 14.5 percent federal flat tax

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Rand Paul Backs 14.5 Percent Federal Flat Tax

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Rand Paul is proposing that businesses and individual Americans pay a federal flat tax of 14.5 percent in a plan that would cut the government's tax revenue by more than $2 trillion over 10 years.

The Kentucky senator's plan, which he describes in a Wall Street Journal's opinion piece being published on Thursday, would establish a 14.5 percent 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 under the proposal. Paul said the first $50,000 of income for a family of four would not be taxed and that for low-income working families, the plan would retain the earned-income tax credit.

"My tax plan would blow up the tax code and start over," Paul wrote.

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U.S. White House hopeful Paul backs 14.5 percent federal flat tax
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul speaks during the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Dinner, Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., signs an autograph for a supporter after speaking at Arizona State University Friday, May 8, 2015, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. departs in an elevator after speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, calling for the 28 classified pages of the 9-11 report to be declassified. Paul has been voicing his dissent in the Senate against a House bill backed by the president that would end the National Security Agency's collection of American calling records while preserving other surveillance authorities. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. smiles before speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, to call for the 28 classified pages of the 9-11 report to be declassified. Paul has been voicing his dissent in the Senate against a House bill backed by the president that would end the National Security Agency's collection of American calling records while preserving other surveillance authorities. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at a rally Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., sits in the audience prior to testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 15, 2015, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine the need to reform asset forfeiture. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., takes questions during a meet and greet at the Epoch Restaurant in Exeter, N.H., Saturday, March 21, 2015. Paul is traveling through New Hampshire this weekend, hosting several events with local leaders, business owners and activists. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., listens to a question at the Epoch Restaurant in Exeter, N.H., Saturday, March 21, 2015. Paul is traveling through New Hampshire this weekend, hosting several events with local leaders, business owners and activists. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
In this March 21, 2015 file photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. participates in a meet and greet at the Epoch Restaurant in Exeter, N.H. Few states have shaped presidential politics like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. By hosting the nation’s first presidential primary contests, the states have reaped political and financial rewards for decades on successful candidates and hastened the end for underachievers. Yet their clout may be declining in 2016. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File)
FILE - In this March 20, 2015, file photo, Sen., Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks in Manchester, N.H. Ready to enter the Republican chase for the party’s presidential nomination this week, the first-term Kentucky senator has designs on changing how Republicans go about getting elected to the White House and how they govern once there. Paul will do so with an approach to politics that is often downbeat and usually dour, which just might work in a nation deeply frustrated with Washington. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
Sen., Rand Paul, R-Ky. shakes hands with Darryl Miedico during a visit to Dyn, an internet performance company, Friday, March 20, 2015, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
FILE - In this March 7, 2013 file photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Republican Party’s search for a way back to presidential success in 2016 is drawing a striking array of personalities and policy options. It’s shaping up as a wide-open self-reassessment by the GOP. Some factions are trying to tug the party left or right. Others argue over pragmatism versus defiance. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, and wife Kelley Ashby Paul arrive at the 2014 TIME 100 Gala held at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at the Maine Republican Convention, Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Bangor, Maine. Paul said the Republican Party must become a bigger coalition that's accepting of diverse ideas to win national elections. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul rubs the head of his 11-year-old son Robert after filling out his ballot in Bowling Green, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2013 file photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. The debate about whether to continue the dragnet surveillance of Americans’ phone records is highlighting divisions within the Democratic and Republican parties that could transform the politics of national security. While some leading Democrats have been reluctant to condemn the National Security Agency’s tactics, the GOP has begun to embrace a libertarian shift opposing the spy agency’s broad surveillance powers _ a striking departure from the aggressive national security policies that have defined the Republican Party for generations. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom 15th Annual Spring Kick Off, in Waukee, Iowa, Saturday, April 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Republican Presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at a rally at the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Thursday, April 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., center, is seen through a window as he speaks to supporters during a reception hosted by Liberty Iowa, Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, at the Jasper Winery in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. listens he is introduced to speak by Iowa Republican congressional candidate Rod Blum, left, during a meeting with local Republicans, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, in Hiawatha, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., visits the Peppermill restaurant Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, in Las Vegas. Paul is a possible Republican presidential candidate. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul waves as he walks on state to speak at the Americans for Prosperity gathering Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, in Dallas. Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are bashing what they call the president's lack of leadership in response to the violent militant group attacking cities in Iraq. Both are among four top Republicans considering 2016 White House bids addressing the conservative summit in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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His proposal also would eliminate the payroll tax on workers and several federal taxes including gift and estate taxes, telephone taxes and all duties and tariffs.

He said he would also apply a uniform 14.5 percent business-activity tax on all companies, down from as high as nearly 40 percent for small businesses and 35 percent for corporations.

"The immediate question everyone asks is: Won't this 14.5 percent tax plan blow a massive hole in the budget deficit? As a senator, I have proposed balanced budgets and I pledge to balance the budget as president," Paul wrote.

The Journal reported that Paul said his plan would cut the government's tax take by more than $2 trillion over 10 years, or at least 5 percent, based on congressional revenue estimates for 2016 to 2025. It also would require major spending cuts to avoid adding to deficits, the Journal said.

Paul wrote that the current U.S. tax code "has grown so corrupt, complicated, intrusive and anti-growth that I've concluded the system isn't fixable."

(Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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