Bachmann Pushes Everyone-pays Income Tax Plan

White House hopeful Michele Bachmann said
Monday that people who can afford to pay more in taxes should as part of
a national tax overhaul that she hopes will set her apart from rivals
like Mitt Romney and Herman Cain.


The Minnesota
congresswoman and tax lawyer wants to do away with the earned income tax
credit – a Reagan-era incentive for people to work. Bachmann proposes
that even those low-wage earners who get all of their income taxes
refunded plus the credit pay at least $10 a year in income taxes.

Bachmann
is trying to regain ground lost as Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the
race and Cain surged, as she launches a swing through early voting South
Carolina. She said her everyone-pays-something plan is part of the
needed reconfiguration of the tax code.

“That’s
part of the rethinking that we need to have in the United States: that
everyone needs to sacrifice from the top end to the bottom end, and
everybody needs to be part of the solution,” she said in an interview
with The Associated Press.

Her plan includes
elements that are close to billionaire Warren Buffett’s call for tax
fairness – a turnaround for Bachmann. In August, she dismissed the idea
in front of tea party-packed crowds in South Carolina.

“We
do believe, unlike Warren Buffett, that taxes are high enough already,”
Bachmann said at the time. “I have a suggestion: Mr. Buffett, write a
big check today.”

Bachmann now says Buffett had it right, though she disagrees on the details.

“I
think that people who can afford to pay more need to pay more, and they
at least can’t pay less than people at the lower and middle income
levels,” Bachmann said.

Bachmann adviser Brett
O’Donnell said that’s a jab at General Electric Co. for paying a lower
overall tax rate like other big companies, such as Marathon Oil Corp.
and not an effort to get people with incomes above $250,000 to pay
higher rates, which Democrats have sought.

Her
plan calls for three tax brackets – down from six – but she hasn’t
detailed where they would fall. O’Donnell said the lowest would be set
so low enough that its there’s a trade-off for people now eligible for
the earned income tax credit.

The tax expert
is countering the other proposals, including businessman Cain’s catchy
9-9-9 tax plan, Perry’s 20 percent tax on post card, Romney’s no income
taxes on dividends, interest or capital gains for people with adjusted
gross income below $200,000 and Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s call for
eliminating the income tax altogether

Source: Jim Davenport, The Associated Press

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