June 8th, 2011
02:00 PM ET

Tim Pawlenty wants only two income tax brackets, 10% and 25%. Good idea?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's been about two weeks since Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty formally entered the Republican presidential race. So far, he's talked bluntly and forcefully, but not very specifically, about issues like gradually raising the retirement age for Social Security, overhauling Medicare, and phasing out ethanol subsidies. But yesterday, in what's being called his first major policy speech on the economy, Pawlenty talked specifics, calling for a "simpler, fairer, flatter tax system" and major cuts to federal spending.

He proposed reforming the individual tax code to have just two rates: 10 percent for the first $50,000 of income, $100,000 for married couples, and 25 percent for higher incomes. He said that would allow lower and middle income families to save more by being taxed at a lower rate, and would spur investment and job creation by cutting the top rate. His plan would also end the capital gains tax, interest income tax, dividends tax, and the estate tax. He'd also cut the business tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.

But Pawlenty didn't just talk taxes-he also called for major spending cuts to many government services. In fact, he suggested if you can find a private sector product or service on the internet, then the federal government doesn't need to be doing it. Not a bad idea.

Critics are already calling the proposals "unachievable." But it's a more ambitious and specific plan than what we've heard from any other potential Republican candidate.

Here’s my question to you: Tim Pawlenty wants only two income tax brackets, 10% and  25%.  Good idea?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: 2012 Election
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. bonnie from NJ

    What he says and what he would actually do if elected are probably nowhere near the same thing. An actual system such as he says, would probably cost the rich people more money and we know where Republicans stand on that.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  2. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    In theory, barring any details, it sounds like a good idea... except that it is being suggested by Mr. Pawlenty, who all but destroyed his own state with his financial policies. He robbed Peter to pay Paul, and of course Paul was a wealthy corporation and Peter was the middle class. As they say in his state, "bend over, you'll get Pawlenty."

    June 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  3. Terrence Cain

    If we had a simple consumption tax from state to state we'd be in a heck of a better place. We're both being over taxed and under taxed at the same time. You go to one state and you just pay federal, you go to another and you pay both state and federal. If we just stripped down to a flat tax rate across all 50 states and you paid in taxes for what you consumed at a fairly reasonable rate the whole system would start to work its self out.

    Terrence Cain
    Big Spring, TX.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  4. Paul From Austin Texas

    A system such as Pawlenty wants is a much better system then we have now. If he sticks to his flatter tax system as a main goal he just might get the republican top spot on the ticket in 2012 and it could make him the next President.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  5. Ed from Texas

    "Simpler" and "fairer" sure sound good. But "flatter" is the result of a focus group, which found it more appealing than the word "regressive," which is what a flat tax is.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  6. Caroly

    What you want and what you can get are two different things#next

    June 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  7. Russ in PA

    Seems to me that the issue should be cutting government spending dramatically to free up capital to the private sector, rather than debating how to make the tax code simpler. Doesn't matter how simple the tax code is if the elected clowns are just going to spend more of the loot.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    June 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  8. Jayne

    In theory, it's a good idea, but Pawlenty's underlying mission is to "starve government" and cause it to shrink. That might be nice until you decide you need federal disaster assistance, or Medicare, or clean air and water, or safe drugs and food, or a combat-ready military to defend us. It's all campaign baloney anyway.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    I'm suspicious of any economic plans from a man that left his state in such horrible financial shape. But then what do I know.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  10. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    A flatter tax is regressive so it is not a good idea. I would prefer that they cut corporate loopholes and have literally higher rates for millionaires and billionaires. (I saw a proposal with a top bracket of 49% for those who make a billion dollars a year.) Back when the top rate was 90% we could afford to build the Interstate Highway System and go to the moon.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  11. Brad, Portland, OR

    Yes, but his plan just cuts taxes for wealthy people and corporations.

    I'd like to see a progressive tax system with multiple brackets that doesn't favor one kind of income over another. Both individuals and businesses would use the same system, with no deductions of any kind, not for business expenses, dependents, or anything. Allowing deductions just allows lobbyists to game the system.

    Something like:

    0-$50000: 10%
    50000-200000: 15%
    200000-1000000: 20%
    1000000-5000000: 25%
    5000000-up: 30%

    June 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  12. David in Tampa

    In theory it would be. Practically, it will turn into as big a disaster as the incomprehensible code we have now. Two questions come to mind. One, it is a Republican proposal so who do you think will be the primary beneficiaries of this new plan? Answer, it wont be the poor or middle class. Two, how long do you think it will take to become overloaded with the write offs and deductions primarily advantaged for large campaign donors. Answer, Long before it makes it out of subcommittee hearings.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  13. Stephen Paul

    Yes it is the fairest of the non systems we could have. A "fair share" is the most reasonable approach. No more special groups, no more special anything; just pay your tax. Markets should soar and people will smile, unless they're part of the insider group of special needs.


    Nashville, In

    June 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  14. Greg in Arkansas

    "simpler, fairer, flatter tax system"....for WHO???

    Pawlenty's plan looks like another huge tax cut for the wealthy by eliminating taxes on capital gains, interest income and dividends and he still wants us to believe that more tax cuts for the wealthy is the only way to create jobs. In reality, the wealthy tend to save their money, invest in gold or other commodities like oil rather than start businesses that create American jobs.

    Tax cuts haven't worked yet as unemployment has been rising since the Bush tax cuts were put in place.

    ..but....I am willing follow is flawed logic and give him some wiggle room...so...how about we make the wealthy TAX EXEMPT......everyone should be back to work by next Tuesday......right??

    June 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  15. Marcel Serraillier

    It's the first time I hear a Republican talk about a "fairer"system. Usually they want to give a tax break to the very rich and the big corporations.
    Is it only a slogan to be elected or is his heart on the right place caring about the poor and the elderly? Give us some details Mr. Pawlenty, we'll
    love to hear your reform.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  16. Marcel Serraillier

    I doubt it on park Avenue and Beverly Hill but,who knows downtown Detroit or LA. Desperate people could do anything!

    June 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  17. David , Laguna Niguel CA

    Yes it is, but the special interests will never let it happen. I flat tax, where the first $25,000 is tax free (that would be the ONLY deduction), and everyone pays X% on every dollar over that amount, regardless of the source of the income, would be fair to everyone and would take away the loopholes the rich with their high priced tax accountants and lawyers take advantage of.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  18. Jane (Minnesota)

    A simpler, fairer tax system is a good idea, but T-Paw's idea of that is more "Trickle Down" Economics-a theory that frankly results in upward wealth redistribution.

    I live in MN and have seen the ex-Gov in action. The rest of the country can look at the shape Minnesota is in; billions in deficit and all this economic genius did is kick the deficit can down to the next Governor and legislature to deal with. The new Governor and the legislature are having trouble agreeing on the budget to the point that it's starting to look like a State shutdown of some sort come July 1st (the State's new budget cycle).

    The conservatives and Trickler Downers may love him, but as for me, NO THANKS! I've seen him in action.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  19. Tom in Desoto, TX

    What he means is to lower already minuscule taxes for rich. This way the shrinking middle class will become serfs and toil on the land to grew food for those deserving...that would be their wealthy masters.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  20. Iris in L.A.

    And let me guess...if you make more than $250k per year, you are in the 10% bracket. But, if you make under that amount you are in the 25% bracket, right?

    June 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  21. Sylvia from California

    Yes.... We can also save a ton of taxpayer money 'cause we can get rid of the bloated IRS too.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  22. calaurore9

    Sure. How is that going to fund 20- year wars in 3 countries, Medicaid and Medicare, though. Lots of sensible sounding ideas proposed during campaigns. Where do they all go?

    Carol in NoHo, Ma

    June 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  23. dave in nashville

    An old timer friend here in Tennessee used to always answer with "whatever's fair..."

    But think about the rise in unemployment damage before you go making the tax system fair, there would be a few more million on the sidelines with no job skills other than organized criminal activity. State and federal paper pushers, bean counters and lawyers would drop a pant load if taxation was simple and fair.

    The good result is we could eliminate half of congress who make a career out of taxation, so I'm for it and "whatever's fair..."

    June 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  24. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Good idea for the taxpayers--not so good for the government--it would reduce revenues-–and at this point in time with the economy-–the government is grabbing at all the straws it can--good idea--bad timing-–and a little to late!

    June 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  25. Gary H. Boyd

    Inorder to intelligently answer that question one would have to know how many tax brackets there are now and I haven't a clue. The politicians have managed to so complicate the income tax code that even my accountant has taken up drinking. But, all that aside, if Pawlenty were to slip his two bracket system in, I want to be in the 10% group.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    June 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  26. Joe CE

    If yu are going to go to a fair , 2 step tax, you need to drop most of the existing shelters, credits, and exemptions. I might support such a reform if all income taxed at the same rate; peronal exemption 10K adjusted upward for inflation, credited for higher education expense up to 5K/person/year; home mortgage up to $12000/yr and no other. In fact we coud probably go 10% flt tax with the reforms suggested. To stay with the present tax laws and have two brackets of 10% & 25% would be disasterous.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  27. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    You want a fair tax why not have a flat 5% income tax on everyone with no loopholes?

    June 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  28. ken, atlantic city, nj

    10% and 25 % tax rates sound good but don't solve the 63 trillion dollar federal debt problem. Getting elected and solving problems are two different things. If politicians want to solve the debt problem they need to go after wall street whih caused this mess. A simple 1% tax on the 700 TRILLION Dollar derivatives market, a 1 penny tax on all other stock transactions, and a 90% tax on broker bonuses would be a good place to start.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  29. Wolowitz

    Pawlenty doesn't tell the truth. The truth is that the tax is already flat: there have been only 2 basic rates since Reagan was in office. The complexity of the tax system is because of all the deductions. Are you willing to give up the deductions for your mortgage or your kids?

    from Flemington, NJ

    June 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  30. Ed from California

    Man! Timmy, is a real brain, and a "real" American!! Ten percent Tax rate for his rich buddies. W/tax exemptions... of course (They create all the tens of millions of new jobs. That we all just got!!).

    And, a Twenty-five percent straight tax, for all of us who happen (through no fault of their own) to be left still working (job not shipped off to communist China.....just yet!!), w/no tax exemptions, no Medicare and no Social Security, privately( another bill for you to pay) funded.

    Sounds great to me!! But,wait (Jack and I)... are voting for the super hot team of, Palin/Bachmann in 2012, or, the super hot team of Bachmann/Palin in 2012..........sorry, Timmy!!! I'm sure you understand!! Can you spell, Third World America??

    June 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  31. RickFromDetroit

    Slick Timmy is only broadcasting half of his budget proposals – the tax tables is a good vote getter. Now lets Timmy about all of the entitlements he is going to butcher after his tax program shows shortfalls in revenue.

    Balance the budget before election day.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  32. Rose

    What is he smoking?

    Why isn't he sharing?

    Nashville, TN

    June 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  33. Loren

    Not a good idea, think of all the IRS agents, tax accountants, tax lawyers, H&R Block people that would be put out of work. Joking aside, I think Pawlenty pulled a couple of numbers out of the air and expects us to be impressed.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  34. Michelle

    If the taxes are going to benefit our schools then sure but if it will only benefit the rich who already have it easy then no way. Our schools are in dire straits. Politicians need to focus on bettering the education of our children and if we don't focus on that then what are we paying taxes for. Without our children having a future and being able to make their mark on society then we MUST improve education.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  35. randy

    great idea, anyone making under 50000 a year pays 10 all others pay 15. our congressmans should pay 40%, that would be fair,

    June 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  36. John from Phoenix

    To a lot of tax payers who have built their life and done strategic financial planning around the current tax code like myself in to order to minimize taxes, Tim Pawlenty's idea would mean a substantial tax increase to my family, and I'm not even close to being to being considered wealthy. Considering the GOP drew a line in the sand with regard to continuing tax breaks for the rich and no new taxes, a little guy like me would be facing a substantial tax increase. For the GOP this is PAR for the course, screw the little guy and protect the rich.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  37. Dave, Orlando, FL

    He is either a moron (as are most tea party lunatics) or he is trying to start a class war. This country (and everyone in it) was in much better shape on all points large and small during the Eisenhower years when the wealthy were taxed at upwards of 80%. If Pawlenty ever became president Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson AND Nixon would turn over in their graves.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  38. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    sure, Jack.

    let's concentrate even MORE wealth with the top 2% and watch what happens when the Republicans try to pay for it by stealing the money people payed into Social Security and Medicare all their working lives

    ready for a 21st century version of The French Revolution?

    June 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  39. Janne from NC

    Its an excellent idea. Everyone should have some skin in the game. It is not right that 50% of Wage Earners Pay 96.09% of Income Taxes and the other 50 % pay NOTHING. Yet they continue to scream for us to pay more. How much is enough ?! With Pawlentys plan there is a true progressive tax. Lets face it, 10% of 30,000.00 is more than 10% of 10,000.00 and 25% of a million is more than 25% of 100,000.00. Everybody pays something, those that make more pay more. Everyone should be happy. But because it is fair and requires everyone to pay something the dems will never go for it.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  40. Dennis north carolina

    The joke is they can not pay their bills now and this would give the rich amuch bigger break than the low income or middle class. I would have to see the whole plan but it sound like a joke on 90% of the people.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  41. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    When the CDO looked at Pawlentys proposal it showed it result in a 8.3 trillion shortfall. Bad idea. Republican proposals have proven so bad that if implemented only the most wealthy would be served. Medicare would have to be shut down, Social Security would not be provided, schools, roads etc. would all be cut to provide for the tax cuts for the wealthy. Bridges in Minnisota collapsed and killed people because of a certain governors negligence of the infrustructure. If you put Pawalentys policies into law, you can expect more of the same.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  42. Mark in Oklahoma City

    Obviously, Jack, if we just taxed Congressmen for each "tweet" they sent, our money problems would be over.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm |

    What is that?

    Does that mean 10% for the poor and 25 % for the middle class?

    How much for the rich? 50 %? And what about eliminating tax loopholes for the rich?

    However you look at it , it does not matter, It will look good on paper but the rich always have something up thier sleeves where they circumvent the rules and the middle class end up paying more than thier fair share.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  44. E.J.Mohammed

    No Jack this is not a good idea!
    Almost all of the 2012 presidential hopefuls refuse to deal with this issue seriously. They want to continue to harp on keeping the Bush tax just as they are while the country country sinks further and further into debt. They want to continue to squeeze the middle class and take as much away from the poor as possible while they stay safe,warm and fed in their glass houses.
    Liz in Tacoma

    June 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  45. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Only a good idea if a supplement to a 13% VAT, a 6.5% retirement payroll tax and a 33% Net Business Receipts Tax (which is 27% after credtis for health insurance and child care). His idea to not tax dividends at all is whacky and will drive jobs overseas.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  46. Dave in Phoenix

    No, this tax burden is once again completely on the middle class. Pay 10% on 50k or less and 25% on the rest. That is the middle class. Rich people will pay less, poor people will pay the same, and the middle class will pay ALL the rest. Sounds just like a republican's plan. The rich should pay more taxes for the priveledge of making that money on the rest of our backs.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  47. Thom Richer

    A fairly good idea. However, simplify it even farther by making it a straight 18% across the board for everyone. By "everyone," I include universities, hospitals, businesses, (large and small) churches, and workers. No exemptions, tax breaks, or any other type of loopholes for anyone.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    June 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  48. David from Herndon, VA

    Potentially a good idea. I like the idea of simplifying the code - let's see what he wants to do with the deductions.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  49. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I don't think so Jack. I am of the opinion that everyone should pay some federal income tax. Each and every one of us uses the federal highways and infrastructure so we should all pay to build and maintain them. We do not all use food stamps and we do not all use welfare yet we should all help to pay into that system because it would be available to us should we ever need it. Only taxing a percentage of people is wrong. That would be discriminating against them because they are fortunate enough to make a decent living. You should never punish success any more then you punish being poor..

    June 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  50. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    If you tell that to economists, they will think he's joking, or that you heard him wrong. None will think he's that ignorant of the reality.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  51. Jim in Gardendale, Alabama

    In the first place Jack, those percentges will not be enough revenue to run this country and secondly, Mr. Pawlenty probably would insist on the 10% for the wealthy and the 25% for the poor and middle class workers. That's usually the typical Republican agenda.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  52. Joe R - Houston

    It's a better idea, but the best idea is Ron Paul's idea to starve the state's ability to ignore the constitution.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  53. John from Alabama

    Jack: I believe flat tax rates are bad, because they give no incentative to be charitable. The problem does not lie with individual tax brackets, rather with corporations, who make billions of dollars in profits but pay no taxes. To reform the tax code is a great idea, but what's good for the individual is good for business, also.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  54. Ed from MD

    Yes, and call it fractional taxing, like fractional banking. The government spends 100% of our wealth, which we will pay for with 10% of our income. Just like banks can loan out $100 for every $10 it actually has. And then we charge 30% interest to the government for the other 90%. Great idea.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  55. Valerie in Raleigh

    Seeing as Tim Pawlenty is a Republican, hidden some where in these two figures has to be someway for the Republicans to pay little and the middle class to be taken to the clearners. The R's have such a proven tax record of protecting the rich and sticking it to the rest of us, this Independent voter has little trust and confidence in any of their suggestions.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  56. Jerome in Ontario

    Lets make it real simple only one, for each person and corporation, no deductions. Leave out those attending school full time and the military. the amount of savings would probably pay of the debt real quick.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  57. M Gonzales

    Yah its a good Idea, what have we got too lose at this point? If it works then we are golden, if it bombs we cant be much more worse then we are now.

    Edgewood, NM

    June 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  58. bob in florida

    If you actually do want to return to 1850 America, great idea. But be sure to give us enough warning, so we can invest in Buggy Whip manufacturers.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  59. Bud Rupert

    To use a worn out hackneyed phrase. The devils in the details.
    Politicians come up with this "I'll fix it" nonsense then when they get in office they quickly find out – it ain't happening.
    Why not a flat tax, no tax. who cares. The buracrats will never let it happen

    June 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  60. bob, ontario, canada

    Jack, I think it's a good idea. The poor and middle-income families would get taxed at 25% and those above and beyond the middle level would be taxed at 10%. At least, that's how I think the Republicans would like it to be. In the end, nothing will have changed. The average taxpayer will still bear the brunt of the burden.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  61. Jeff in Bishop, Georgia

    Mr. Cafferty, Pawlenty's plan is infintely better than the cumbersome tax code we now have, but as an advocate of the fair tax, Herman Cain shall receive my vote in the primary next year.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  62. Kim Smith

    A wolf in sheeps clothing. We are all very aware that the Republican agenda is all about fleecing the middle class. If Pawlenty believes so much in is, then why hasn't he done these things in Minnesota. Talk is cheap at this point, and politicians will say anything, especially if they don't actually have to make good on their ideas.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  63. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    I'm a former Republican and now a left leaning Independent who finds this proposal very interesting. It's about time someone took a serious interest in a solution to the problem. I'm sure the idea has is not without fault, but it is certainly something to consider. Now, President Obama, what do you have for us?

    June 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  64. lou

    How in the world will cuts that big in revenue help solve the deficit crisis? That proposal just shows an astounding lack of common sense.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  65. Bill in New Mexico

    1.) Ten percent is steep for low wage earners.

    2.) Ten percent and twenty-five percent rates will not provide enough revenue for the U S.

    3.) This is another republican tax reduction.

    4.) It may help Tim Pawlenty win with the republicans and the tea party, but it does not address the $ 1.5 trillion annual budget deficit.

    5.) This is a "get elected gimmick" like Obama's "change" and will never get out of committee. By 2014 should Tim Pawlenty be President, who will remember this empty promise.

    Surely, there is a better "get elected gimmick" than this. Obama's "change" was a good one. Frustrating, but good.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  66. John, Lake Charles, LA

    Jack, in order to get out of this debt hole we are in, the millionaires and billionaires in this country need to pay 90% in taxes like they did in the 1950's. Also, the corporations in this country need to pay more taxes, not less. George Bush destroyed this country by 1) invading Iraq and 2) reducing taxes for the rich. I fully understand that the problems are now Obama's but we can't let the Republican view of things drag us further down just because they are upset that we have a Democratic President..

    June 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm |

    tampa, fl you mean that the rich would start paying 10% instead of nothing? sounds like a good deal for them, and i gather no matter what, i would be "volunteered" to start paying 25% in spite of how little i made.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  68. Ken in MD

    Tax cuts for the lower and middle class have been shown to increase spending, which helps the economy. Tax cuts for the rich do nothing to stimulate the economy or create jobs. Even David Stockman says it doesn't work.

    Clinton raised taxes on corporations and the rich, and had the largest employment gain in recent history. We need to stop giving the rich everything they ask for, and let them pay some of the cost for getting out of the mess their greed got us into.

    June 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  69. Donna from Wisconsin

    What about all those tax 'loopholes' businesses use to avoid paying ANY tax? And how about paying SS tax no matter what with no cut off as we have now? You earn–you pay. I would need to hear more but with politicians so concern about thier jobs they sure don't have an incentive to help us. Work together please! And on another issue–stop pointing your ethics finger at Wiener since the other politicians have plenty of their own risky morals. Then you could work on JOBS!

    June 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  70. Ray in Knoxville

    No, Jack. We are a country made up of 50 states and over 300 million people, it takes money to keep it up. Besides, beware of anything coming out of Minnesota: Jesse Ventura, Michele Bachmann, Al Franken, Tim Pawlenty. Need I say more?

    June 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  71. curtis in philadelphia

    Didn't the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 get us in this mess in the first place? And what was GE's tax bill this past year? We have a spending problem, but we also have a revenue problem. If we've learned anything since Reagan, its that "trickle down" economics don't work. If. Bad idea.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  72. Jim

    Yes, it is very good idea. Once we cut taxes again for the well to do then we can hope they will volunteer to fight our wars for free since we won't have the ability to support a Military.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  73. Conor in Chicago

    I want to see some CBO numbers on this one before really offering an opinion. Our tax code certainly needs some revamping but on the surface this prescription reeks of oversimplifying this situation in a way that could do more harm than good.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  74. Lori - PA


    I'm not knowledgeable enough to answer that question. I do know, though, that just because an idea sounds good, doesn't mean it is. Especially when coming from a politician. Also, shouldn't government put their focus on spending changes first? Because I don't see how making changes to what people pay in taxes will do any good if spending continues to be rampant.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  75. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    When are we going to understand that one person's views or ideas really mean squat?

    Every person who has run for president in the last 50 years has expressed the same things pretty much. It takes all of us coming together to work on these issues with no agenda towards gaining power or fulfilling greed. I thought by now after hundreds of years doing the same thing over and over and going deeper and deeper into the abyss we would have learned it is more than the other guy's fault! It is OUR fault.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  76. JENNA

    Tim Pawlenty wants only two income tax brackets, 10% and 25%. Good idea?

    How about 15% only – with no loop holes – no deductions

    And since the right leaning Supreme Court ruled that Corporations are people too then they would have to pay 15% with no loop holes and no deductions – just like us.

    I like my plan better.

    Roseville CA

    June 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  77. Scott in Bellingham

    These percentages are fine and dandy if the budget gets balanced plus there is a pay down of, say, 5% each year on the debt principle. Somebody please write down the anticipated spending and revenues, then show if the multipliers solve it. If they do, then bully for Tim.

    Enough with the pie in the sky. Been there, done that.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  78. HJ - Saint Paul, MN

    The extremely wealthy in this country pay huge amounts of taxes, or they're supposed to, in capital gains. This tax drop isnt designed to help businesses. Its designed to get the owners of businesses more money. This is trickle down, he just has the common sense to not call it "trickle down." Oh and the wealthiest Americans averaged 16 percent in income taxes last year. They want to lower it to 25 percent? Sorry, we're already lower. Eliminate some loop holes and we'd be fine. I thought it was hilarious when the debt commission proposed these exact tax rates, and everyone cheered. Then they pointed out the loop holes are gone too. Whoops, where did that proposal go?

    June 8, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  79. Jamie Ford

    I am a die hard democrat, that being said I have to say this man sparks my interest. His ideas seem to be well thought out with fairness to both classes. I hope that he would also modify welfare so that it would be a limited time program and not a lifestyle choice. I want it to be a hand up and not a hand out.

    Springfield MO.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  80. Rick McDaniel

    Nope. Very bad idea.

    No tax breaks for the rich, on the backs of the middle class. Enough is enough.

    On the other hand, we need to stop the freeloading at the other end, also. Having 55% of American households, paying zero income taxes, is also totally unacceptable. We need a minimum tax, that everyone has to pay, as well.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  81. Mike in Minneapolis

    Much like Ayn Rand's philosophy, it sounds good on paper, but I just Googled private armies, private police, private firefighters and private road maintenance crews and found them all, which therefore, Pawlenty says, would not be provided by the government. My real question is if I am driving down I-35 and hit a pothole, it will be up to me to call private road crews, get estimates and then pay for it? Minneapolis has the largest Somalian population outside of Modadishu, yet I have never heard one of them say how great it was back home where there was no government interference with your private or business life.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  82. Kevin SD CA

    You bet! Make the tax rate flat enought to do away with all the INS auditors!
    You can do it!

    June 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  83. Karl in Flint

    As a concept, yes it’s a good idea, but it depends on who pays the 10% and who pays the 25%. I’d ask 10% of what and 25% of what. Unfortunately, being a Republican idea, probably written by a lobbyist, they will only make it worse and even more in favor of their wealthy sponsors and cohorts in crime, you know, like health care reform turned out.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  84. Scott in Bellingham

    And another thing. After lowering the taxes how are you going to pay the bills if you can't even pay the bills with taxes where they are now?

    If you ended all discretionary spending you'd be stuck with a payroll of $400B for 3 million tenured federal workers, and pensions to pay on about a million retired federal workers.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  85. John Martin in Shoreline, WA

    No. It is a bad idea. We need to eliminate the income tax and institute a national sales tax. No exemptions for corporate America or Americans who breed too much. Taxes should be focused upon disposable income, not gross or net income. Food and primary housing should be exempt from any taxes.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  86. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    He's on the right track but I don't like his plan. If multimillionaires could pay 50% Estate tax prior to the Bush tax cuts they certainly can do it again. I don't want the retirement age raised for Social Security and leave medicare alone. The Baby Boomers paid all of this money into social security and for medicare–let them collect it.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm |

    Only if they do away with ALL deductions for everyone including corporations. I favor a national sale tax while eliminating all other taxes like property and income taxes.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  88. andyz Lynn, MA

    Simplifying the tax code would be great but how about ending all the loopholes and tax shelters? As an example, GE makes billions in profits and pays NO taxes. Amazing! Simply Amazing.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  89. Mr. D

    Who's Pawlenty? Oh, another politician who is pandering for votes. Let's just let the current crew in power clean up our fiscal mess.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  90. Ralph Spyer

    Good idea , but the problem is we spent more than we take in.How in God name can we give aid to other countrys like Israel with money we lent from China, How in God name we be in 3 wars with out a draft? How in God name can 10 to 30 million illigals send thir children to our schools? How in God name can Americans companys move to China and still be American Co. How in God name can the largest employer in America ,next to the government be Wallmart. God help U.S

    June 8, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  91. Ralph Nelson

    Bad idea. It's regressive. It well just make the rich richer and the poor poorer. How about a progressive tax system tied to the economy's performance (taxes go down if economy is poor; taxes go up if economy is overheating and facing demand side inflation). Take the tax system out of the hands of the politicians. They are the problem.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  92. Roy Platz

    Two tax brackets with no deductions would greatly simplify the tax code, reduce the large costs for Americans to try to comply with tax laws and reduce the need for a massive Internal Revenue Service.

    It would also help small business owners and help job generation. The overgrown federal government is stifling job growth and is hurting the poor disproportionately.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  93. Donald in New Mexico

    Right now taxes are less than any time since 1950. The rich got their tax break extended. That wasn't enough for them. Now they want to throw grandma off of Medicare. We have Pawlenty of bad ideas out there.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  94. mark in arkansas

    What we need to do is eliminate income taxes, and go to a flat rate national sales tax on ALL products and services, no exemptions, deductions, or loopholes. Easy.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  95. Independent Joe


    Yes! At last change I can believe in.
    I am an independent from Minnesota and I for one can tell you that Pawlenty balanced our budget each year in office. Sure, the struggling economy brought in less revenue but, at the end of the fiscal year the budget was balanced. He accoplished a balanced budget by making the tough choices most politicians run from. Plain and simple, he made our credits matched our debits. I only Washington could do the same.

    Joe (Mn)

    June 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  96. Cliff Glass - East Rockaway, NY

    Let's see – lower taxes for dirtier air, decrepit roads and bridges, uninspected food,more expensive healthcare, and hazardous workplaces. Yup, he's a Republican, all right.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  97. Dale Kerns Jr

    Bad idea to do so. The only reasonable option is to cut spending all accross the board by bringing the troops home to protect us here, abolishing the Federal Reserve, stop nation building, and then get rid of the IRS all together!!! No more income tax will then be needed. Tell all IRS workers to start getting their resumes together! Ask Ron Paul.
    Eddystone, Pennsylvania

    June 8, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  98. Bob in Kansas City

    How about 10% for the first 250,000-50% over that plus tax every transaction on Wall Street.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  99. Linda in Arizona

    No, it's a terrible idea, but no more than I would expect from a republican. Huge surprise: it only benefits the rich and corporations. It sounds like you like it though, Jack:

    " In fact, he suggested if you can find a private sector product or service on the internet, then the federal government doesn't need to be doing it. Not a bad idea."

    I can't wait for insurance companies to provide medical assistance to the poor. That should be amusing.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  100. Michael

    The tax revenue will likely be too low. This seems to continue the move to a two class society. The problem is the top class will not be paying enough. This is a bad idea. We need to raise the tax rate for the wealthy, stop sending money to the Middle East and focus on our jobs here. The Republicans continue to take shots at Obama and yet they have not contributed to a solution for our jobs. The tax code change is not the solution.


    Marin County, cA

    June 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  101. Gary Goldberg

    No. People are taxed differently because they have different circumstances. Case in point: my pension is as large as the income of a young family with children. Who would suggest we have to pay the same tax>

    June 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  102. Brian Kopke

    Glad to have the income tax cuts – but way more important is what services would he cut? Not anything that affects me – I hope!!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  103. Brett Berns

    This makes perfect sense. It not only will help low income families, but also on the higher income brackets the taxes gained could be used to help lower deficits. Also, It would seem that with lower taxes on companies, particular small businesses, it could increase job creation. It just makes sense.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  104. Sure, Buddy

    Nobody here seems to have noticed how he left out generational wealth and money you don't have to get up in the morning and actually go earn. No capital gains, estate, or interest taxes? How exactly is that not giving the rich exactly what they want? Inherited money and money gambled in the Wall Street casinos should be taxed to the hilt. If YOU didn't earn it, pony up. Some of us work for a living.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  105. James Forbes

    Bad Idea!. Remember, it is more difficult for someone that makes $30,000 to pay $3,000 than it is for a wealthy person who makes $300,000 to pay $75,000.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  106. Jignesh Patel, MD

    I agree with his idea. This will eliminate a need for IRS as well and save tax payer's money.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  107. Bruce

    I'm a Democrat and I still think a simplified tax code is long overdue. 10% and 25% might be right but whatever is right should be implemented. I don't know of one American that doesn't agree with a flat tax. Only our incompetent govt officials don't understand that the overwhelming majority are in favor of it.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  108. Gus

    I'm curious if the tax deduction loopholes would be addressed. Most folks don't pay the tax rates we have today given one deduction or another. If mortgage deductions are taken away, home ownership will plummet. Finally, given GE's $0 tax payment, how does he address corporate tax rates and deductions?

    June 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  109. Steve


    The plan will not work because 50% of the country currently pays no taxes. The idea of paying 10% will outrage them and cause them all to vote for someone else.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  110. Calvin

    I dont know why we are focused on tax cuts still. There is no evidence to support the notion that tax cuts spur economic growth. If we are really going to stabalize our economy and balance the national budget then we need to do two things; raise taxes and cut spending. Problem is that the solution is a hard pill to swallow.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  111. Steve

    Nice idea, but I look at the mess he has left the state of Minnesota in and I don't give his ideas much credit. Sounds good, but the devil is in the details and he has shown that his details are lacking severely.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  112. Dr Phil

    great idea. only if it applies to corporations and lobbyists (i.e. de facto people) as well.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  113. Brian in Baltimore

    Well, being that the Income Tax is illegal according to the constitution. Why not just get rid of it? Better yet, how about they actually listen to Ron Paul? He is normally 100% correct...on everything really.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  114. Pat

    Jack – I think 2 brackets where everyone pays is a great idea. In addition as part of this, they should get rid of all the refundable tax credits. I've never understood why the government thinks they should pay people money they didn't pay in. If they are going to allow credits, when you reach zero, you are done. You get back what you paid in and that is it.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  115. othello

    It would be nice to have two tax brackets if the differences between income didn't vary so drastically between individuals. The 10% is okay but when you get above 50,000 you have people who make millions and billions of dollars. A 25% break for those individuals doesn't make as big a deal to them as it does to those who pay 10%. His idea is basically a systematic tax cut for the wealthy. The gap will continue to grow drastically with his plan and just like now the rich won't let it go.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  116. gene

    Anything simpler and truly fair. If one person is taxed, then all should be. The 50% currently not paying, should have to pay something, and those of us that are in higher tax brackets should pay accordingly, The 2 percentages posed here seem fair on the surface and probably would generate more income than the present complicated system.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  117. Bill in San Diego

    Although second best to no income tax (only a consumption tax), I support Pawlenty's two tiered proposal.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm |

    Yes! 10% and 25# tax is great!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  119. Chuck Graz

    Sounds good, especially if corporations like GE pay some tax also.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  120. Kelly Stump

    I'm a democrat and I think its a great idea.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  121. neil

    i like the 10% and 25% tax plan of pawlenty long overdue and i think washington politicians are the most crooked people on the face of the earth

    June 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  122. Paul Tiffany

    It's not the number of tax brackets that make income taxes complicated, uneven and unfair. How about eliminating the income tax entirely and replace it with a Value-Added Tax (VAT)? The nationwide paperwork would be reduced by at least one-hundred to one and it's harder (but not impossible) to abuse with federal subsidies. All sorts of loopholes would be eliminated.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  123. Rob W in St. Louis, MO

    Terrible idea. Every time you hear "simplification of the tax code", look for the dog whistle. Two rates is just a way to pile more middle class taxpayers with the insanely wealthy that have made off like bandits for decades. Combine that with no capital gains taxes, no dividend taxes, and no estate tax and the road to a full on institutionalized aristocracy is complete. I have heard few worse "plans" in my lifetime; this "plan" is what happens when a group of rightwing thinktankers drink too many beers in one sitting and wax about utopia.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |

    No this would not work.
    The republicans are still trying to starve the beast.
    Starve the beast and the government, can't govern.
    The Rich would continue to get richer, and the rest of us would just be trying to get by.
    Hot Springs, Arkansas

    June 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  125. Carolyn

    It's a good idea, but how will get congress to pass it? Presidential candidates come up with ideas that are very appealing, but one they get in office and have to get their ideas through the numskulls in congress, that’s a whole different story. If the idea goes through at all it's watered down to inefficient at best.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  126. Jason( Sacramento)

    Flat Tax is the most realistic taxation plan in theory, and fairest, and in agreement with previous comment of course loopholes and tax shelters for the mega rich corporations and Wealthiest Americans must be eliminated. Tim Pawlenty is right to repair this broken system drastic measures need to be implemented. But at least he has offered up a plan, and not offered a nutshell slogan, or empty words which we have had more than enough of and I credit him for his taking the risk to exemplify a solution.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  127. Steve C

    Jack- the best ideas are always the ones where you can say ... "well I could have thought of that". This might be the one. So simple you could place it on a t shirt. 10% or 25% = Gov spending – GOOGLE

    June 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  128. The Homebodies in Montana

    How about a flat tax rate, equal for all Americans. Eliminate the sales tax, cut business taxes, promote education so our children don't have to speak chinese. We may get away with it!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  129. Hank Goodman

    Fantastic, phenomenal idea!! So many Federal dead weight jobs would be removed. The ramifications for savings would expand geometrically. Great economy stimulator. The only critics would be those whose unnecessary and redundant jobs would be put in jeopardy.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  130. sandro paganucci new york

    finally a tax reform plan for the common man to understand
    and quantify even though i would add to it a reasonable state consumption tax ... hallelujah!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  131. Matthew, FL

    Mr.Palenty is on a wild goose chase for a goose that doesn't exist. There is no future for tax brackets this small nor is it possible in this economy. Enough is enough. TAX THE RICH!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  132. David

    Thanks to an existing cornucopia of sweetheart tax deductions for corporations and the super-rich, none of them end up with any taxable income. 25% of no taxable income is still nothing.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  133. Nina

    If you would charge 10% up to $250,000 and then 40% above that. Another option is $10% across the board with absolutely NO write-offs so those making 5 million dollars could not write off any of that income. No business write-offs....

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  134. Cher

    I like it! It may even be do-able. Good, bad or indifferent..........at least Mr. Pawlenty HAS a plan. I would hope that his ideas will shake up both Democrats and Republicans. Unless something dramatic like this happens soon, I think segments of taxpayers may begin to plan uprisings. Where do I sign up?

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  135. Grant

    We definitely need a simplified tax code. Taxes need to be cut, but perhaps not s much as Pawlenty suggests. After all, if we already can't afford to pay our bills, then rashly cutting taxes isn't going to help. That being said, we can start talking about cutting more taxes after the government learns basic money management skills. Pawlenty's plan isn't perfect, but looks better than the nonexistent plans of everyone else.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  136. Ira Sadoff

    An imbecilic idea. Bush's tax cuts created zero jobs & according to the congressional budget office, along with the Iraq war, is one of the two greatest contributors to the deficit. The top 1% already own 25% of the wealth. Does he want the wealthy to own all of America? How can you bring down the deficit (Reagan being the President who increased the deficit more than any other President -189%) without revenues? 3+2 doesn't =3. And you know who suffers for the loss of services in these "google" cuts? Working people, the elderly, education. Aren't e a stupid enough people to begin with? Let's get this information out.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  137. Elizabeth in Los Angeles

    I don't have nearly enough info to make a call on the proposed tax code changes. But your referring to the "cottage industry" of tax accountants, etc. really made me laugh. That's no "cottage industry" - it's many skyscrapers filled to the roof with bureaucrats.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  138. John

    The brackets would help to simplify the tax code, but would not add revenue unless it was a tax on gross income before deductions because companies would just beef up their deductions. Another strategy would be to take away the deductions, which are a type of government subsidy anyway.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  139. Sandstone.

    "Do you remember the Movie 'Jaws', Jack . he said "You shout Baracuda! ??? But you shout TAX, and we stand lose millions this summer!"

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  140. Bob In Cooperstown New York

    Great idea Jack and its what should be done. Sadly its D.O.A..because there are no loop holes.
    Bob in Cooperstown N.Y.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  141. Brian Cole

    GREAT IDEA! Then maybe GE would pay their fair share instead of NOTHING, while my small business would pay a smaller percentage than what we paid last year, as we're the one's actually HIRING people.

    Brian from Orlando

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  142. Tom Spencer

    NO !!! A two level tax code is much too unfair. When I think about simplifying the tax code, I think about all the "exemptions" that make tax lawyers and accountants rich. There's nothing wrong with a sliding tax code...it's on a single piece of paper. But...all the loopholes that dividend paying corporations pay need to go. That simplification.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  143. Dee in New Paris OHIO

    Well, let's see. If a person is UNEMPLOYED FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS it would be great. After all, 10% of absolutely nothing is nothing!

    What really needs to be addressed is the fallacy that if you allow the rich and the big corporations to get off lightly on thei tax liability, they will use the savings to invest and thus create jobs. Well, the top 10% have steadily increased their "share" of the wealth in the last 40 years, and has it created more jobs?

    Duh! No, it has only made them more greedy and more interested in getting all the money they can. No new jobs are created. And, actually in the process MILLIONS of jobs have been lost!

    So, would a sort of flat tax work? Would it be fair? Not unless more jobs are created, many of our jobs brought back from their present offshore locations, and the lower brackets (under about $75,000) should pay NO INCOME TAX AT ALL!

    THAT would be fair!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  144. Kevin Tam

    I really think that we all should be taxed at the same rate. However trying to get our red taped government to do that would be virtually impossible. I guess having two tax rates is better than our current scheme.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  145. Chris York

    We certainly need a simpler tax process. I think we should close the IRS and simply enact a consumption flat tax at the federal level at like 15% and that is all. We should cut the corporate tax completely and if product changes hands it is taxed, period. There is no wholesale or retail exemption, you simply collect tax as part of the sales process and it gets submitted each month (one month delayed to allow time to total the taxes due and mail in or submit online the payment). To keep the accountants busy they would be required to do a simple audit and report semi-annually for each business to keep the business owner honest.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  146. Debbie

    I'm a 52 yr old female lifelong liberal Democrat and I would vote for him on this issue alone.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  147. Brian in Baltimore

    Income Tax was only supposed to last as long as World War 1 during President Wilson's administration to help pay for it. It was to be removed immediately after the war.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  148. Graeme

    Should be as low as 35% during peace time and as high as 50% during war time applied to ALL income after basic exemptions, 1 car, 1 house/rental, up to 4 dependents, etc. Simple, Fair and enough revenue to continue to build your nation. Under the 25% tax plan you will have monthly infrastructure failures and ram-pet misery and desperation. Whats he care, hes got money, in fact so do you Jack. Its getting ugly out there.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  149. Ron Chmara

    We can look back at tax rates and tax brackets over the years and see when the country was doing it's best. We can do the same with expenditures. This plan does neither. Oh, and since he wants to eliminate all things that we can buy off the internet, can we dump the pentagon and hire blackwater instead?

    June 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  150. Harry Hallstrom

    Simplified Tax Plan? Great idea only problem is Congress will never approve it. It's written by the same idiots in power. Look who will be out of a easy chair job if there was a two line tax form. Line #1 What you earn Line #2 What you own. This idea is not a new one it's been around for over 10 years & never gets any serious hearing by the good old boys club in DC.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  151. Allyn Moore

    Paawlenty's tax plan sounds good, provided it is accompanied with real budget and spending cuts. More details needed.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  152. Nick Easton

    For years I have had discussions with people about a flat tax, and most have agreed it should be done. So, I always have wondered why the government hasn't been in tune with this consciences. A flat tax with no loop holes is fair and good for all. If you earn a dollar you pay 10 cents on that dollar.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  153. James Wall

    Great Idea. I am graduate engineer and cannot do my tax returns. This would be predictable and doable.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  154. Charles Graham

    I read an article today that outlined the affect of the Pawlenty Plan. It would reduce Revenue to the government by 50%. That's smart. No capital gains, tax rates to the richest drop, almost no taxes on businesses.
    That is simply brilliant. People can say anything, the people that eat it up is another matter. Economic ruin would be the outcome.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  155. Wil in California

    Who are you kidding? How much revenue will that create? Will produce much less than the current revenue we have now. Most revenue comes from the top and reducing that to 25 from the 36 percent would be disastrous. Therefore, the deficit will be increased by the difference. Which means either more borrowing or the destruction of Medicare and Social Security.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  156. Rick Hamrick NC

    I think a 10 percent flat tax should have been implemented years ago this is a great idea if they would only do it , and the 25 percent also fits the bill because it do'es address both sides and will put more money in americans pockets

    June 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  157. idea4u

    And while you're at it, end the tax welfare given the credit union industry! They should pay a fair share toward state and federal budgets. The fact that every taxpayer pays more in state and federal income taxes than each credit union is absurd!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  158. Ron L (MN)

    T-Paw's fiancial managment in MN indicates that he is not to be trusted on fiscal matters. He left MN with a 6 billion defecit. His federal tax plan will only make matters worse. Simplification would be good. That should not mean only 15% corporate taxes, etc. In his simplication plan he has hidden huge tax cuts for the wealthy that America cannot afford. Also a possible cause of social unrest in the USA.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  159. Anissa

    Sounds like a plan to me. Finally, something specific and direct. You never know until you try. It benefits both sides: the wealthy and the poor/middle class. The middle class would definitely save more by being taxed at a lower rate. The only thing I disagree with is the cutting back on many of the government services. Some: yes that are hardly beneficial and allow people to steal money, that are supposed to be used for those services, but not all services should be cut. Some are necessary like research gov't funded programs, law enforcement, and other crucial services that are a must.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  160. Craig Taylor

    Jack, I have never written you before but I am a Democrat who is strongly in favor of a flat tax. If Mr Pawlenty is serious and shows a way for this to take place and not just be smoke and mirrors, he has my vote.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  161. Maggie

    Jack, finally someone that agrees with all of us peons out here. The 10% / 25% income tax rates are an excellent idea. i WILL vote for him just on that count alone. Those that say it's undo able figure they will loose money or gifts and want nothing to do with it. Those that are so deeply in the pockets of the lobbyists will continue to take their orders.

    We need to ban all lobbyists, let them take their ideas to the American people. Not back room deals.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  162. Steven

    Brilliantly simple – how much money would be saved downsizing the IRS?

    June 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  163. David

    In this age of sheer stupidity, this proposal takes the cake. We get the government that we deserve and if we're ignorant enough to fall for this nonsense, we deserve to become the third rate nation we're rapidly becoming. The tax loopholes that allow the rich to avoid virtually all tax need to be closed. However, the problem with America today is that we actually don't pay enough tax. We pay significantly less tax than we did 30 years ago, and our crumbling infrastructure and lack of public investment is the legacy of our short-sightedness.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  164. Alan Milner

    Can anyone explain to me how a bankrup nation can possibly consider a tax plan that reduces the maximum tax rate from 35% to 25% for all earnings over $100,000 for a two income family. That amounts to a 29% decrease in revenue for the federal government from that tax bracket. Coupling this with calls for the elimination of a wide range of other taxes may sound popular but it is nothing less than a prescription for bankruptcy. Without saying so, Pawlenty's plan depends upon the failed concept that tax cuts generate higher revenues from increased business activity...that's the voodoo economics that George Bush warned us about. This is how we got into this mess in the first place.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  165. Frank Goodman

    More to the point. Abolish the IRS and replace it with a flat sales tax to raise the necessary revenue. A tax on income is a bad idea. Tax on property is a bad idea. Only a tax based on spending is a good idea. It would allow savings without taxes, investments without taxes and collect some money from illegal income spent in this country. Twenty-five percent should do it collected by the states in their own sales tax systems. The sales tax collection burden should be on the states, not the individual tax payers. The rest of federal money could come from user fees and import export duties on goods to balance out the balance of payments problem. The sales tax should also pay for Social Security and Medicare.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  166. Denise, NY.

    A family of 3 earning 40,000 a year can not afford to hand over 4,000 dollars when taxes are due. While the wealthiest get a lower rate then they should be paying. Another case of the rich helping the rich.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  167. Rex Ball

    Yes, he's heading in the right direction. I would begin with the elimination of all deductions. I would add that the rates should reflect reasonable income to do the people's business, but I would add payroll taxes should disappear. Since the government has elected to take the latter off budget, they get to hide the true national debt. Put it all on the table.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  168. Tony Elk Grove, IL

    I would sure hate to be the guy who makes $100,000.01

    June 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  169. Doug Johnston

    Pawlenty's tax idea makes sense in our current economy. It is the flat tax plan suggested in previous years. But with so many people out of work, taxing just the top 1% won't raise enough capitol to fund programs. I'm 71 years old, and think this is a good suggestion. With so many people losing their homes, like we did, removing the mortgage deduction may be easier to remove now. I think we need to know what deductions will be left to reduce taxes. Prescription Mediation is a killer for older folks. Our total medical costs are about 25% of our income. We also think that if Pawlenty and the Republicans along with some Democrats would get us out of all wars and cut the fat in the Defense Budget, they might be able to leave Medicare and Social Security alone. I think this is the first revenue generating concept the Republicans have come up with in 10 years.

    Doug Johnston
    Cornelius, NC

    June 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  170. Bill Kubiak, Miamim Fl

    It's a great idea, I have always felt a flat tax would bring in more money.
    Everyone gets the standard deduction and pays tax on the balance.
    No more earned income nonsense
    No more fake charity donations
    No more cheating or at least less cheating
    Let the big earners pay their fair share
    Can he make it happen is the questionj........
    you should post a poll and see what happens

    June 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  171. David P Vernon

    Tucswon, AZ – Simpler, yes, Fairer, no. For one thing, the Laffer curve of revenue versus tax rates indicates that the top marginal tax rate should be between 40 and 60%, so 25% on billionaires is way too low. Second, for those who are working poor, 10% is too high. The actual math requires a graduated variable income tax rate as a function of income, zero for those at the poverty level, gradually increasing with income up to the median, then increasing more rapidly up to the 99th income percentile and being flat from there up. The "fair tax" may be a politically attractive idea, perhaps, but mathematically it is real stupid.

    I figure that the top 1% of incomes should be paying a 49% marginal income tax rate. If you earn a billion dollars, and Uncle Sam takes 490 million, you still have 510 million left. Nobody "needs" 510 million in net income. Here is a simple fact – the rich can afford to pay higher taxes, because they have more money!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  172. Paul Moschetta

    I suggest, abolish income tax altogether, and instead implement a fixed sales tax across the board. People buy necessities in order to live, whether food or clothing, so essentially, no one would get away with not contributing.
    It's common knowledge the wealthy buy the most expensive items, and do so often. We gripe about the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy, with this approach, the middle class would actually see more money in their wallets after buying for their families, and the wealthy would pay (finally) their fair share.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  173. Joshua Maxwell

    Reforming the tax code always sound like a good idea at first, but just imagine what it would do to the non-profit sector. We have built some of the fundamentals of society into this section of society (such as education, research, the arts, religion, charities, etc.) One of the few advantages these institutions have is that the donations they receive are tax deductible. What will encourage the private sector to invest if there's no incentive? Don't get me wrong, I think there's nothing more confusing than filing my taxes, but to "simplify" would be cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  174. ChArlotte

    It sounds to me like Pawlenty wants to take the country backward just like he did our fine state of Minnesota. Follow a plan like his and we will move even more toward a country of the haves and the have nots, with more and more falling into the have nots. The tax code could be simplified for sure but his plan is a bit too simple to be real or fair. Eliminating programs will just mean more fees for everything families want to access which is just a tax by the name "fee". I wonder if there in an app for a candidate that understands the reality of the middle and lower classes.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  175. Mike

    Yes what a wonderful idea if your goal, as a politician, is to "whore" yourself out to the rich and corporations. When will people get a clue that the Republican party has consistently embraced policies that take away from the poor and middle class, while giving more to those who don't need it.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  176. Mike H

    I am all for simplifying the tax code, but more so as a sales tax. Tariffs should also be in place to make sending jobs and resources out of the U.S. more difficult.

    At the same time, I am tired of the lie that lower taxes would create jobs. OK, if it is tied to generating more spending money for goods and services by the people in order to generate demand, that is one thing. Saying that cutting taxes for big business and those already swimming in money will get them to release some of those resources to hire people is nonsense. Businesses will hire when they cannot meet demand. They do not hire because they have profits. Instead, tax cuts at the top allow for more hoarding and/or better retreats and vacations.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  177. Bill Carey

    It's a great idea! Well, it’s the only plan offered so far. It certainly is much better than what we’ve got now.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  178. Mary Rose

    The tax code indeed needs to be simpler in all aspects. The current taxation system is much too formidable, complicated and definately needs smacked down. And simplicity, itself, would become a clear statement for exact governmental income expectations. There is nothing better than knowing exactly where one stands.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  179. James from New Orleans

    It all sounds great, except for the business 15% tax rate. Would all business tax deductions and loopholes be eliminated? How many billions of dollars will that save business and cost the rest of us? Too many great ideas from politicians lack honest details. Often you find out it isn't what it is purported to be.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  180. david bidlack

    10% plus social sucurity is about 17% on the poor which is a tax increase! 25% plus social sucurity is about 32%! you don't have to pay social sucurity taxes after you have earned more than $100,000 for the year. the very rich after they hide their money in tax shelders pay 35% tax now on what they show as ajusted gross oncome. at 25% tax rate thats a 10% tax cut for the very rich. that works out to 17% for the poor , 32% for those who make over $50,000 but less than $100,000 and just 25% for the very rich. sound fair to you? if it does you must be a rich republican who cares very little about the average person in this country. when the revolt comes i bet the rich will be clueless about the reasons for a it!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  181. Al

    Good ideas are policies that invest in the future of this great nation and the world. Bad ideas distract from the debate as to what we should be doing. Therefore, this is a bad idea both from a national and Presidential campaign perspective. Would you intentionally vote for someone who wastes resources and cannot keep priorities straight?

    June 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  182. leslie flynn

    someone working at walmart cannot afford to live let alone pay a flat tax of 10%.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  183. Kirk

    The flat Tax idea is a wonderful concept. Why even bother with 2 brackets? And all these complex exceptions, and all this accounting, lose it! Report your income. INCOME is money received less money spent in a calendar year for one's business. Take 10% of what's left and mail it in. You cna send it in at any time, and keep a record of it. Come tax time, mail in the 1 page return, and copies of recipts for money mailed in,. Simple. Let's turn off 90% of the IRS!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  184. Richard Osborne

    25% for the wealthiest Americans is absurdly low. 40% and 0 deductions is more like it for the very wealthy. Wealthy Americans have so many opportunities simply due to their wealth. They don't need a 25% tax rate on top of it.
    On the corporate rate, GE and others paid nothing at the current rate, so what difference does the rate make? Make it 150%, they still pay nothing.
    What we need to do is end the oil subsidies and other corporate welfare. 15% or so is OK, if they can't take deductions. GE will make up a lot of the difference by being able to lay off most of their tax lawyers and accountants.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  185. DixieMay

    We surely don't want a "flat tax" or what some call a "fair tax" as it's isn't fair to anyone who isn't wealthy! I spend a MUCH higher percentage of my income than say TPaw or the Koch Bros so in essence a sales tax like program would transfer even more of the responsibility to the poorest Americans. That is truly a BAD idea!

    10/25...I don't know. Maybe...with NO writeoffs for anything...possibly. I'd look at it seriously. It sounds tempting but coming from him I am highly suspicious that it would end up helping anyone but the wealthy.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  186. Carol - Chattanooga, Tn.

    I recall another Republican going for this kind of income tax structure way back in the '80's. In fact, he hooked my vote because of it. It seemed so simple. So simple that I had to get a CPA to start doing my taxes after we got our three brackets. From that, our tax code is now bigger than it has ever been. All those deductions and carve outs for special interests seemed to wind back up in the tax code. It will happen again. If there is a way a lobbyist can get his/her deduction back in the code, it will get put back in the code. Then, in 30 years, we will have our two tax level structure packed full of all those good ole-boy tax loopholes again. All this talk about simple tax structure is just Republican jargon for giving tax breaks to the wealthy while dismantling the very things that allow us to have a middle class and help raise the poorer classes to middle class. A country with only rich high level classes and poor lower level classes used to be called 3rd world countries. How long will it be before the voters in this country realize that the Republican party is only interested in three things – money, power and influence? Oh, and the dismantlement of the miiddle class.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  187. Adam Brooks

    I think Pawlenty is on the right track and it's refreshing to see that someone other than Steve Forbes is willing to speak to this apparently taboo topic. Personally, I'd rather see a single rate between 14% and 16%, if can be shown that we can still pay our national bills at that level. Otherwise, I think the 10% cutoff point of $100K for married couples is a bit low if you also want to see the middle class start spending again and boost the economy. I'd be interested to hear if he would propose eliminating mortgage interest as a deduction, as that would be a deal-killer.

    Winston, Montana

    June 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  188. Wayne

    Somebody with some common sense, what a concept. Fair, simple, and non-confusing. The capital gains tax is partly what killed the investor's motivation in buying real estate. Add bring troops home and cut the 19 Billion to the ungrateful Afgans, crush the fed, force the banks to make simple colatterallized loans again, and stop the fractionalizing our money and he'll have a recipe for some success.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  189. Greg NY

    I idea of a flat tax system has great merits. Simplification of tax code should be a top priority. Many have argued for this over the years including Steve Forbes. However, "this plan" goes a bit too far by eliminating capital gains, estate and interest tax. Why not subject those to the same flat rates proposed? I think it's a bit extreme and will result in a revenue shortfall. The right combination of a flat tax, simplification of the tax code, elimination of loopholes for companies like GE, and billionaires like Warren Buffett should be the starting point for balancing our budget problems along with stiff cuts in military spending and foreign aid. We waste too much time and energy giving breaks to those who don't need them. Everyone should pay their fair share – the flat tax system or alternatively a consumption tax system accomplishes just that goal. I never quite understood why a wealthy individual should only have to pay 15% capital gains tax on income from stock profits when those with a bank account have to pay their full tax rate on income from interest. It's the elimination of such unfair practices & loopholes that will get us back on track to balancing our budget. While tax reform is paramount, we also need to cut wasteful spending in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel and the mideast. The 10/25 could work if we eliminate the loopholes, looks like he's keeping those in – estate, cap gains etc

    June 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  190. Marcy from Margate, Florida

    I think we should have a flat tax.
    That way everyone would pay their fair share.
    I still don't understand why the poor and the
    middle class that had nothing to do with spending
    for all of Congress and the President's pet projects
    should have to pay. Congress is not changing their
    Retirement or Medical Programs why should we.
    We the middle class and the poor have lost enough
    young people in a 10 year war. Enough is enough.
    Do not touch my entitlements until Congress changes
    their own. I protested in the 1960's and am now retired
    and have the time to protest in 2011 and 2012. Although
    I never thought it would be necessary.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  191. Denise, NY.

    I so tired of hearing of a tax break for the rich. They have enjoyed Bushes tax cuts for 12 years now...so where are all those jobs they should have created with those tax cuts? Now they want more tax cuts? Show us the jobs first Pawlenty!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  192. gary in PA

    Maybe I am out of the loop, but giving all of those making over $100,000 a tax break because this would create jobs is absurd. How many people making only that kind of money are in a position to create all of those jobs? On $100,000 taxed at 35% equates out to $35,000 straight up. The same income taxed at 25% would be $25,000. That is a savings of only $10,000. That $10,000 would be less that minimum wage for a "NEW" employee working forty hours a week. Working less would bring up the per hour wage, but would probably not offer any benefits, like health insurance. Those at the low end of the scale would feel that they are being taken advantage of in relation to someone who makes any amount greater that that. People will never be happy as long as they pay any amount in taxes, but they all want to reap the benefits provided by the federal government such as national defense and others.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  193. adam

    The republicans have been trying to lower the services for the middle class for the past 100 years and they will keep trying to do it. I can only hope that our voters wouldn't vote for someone who is telling them that he will lower their services and maybe even raise their taxes in order to lower the taxes of the top two percent.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  194. Thomas Voskuil

    Its a start, but a start isn't where this countries looking, were looking to the finish.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  195. Bill

    I'm not surprised this idea coming from a GOP presidential contender. We are seriously in debt and have millions of citizens in real need of assistance from our governments. Just how do they intend to help us recover when they will be cutting needed services, like education, and cutting the income of the government at the same time? They do nothing to protect us from the greedy oil, medical and pharmaceutical industries and their grossly overpaid executives while our income dwindles. Both parties are so out of step with the little guy, but more so with the GOP.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  196. Charlotte New Mexico/Texas

    A flat tax would help eliminate a massive investment in operations expenses by the federal government. The two proposed percentages and cutoff incomes are not realistic. There would need to be three,perhaps four income ranges and tax percentages.
    10%-up to 100,000, 15%-up to 200,000, 25%- up to 1,000,000 and 30% for all above $1,000,000.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  197. Tonya

    The poorest workers now pay no income tax, so a sudden 10% tax hike on them would be devastating. Taking $1,500 from someone earning only $15,000 per year is a much bigger financial hardship than taking $5.000 from someone earning $50,000 a year. I like the idea of getting rid of all the tax loopholes that primarily benefit the wealthy. However, I'd be more in favor of a graduated flat tax with more than two brackets. For example, those earning $1-20,000 per year would pay no tax, $20,000-40,000 to pay 10%, $40,000-60,000 to pay 12.5%, $60,000-80,000 to pay 15%, $80,000-100,000 to pay 20%, $100,000-250,000 to pay 22.5%, $250,000-500,000 to pay 25%, $500,000-1,000,000 to pay 27.5%, and over $1,000,000 to pay 30%. This would leave those who earn less with more money to live on in these hard times.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  198. Perry

    No President will be able to pull any kind of tax reform off because he/she is not in charge of the tax code. Congress is. 435 congressmen/women and 100 Senators will need more proding than one President to make these changes. Until the people of this nation vote out the incumbnents telling the rest of the menbers of congress to act on our behalf, or they too face being replaced, it (the tax code)will continue to be business as usual. There is no incentive for congress to act on this issue. Follow the money and you will see how they vote on the issue.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  199. Jorge from California

    It looks like Pawlenty is trying to destroy the middle class because a teacher could surely make 50,000 dollars... so basically this is a plan to keep taxes on the poor the same, taxes on the middle class sky high, and taxes on the wealthy at minimal levels. Hopefully Americans can realize this and vote this guy out.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  200. Ote

    Just another disguised form of throw a bone to the middle class and give all the spoils to the rich. This republican is cynically counting on the lack of mathematical literacy of the American public to fleece the middle class even more....

    June 8, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  201. DonnieH.Bay St. Louis Ms.

    So his plan is to cut revenue even more? Ever been to another country and saw conditions that shocked you to the point where you said, "that would never happen in America"? Well why is that? It's because of social programs and the entitlement programs that are paid for with tax revenue. Sure we could take in less revenue but when you you start to see those same atrocities in third world countries happening here don't be shocked. Protecting and putting the wealthy on protected pedestals and giving them preferential treatment has been tried before. It's called Fascism not Capitalism. Demand for goods and services dictate expansion and job growth not the wealthy. That demand comes from the 95% of Americans that are the working middle class. that segment of the population must be strong in order to generate the demand that would dictate expansion and job growth. While the top 5% may have more money they can't consume the same amount as the other 95%. Just as with anything else a strong economy is built from the ground up not vice versa. Lets try governing "for the people" and not for the corporations...

    June 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  202. Carl Christophersen

    YES - this is the first sensible thing I have heard come out of a politicians mouth in years. It is much fairer, easier to administer, and cheaper to administer, than our current tax code. It helps Americans. And the lowering of the Corporate tax rate will greatly help to keep jobs in the USA.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  203. Charlotte New Mexico/Texas

    A flat tax would help eliminate a massive investment in operations expenses by the federal government. The two proposed percentages and income brackets are not realistic. There would need to be three, perhaps four income ranges and tax percentages.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  204. Bill

    On the surface, this idea sounds good, but analyze it and it stinks like manure. It's just like the "value added" tax schemes. Sounds good, but the poor and the elderly who's income is too low to pay income tax would have to pay the federal sales taxes sinking us even lower than we are now. The Washington politicians fiddle (and diddle) while our country burns.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  205. David

    The solution for taxation is really elegantly simple. Every individual's wealth can be stated as an easily calculated percentage of the country's total wealth. That same percentage then becomes the individual's percentage of whatever taxes the country needs to receive for the coming period. If you own 4% of the nation's wealth, you subsequently are responsible for 4 % of the nation's tax bill.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  206. Moe Holland

    The 10% 25% tax is the best idea I've heard in years. Something has to be done. Why not try it, can't be worse than it is now, as I get ready to pay my quarterly taxes.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  207. jack wade

    the top 1% has 75% of their income as capital gains. so if you dont tax capital gains you have just given them a 60% cut. no thanks.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  208. Tracie Roberts

    Lowering taxes during an economic downturn is like quitting your job so you can pay your bills. No, Jack, Pawlenty's idea is not a good one. Just look at the mess he left us with here in Minnesota. (Tracie R. St. Paul, Minnesota)

    June 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  209. Larry Hinderberger

    My wife and I are 75 years old. Last year we took standard deductions and exemptions and paid $6,096 in federal taxes. A flat 10% income would have meant that we would pay $6,713 in federal taxes, or about a 10% increase which we cannot afford. I knew it was a Republican proposal immediately as it takes no consideration of what it would do to the poor and elderly. I have been a life long registered Republican all my life as were my parents but that is going to have to change. My party only blames the other party for all out problems when most of our problems have resulted from actions initiated by the Republicans, unnecssary wars, jobs sent over seas, and deregulation of our financial systems causing the housing bubble, a severe recession and a great loss of income for us old folk due to historically low interest rates. Larry

    June 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  210. JackinQueens

    Pawlenty’s proposal of an individual tax code of 10 percent for the first $50,000 of income for singles, $100,000, for married couples, and 25 percent for higher income, puts extreme pressure on those in lowest incomes. Those over, say, $500,000, get a freer and freer ride as their income rises. I would say it’s BAD, BAD, BAD idea. By comparison, examine the growth of the middle class-middle income, the growth in education, infrastructure and business; advances in science and technology , etc., from the Post World War II 1940, through the early 1980’s of the Reagan Administration.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  211. R L Busch

    Jack – its a hell of a good start, but only if they elimiinate most of the tax credits, deductions, and exemptions above a certain income level. Remember, there is a large percentage of people and businesses that pay absolutely no tax. Further, I think the upper tax rate of 25% could be much less if they supplement the overall tax code with a national sales/consumption tax of say 1 or 2%. Of course, this will never occur because it would be simple and benefit everyone. Most of our representatives appear to only do what is needed to get re-elected and support the lobbyists.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  212. Ace in Montana

    This is a ridiculous idea, how many nations out there that are booming right now have a flat tax rate (which is basically what is being suggested)...? Botswana, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine. Yup, all those economic stalwarts. Progressive tax rates are the base of every strong economy right now, I say we start the tax rate at 15% and cap it at 60%. Lets start paying off our debt, and getting some real social services. Lets be real...what is fair about making a middle class single-parent family and the big wigs on Wall Street carry the same burden?

    June 8, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  213. Martin in Wisconsin

    Gov. Pawlenty understands the current path to socialism in this country is creating less than desired results. When people are given opportunity and hope in a fairly controlled environment it gives everyone the chance for improving themselves. A simpler fairer tax system is a must for this country. Eliminating the special rules in the tax code is a must. Combining the future economic growth of this country with a reduction of Goverment spending will finally stop and reverse the economic suicide facing this country under the current administration. Thank Governor Pawlenty when this country takes off like a country experiencing a new economic revolution.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  214. David Stromoski

    I doubt the two tax rates would provide enough revenue for government expenditures. That said, some of us would actually prefer larger government, rather than letting the free market run roughshod over the environment and the working poor.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  215. Gigi Oregon

    It would be better than what we pay now. But I'll not hold my breath, flat tax was voiced in the 2000 election by the Republicans but it never happened after election day.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  216. Warren, Omaha

    The progressive tax system is the right approach:

    0% up to $50,0000
    10% $50-100,000
    15% $100,000-$200,000
    30% $200,000-$1,000,000
    38% up to 1 Billion
    50% over 1 Billion

    Eliminate all individual and corporate tax loopholes and deductions with the exceptions of (1) interest on one home ( not multiple homes, vacation properties ) (2) Interest on loans for tuition and education should also be retained. (3) charitable contributions deductions needs to be kept. Pawlenty's elimination of capital gains and estates taxes just gives more breaks to rich people like me. Thanks Tim.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  217. Charlotte

    10 percent for the first $50,000 of income, $100,000 for married couples, and 25 percent for higher incomes. He said that would allow lower and middle income families to save more by being taxed at a lower rate, and would spur investment and job creation by cutting the top rate. His plan would also end the capital gains tax, interest income tax, dividends tax, and the estate tax. He'd also cut the business tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.

    How is this different than what has been proposed already?

    Republicans want the busines tax rate decreasd - But how is that ging to bring jobs back -

    Captial gains, interest income, dividends and estate tax – Mostly used by the CEO's who have outsourced the jobs – so a no-win for mddle class there either

    10% for those less than 50 – with most below or msking 50,000 also using deductions this would actually be a raise in what they are payiing now... maybe a 1% tax here

    So Pawlentley looks as though he also has been bought by Corporations - and what he is tryng to say is screw you middle class why should we vote for him - How many businesses has Jaimie Dimon started – why after all he is making 166.00 per minute and 637 times the averae worker?

    Is Pawlentey betting on that most US voters are uninformed and will go for any lie....Just remember you have 8 million out of work , 24 million underemployed - more time on their hands to get te actual facts. If you put all thse people to work; then yes, they woud be too busy and it would sound good.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  218. Joy

    I agree that we need a lower tax rate for citizens; 10% sounds good to me. but I would slowly implement a lower rate for businesses. I would be careful in lowering the tax rate for businesses bc I don't know if that would necessarially give them an incentive to create more jobs. I think most business owners would just pocket the added revenue. The reason I say that is bc it takes consumers spending money in order for businesses to create jobs, and people need jobs to have money to spend. It's a catch 22. The other piece of the puzzle is that not as many jobs are needed now or in the future bc of technology; bc of technology it takess less people to do jobs. What's a country to do??

    June 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  219. Mary Rose, Mabie WV

    A miracle to strive for is the removal of political cynicisms from peoples' minds. Delicate relationships have no place in setting up basic policies. Facts are facts and should be presented in each their own one-of-a-kind way. Yes, adjusting tax percentage according to income level is a good place to start. However, as is in my case, manadatory monthly bill outlay limits the benefit of lower tax in <$49,999 income bracket–especially if raising a child and paying for the child's education.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  220. MaryBeth

    Jack, this sounds like another way to benefit the wealthiest of the wealthy in this country. I don't see how this will solve our revenue and debt problems. Pawlenty doesn't plan to eliminate any of the exemptions available to the wealthy, so once again the burden will fall primarily on what's left of the middle class.

    A flat tax is only "fair" on its surface in the sense that everyone pays the same amount (percentage, that is). It isn't fair because a 25% tax on someone making $50,000 per year is going to hurt a lot more than a 25% tax on someone making $250,000 per year.

    What I don't understand is what is so complicated....I'll make an analogy to losing weight. Most people understand that to lose weight you have to reduce your caloric intake AND increase your exercise. Trying to lose weight by doing just one or the other doesn't work. Neither will balancing the budget–the government will have to both reduce spending AND increase revenues (taxes).

    And another point, why do you think Pawlenty's plan will work? Isn't this the same guy who left Minnesota $6 billion in the red?

    MaryBeth, Massachusetts

    June 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  221. mark, wisconsin

    Hey Jack,

    Any restructure of tax has to be a good thing but "why ohhh why" are there always exceptions for us smoking drinking single/divorces whom make as much as married couples?


    June 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  222. Michae

    I am a CPA. I believe that taxes should be fair. A graduated tax rate that begins with 5% and goes 40% Is more equitable. I am tired of the Republicans reducing the rates on the rich. If they really want to make the taxes more fair let them look at the payroll social security tax deductions. They are a regressive tax!! The more you earn the less you pay. An execuitive getting his year end bonus will only get a deduction of 1.45% for social security taxes while his secretary's bonus will get a deduction of 7.65%. THAT IS SHAMEFULL. A self employed individual who nets $50,000 will be taxed at an effective rate of 43% when you combine the income tax and self emplymet tax(social security). We are sqeezing the middle class of our country. The economic engine of any country is its middle class. If you choke it the engine it will sputter as it is doing right now. Obama wanted to lower the rate of the middle class by 3% and raise the rate for the rich by 3%. I think that would helped our economy but the Republicans would not hear of it. They just want to lower the estate taxes for their freinds. Yes we need simplification but we need fairness more.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  223. Donald

    Bad idea! 100K in Oregon is not the same as in Manhattan! As for corporate tax rate restructuring ... what companies are actually paying any taxes? Sure isn't GE or Exxon and they aren't hiring despite not having payed any taxes.
    What I don't hear anyone addressing is the corporate outsourcing that has only escalated in the last few years. That's the single greatest reason for the stagnant economy. Yes, the majority of businesses in the US are small businesses (your doctors, lawyers, dentists, dry cleaners etc) but they exist primarily because of the multiplier effect from the corporate earners. As these jobs (accounting, research, radiology, IT etc) are moving to China and India we can't expect any turnaround in our economy.
    Reduce corporate taxes all you want but as long as you can hire the same worker for a fraction of the cost we aren't going to see any turnaround!

    June 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  224. John Campbell

    ok – if all deductions are eliminated

    June 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  225. J

    The general concept is solid. You'd need a government level accountant to make sure the numbers and bracket ranges are accurate, but the concept is solid.

    The key will be eliminating loop holes, deductions and other ways for the very wealthy to sneak out of paying their fair share.

    Just one little example: I commute 40 miles to work everyday. I've opened a PO box 2 miles from the office that I use for a side business. Every morning I stop by the PO box, meaning 38 out of my 40 mile commute is tax deductible.

    Next week, that business is having a board meeting in the Bahamas. We're getting there via cruise ship, and stopping in port for a day to have the meeting. The whole trip is tax deductible.

    Step 1: Flat tax (per Pawlenty's suggestion)
    Step 2: Eliminate any and all tax deductions, except maybe (MAYBE) for charitable donations to well established funds.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  226. MeLoN

    Gotta love the way some people think.... let's go after the rich because they have money and we don't!

    Only 1% of the "rich" don't pay taxes while 45% of the middle to lower class don't pay any taxes. Wanna fix the problem? Go to a flat tax system where everybody pays the same percentage.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:58 pm |