Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday grilled Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson’s plan to institute a flat tax plan that experts have said would give a massive break to the wealthiest Americans.
Carson said that under his flat tax plan, earners would “pay according to your ability.”
“I got that idea, quite frankly, from the Bible — tithing,” he explained. “You make $10 billion a year, you pay a billion. You make $10 a year, you pay one. You get the same rates. That’s pretty darn fair if you ask me.”
“Now some people say poor people can’t afford to pay that dollar. That’s very condescending,” he continued. “I can tell you that poor people have pride too. And they don’t want to be just taken care of.”
“Doctor, here is the problem with the flat tax in the real world,” Wallace noted. “According to the Tax Policy Center, to raise the same amount of revenue we do now, the tax rate would have to be in the low to mid 20 percent range. Low and middle income families would get a big tax hike while wealthy families would actually get a big tax cut.”
“That’s actually not — I don’t agree with that assessment,” Carson insisted. “Because I’ve been in contact with many economists. And in fact, if you eliminate the loopholes and the deductions then you’re really talking about a rate somewhere between 10 and 15 percent.”
Wallace pressed: “I’ve got to tell you that outside experts we talked to, you’re talking in the 20s… For instance, you talked about low-income families. Not only don’t they pay, they actually get an earned income tax credit. Now, you’re going to have them paying 10 to 15 percent of whatever income they have or 20 percent if my experts are right.”
“I’ve got to tell you, a lot of independent studies say that the people who make out like bandits in this are the wealthy,” the Fox News host added.
Carson did not specifically address whether low-income earners would be hurt by a fair tax, but argued that there were “a number of things involved.”
Watch the video below from Fox News’ Fox News Sunday, broadcast May 10, 2015.