I had a chance to chat with Pat Toomey, President of Club for Growth, today. I’ll have more later in the week on his take on the election returns yesterday.(Outside the Commonwealth of Virginia there is reason for a measure of GOP optimism.)
On the issue of “loopholes” Pat offered a useful way of evaluating whether this is just code for “tax increases.” He notes that “people can use the tax code to dole out pork” with such narrowly tailored exemptions and credits that only a select number or even one entity benefits. He calls this “terrible” tax policy, explaining that the goal should always be to have the broadest tax base at the lowest rate. So if a politician says he is “closing loopholes” Pat contends they should “simultaneously be lowering marginal rates.” Otherwise they are just digging for more revenue.
On AMT, he says Rangel’s “mother of all tax hikes” is going nowhere but cautions that this is a “multi-year” proposition for Rangel who is holding out hope a Democratic president would sign on to just such a measure in 2009. As for AMT, he urges the GOP to come up with alternatives –either a complete AMT repeal or Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan which offers an alternative flat tax. In any event he contends that AMT reform should not be held hostage to the “paygo” rules.
Finally, as for the presidential race Pat says he is leaning against endorsing a candidate saying that Thompson, Rudy and Romney are advocating a “pro growth agenda” although he acknowledges that “their pasts are different,” pointing to the Club’s White Papers.
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