Subject: Forbes Reiterates Call For Flat Tax Plan
A former presidential candidate who based his 1996 run on a flat tax platform, is defending that decision now in light of the Senate Finance Committee hearings which uncovered abuses by Internal Revenue Service agents.
Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes Magazine, appeared Sunday morning on NBC's "Meet The Press." Asked if he wanted to abolish the IRS, Forbes said, "I think we can substantially downsize it, abolish it as we know it today."
"What has happened with the IRS is fundamentally a symptom of a corrupt and complex tax code that has gotten out of control," he said. "We've got to simplify that tax code and then we can have civil tax collection again in America."
Responding to testimony that IRS agents harassed taxpayers, Forbes said individual tax collectors are not the problem.
"The whole system is basically a corrupting one," he said. "If you have a complex and corrupting tax code, it's no surprise, history shows, that you get the abuses that we saw this week."
Forbes' solution is a 17 percent flat tax. "In Washington, the game is very simple," he said. "They take a dollar out of your pocket, and return 50 cents, and you're supposed to be grateful for it."
Forbes says his plan is fair and simple, and would encourage compliance. "Experience shows when you simplify something, compliance goes up," he said. Forbes calls the current tax code "the biggest deadweight on American life today."
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Monday Sept. 29, 1997
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