Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that he is against a flat tax and “people as they make more and more money can pay a higher percentage” in an interview broadcast on Wednesday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.
Trump was asked, [relevant exchange beings around 3:00] “You want to lower the tax, you want to implement a flat tax.” Trump objected to this characterization. After host Sean Hannity said, “I thought you liked the flat tax.” Trump stated, “The problem with the flat tax is it’s sort of the same. I actually believe that people as they make more and more money can pay a higher percentage.” Later he added, “I don’t like where everybody’s paying the same. If I make a billion dollars, and somebody else is making a hundred, and he’s paying ten dollars and I’m paying — to me, I don’t know. I like somewhat of a graduation. What you have now is a system that’s too complicated. The easiest thing to do is make that system uncomplicated, and make it really good, make it really good. And you know, as far as the IRS, people say ‘Let’s get rid of the IRS,’ somebody’s got to collect the money.” Regarding simplifying the tax code, also stated, “The word is simplification. We can simplify. We can get rid of deductions.”
Hannity then asked Trump, “What’s the cap?” Trump responded, “Uhhh, we will set the cap. I want to have a cap so we have a lot of business, a lot more activity. I want to get rid of all this deficit. We’re making — we’re losing, six, seven hundred billion dollars. We’re going to be losing — and by the way, when Obamacare kicks in, we’re going to be losing a trillion three, a trillion four a year. We can’t do that. We’re going to be a Greece on steroids. Here’s what I want to do. I want to simplify the tax code. I want to cut taxes, but I want to simplify the tax code. I want to make it great for the middle class. The middle class is being killed. I want to put H&R Block — it’s an ambition of mine to put H&R Block out of business. When a person has a simple tax return, they have a job, and they can’t even figure out, when they look at this complicated form, they can’t figure out what to pay. And you know what, I have guys that are friends of mine, they make a fortune. They’re hedge fund guys. They move around — look, at least I build things. I put people to work. These guys move around paper. And half the time it’s luck more than talent, okay. They pay peanuts, okay? I want to make it so the middle — I want to lower taxes, but I want to make it so the middle class benefits.”
Trump was also asked, “Do you believe in supply-side economics in as much as, you reduce taxes on everybody, including the wealthy, and that rising tide lifts all boats?” Trump said, “I don’t fully believe in it, but there is something to it. I don’t fully.”
Trump also discussed energy policy, where he said, “The Keystone Pipeline should be approved immediately. Not that I want it, because we’re bringing in oil from Canada, but you know what, it’s a lot easier than Saudi Arabia and some of these other places, and Canada’s been a great neighbor, et cetera, et cetera. But they should approve it. Number one, it’s jobs. Immediately, you’re building it, it’s jobs, it’s good. It’s not going to hurt anything in terms of environmentally. It’s hard to believe that that has not been approved. But get it approved. More oil coming in, the more we can have where we don’t have to go to foreign places, really foreign places to get the oil. So, there’s a simple one. it’s going to create jobs. It’s overall good. But we don’t even need it, in one sense, because we have so much under our own land we can do it, but we have to get rid of some of the restrictions.”
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