MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Dr. Ben Carson, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, earned cheers at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention on Sunday when he said that the IRS should be eliminated.
Carson made the suggestion while criticizing President Obama’s tax hike, set to be unveiled in this week’s State of the Union address.
“We need to do something about taxes. There’s no question about that. We have a horrendous tax structure.It’s too complex,” Carson told the convention. “Nobody can comply with it and it’s unfair. We need something that is equally fair across the spectrum for everybody and that means either a flat tax or a fair tax.”
“The important thing is that whatever we come up with, it needs to eliminate the IRS,” added Dr. Carson.
In another speech to the Tea Party convention, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) received a standing ovation when he reiterated his call to “abolish the IRS” and move to a simple flat tax.
“There are 110,000 employees at the IRS. We need to padlock that building and put all 110,000 IRS agents on our southern border,” added the Texas senator, who is also considered a potential contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. “I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek.”
“Think about it for a minute — suppose you’ve spent weeks crossing the hot, hot land going through the desert sun, swimming the Rio Grande, and the first thing you see is 110,000 IRS agents,” he continued as laughter filled the room. “You’ll turn around and go home too.”
Dr. Carson and Sen. Cruz spoke during the second day of the South Carolina Tea Party event, which is sold out.
The three-day convention, which will carry into Monday, features major conservative leaders and activists.
Between 1,100 and 1,200 people are expected to attend the event, now in its fourth year.