Jon Huntsman: tax smasher

The dark horse presidential candidate rolls out his jobs plan

Cheryl Senter/AP/File
Republican 2012 presidential hopeful and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, center facing, talks with local residents at a breakfast at American Legion Post 3 in Nashua, N.H. Hunstman unveiled his jobs plan Thursday, including proposed major tax reform. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

I rarely get excited about political proposals and plans as most of them are merely campaign fodder. In the event these plans actually see the floor of the legislature, they are almost always bastardized to the point of being unrecognizable from the original intent.

With that in mind, the jobs plan put forward by Jon Huntsman intrigues me for several reasons.

I don't really know about the rest of his politics and idiosyncrasies but it was explained to me that he is "un-nominatable" this morning - because he is "too reasonable" for the modern GOP. That's hilarious, but it also intrigues me as I'm a sucker for underdogs (as Americans are supposed to be).

Huntsman was the first GOP candidate to actually unveil a jobs plan (this morning), which is a step in the right direction in my book as it is the single most important thing we should be talking about in terms of 2012. He's got a host of initiatives which I'll link to below, but for starters here is what he'd do on taxes:

Tax Reform

Simplify The Personal Income Tax Code And Lower Rates. Rather than nibble around the edges of the existing tax code, Gov. Huntsman will introduce a revenue-neutral tax plan that eliminates all deductions and credits in favor of three drastically lower rates of 8%, 14% and 23%. Eliminating deductions and credits in favor of lower marginal rates will yield a simpler and more efficient tax code, decreasing the burden on taxpayers.

Eliminate The Alternative Minimum Tax. Under the new simplified plan, Gov. Huntsman will eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, which is not indexed for inflation and is penalizing an increasing number of families and small businesses.

Eliminate The Taxes On Capital Gains And Dividends In Order To Eliminate The Double Taxation On Investment. Capital gains and dividend taxes amount to a double-taxation on individuals who choose to invest. Because dollars invested had to first be earned, they have already been subject to the income tax. Taxing these same dollars again when capital gains are realized serves to deter productive and much-needed investment in our economy.

Reduce The Corporate Rate From 35% To 25%. The United States cannot compete while burdened with the second-highest corporate tax rate in the developed world; American companies and our workers deserve a level playing field. With high unemployment, it is important that we not push corporations and capital overseas. We need employers to be based in America if they're going to provide jobs to Americans.

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