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Published On: Wed, Nov 11th, 2015

Ben Carson explains tax plan, media still attacks it or misrepresents it entirely

Some call it a Fair Tax, but Dr. Ben Carson evokes Biblical principles when describing his version of a flat tax rate. During the GOP debate on Tuesday in Milwaukee, Fox’s Neil Cavuto put forth the question, contrasting his ideas with Donald Trumps.

“Everybody should pay the same proportion of what they make. You make $10 billion, you pay a billion. You make $10, you pay one. You get same rights and privileges,” Carson begins. “I don’t see how anything gets a whole lot fairer than that. But you also have to get rid of all the deductions and all the loopholes because that is the thing that tilts it in one direction or another. And you have to set the rate at an appropriate level.”

Of course, the media has been after Carson on his “God’s tax plan”:

 photo/ Gage Skidmore

photo/ Gage Skidmore

“Did we just hear Fox Business Network ever so slightly needle the evangelical vote? Carson doesn’t take the hint and just says he’s for everyone paying their taxes in the same proportion. Based on Carson’s response, it appears God is no fan of the mortgage interest deduction.  Good time to sell.” (Deadline)

Huffington Post misrepresents Carson’s remarks completely: “After a meandering answer, Carson essentially said that Trump’s plan was better.” (LINK)

Even in religious communities as Patheos has written: “Jesus preached economic justice for the poor. The kingdom of God was about raising up the poor and bringing low the wealthy. Jesus taught that the wealthy cannot enter the reign of God while they are still wealthy. In the story of the poor widow, he condemned the exact kind of proportional tithe in Ben Carson’s tax plan. God isn’t about simplistic proportionality. God is about economic and social justice. What’s fair isn’t that everyone pays the same percentage. What’s fair is that everyone has enough and no one has too much.”

Full transcript of the exchange (via TIME) below.

 

CAVUTO: One of the biggest economic concerns of course in the country are taxes. Facebook data certainly backs that up. Once again the green on this map that we’re going to see here shows how the conversation around taxes is resonating across the nation, especially here in Wisconsin.

First off, Dr. Carson, to you. You say you are in favor of a tax system, I guess akin to tithing, sir, with a flat tax rate of up to 15 percent because you said, if everybody pays this, I think God is a pretty fair guy, so tithing is a pretty fair process.

But Donald Trump says that is not fair. That wealthier taxpayers should pay a higher rate because it’s a fair thing to do. So whose plan would God endorse then, Doctor?

(LAUGHTER)

Yours or Mr. Trump’s?

CARSON:

Well, you know, when I say tithing, I’m talking about the concept of proportionality.


CAVUTO:

Right.


CARSON:

Everybody should pay the same proportion of what they make. You make $10 billion, you pay a billion. You make $10, you pay one. You get same rights and privileges.

I don’t see how anything gets a whole lot fairer than that. But you also have to get rid of all the deductions and all the loopholes because that is the thing that tilts it in one direction or another. And you have to set the rate at an appropriate level.

Now I will say that, there are a lot of people who say, if you get rid of the deductions, you ruin the American dream because, you know, home mortgage deduction. But the fact of the matter is, people had homes before 1913 when we introduced the federal income tax, and later after that started deductions.

And they say there will be no more charitable giving. We had churches before that and charitable organizations before that. The fact of the matter is, I believe if you put more money in people’s pockets that they will actually be more generous rather than less generous. And it’s…

(APPLAUSE)

… the money that they earned.

And, the other thing is, I do care about the poor people. And in the system that we’re putting together, there will be a rebate for people at the poverty level. But I also want to emphasize the fact that as we get the economy moving, and I hope I get a question about how do we get the economy moving, there will be a lot more opportunities for poor people not to be poor people because this is America.

This is the land of dreams. And our policies should be aimed at allowing people to realize that dream.

Photo/donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Photo/donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Stephen Eldridge says:

    To Brandon Jones:

    A true Constitutional Conservative would not succumb to that superficially rationally-sounding Progressive doctrine.

    Creating a low level exclusion from Income Tax reates a negative benfit that thye poor would not give up by earnong more.

    Similarly, EVERYONE should pay for their own personal Ss & Medicare benefits – tese are often also swept up in the rush to “protect”the poor from paying ANY “tax”.

    The poor are MORE than adequately protected by overly-generous welfare programs that make welfare far more attractive than work, which is an importabt reason why there are many jobs that Americans “just wont do”.

  2. Ned Netterville says:

    Carson’s ten-percent–or any percent income tax–may be sorta. kinda, a little like Old Testament tithing, but it certainly isn’t at all in tune with the teaching of Jesus in the NT.

    Jesus pointed to tax collectors as exemplars of sinfulness (Matt. 5:46-47). When, in order to “trap him in his words,” he was asked by those who knew of his opposition to Rome’s taxes and wanted Pilate, who was responsible for collecting Caesar’s taxes throughout Judea,to crucify him, they asked him, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not?” Jesus’ answer, “Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but give God what belongs to God,” completely flummoxed his deceitful adversaries.

    Did he mean pay Caesar’s tax? No one can answer that question without knowing what, in Jesus’ opinion, belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God respectively. Since Jesus consistently justified himself and his teaching by reference to Sacred Jewish Scripture (the Hebrew Bible, the OT), it is most likely he would have been swayed by what Scripture says on the subject. And the Hebrew Bible states in at least six places, nowhere more clearly than Psalm 24, verse 1: “The earth is the Lords’s and everything in it…,” which of course leaves nothing for poor old Caesar, and nothing is what Jesus would have his disciples pay in taxes, for Caesar’s tax was used for war, conquest, pillage, plunder, enslavement and a thousand other evil purposes, just as taxes are used today.

    Even without Scripture, to the people in the Roman Empire, “Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar.” means give him nothing, because none of the people had anything in their possession belonging to Caesar. Caesar was a taker, not a giver nor a lender. Indeed, nothing in Caesar’s possession belonged to him, for it had all been stolen from others by plunder, pillage, conquest, enslavement and forceful taxation. Jesus’ brilliant retort made that fact manifest, and was sufficient cause for Pilate to crucify him. But the “spies” sent to trap him were so bamboozled by their own dishonesty and duplicity, and by his brilliant retort that so amazed them they failed to comprehend that he had done exactly what they had hoped he had. He had condemned Caesar’s tax and encouraged his listeners not to pay it. Of course when they spies reported to their handlers, the chief priests, they knew exactly what Jesus’ response meant. So they sent their armed thugs to arrest him. Then they dragged him before Pilate and told Pilate what his words meant: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government….he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!” Luke 23:2-7

    For that reason, it is a pretty god bet, Pilate had him crucified, although the gospels fail to record Pilate’s motive.

  3. Stephen Eldridge says:

    b\Ben Carson is VERY good person, but sadly he slips back into Progressive nonsense with a “rebate” for people up to the poverty level which completely undermines his “proportionality’ concept (and encourages poverty and encourages the poor NOT to work.

    • Brandon Jones says:

      I actually see both sides on this.

      I’d love to see a flat tax, similar to what Carson and others are proposing, but that won’t fly through Congress unless there are provisions for the uber-poor. I use that term because even “poverty” is a misrepresented term. I think Carson has expressed a desire to not enable the “entitlement world” and we should move in that direction. A flatter tax with some “rebates” or “Credits” for the poor would be a good first step.

      All of that said, the Democrats will never concede on tax cuts for the top 1% and corporations, so it’s a lot of lip service in my opinion.

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