Gov. Bobby Jindal is offering up a national tax plan that would eliminate the corporate income tax and make all Americans pay federal income taxes.
In effect, the poor would shoulder more of the costs of running the federal government than they do currently and wealthier taxpayers would get a bit of a break in Jindal’s plan, which he unveiled while campaigning for president in Iowa on Wednesday.
Across the board, Jindal’s tax proposal would drastically cut the amount of money the federal government has to spend.
Based on Jindal’s analysis, his plan would cut federal revenue by 22 percent — or increase the deficit by $9 trillion — over a decade, which Jindal says would lead to cuts in federal spending.
“The only way to shrink the size and influence of Washington is to starve it,” Jindal writes in the proposal’s summary.
Jindal, who is campaigning in Iowa, promoted and defended his tax ideas during a Fox News appearance on Wednesday afternoon.
“Everybody should pay something,” he said. “Too many Americans think money grows on trees.”
Jindal said the point of his plan isn’t to be “revenue neutral” as others have put forth and even called that an “intentional feature” of his plan.
“I explicitly say we are reducing government revenue — I’m proud of that,” he said. “If we’re not serious about shrinking the size of government then we should go home.”
The plan calls for taxpayers to be divided into three brackets — the lowest at 2 percent, the others at 10 and 25 percent — and differs sharply from other plans put forth by his rivals for the GOP nomination.
“We simply must require that every American has some skin in this game,” Jindal said in a statement. “If we have generations of Americans who never pay any taxes, it will be very easy for them to turn a blind eye to absurd government spending and to continue to allow our government to bankrupt our nation.”
According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, about 45 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax, but many of them still pay payroll taxes, as well as state and local taxes.
Jindal previously has released plans on federal energy policy, education, defense and health care, though he’s struggled to gain traction among the crowded field of GOP hopefuls.
His tax plan makes subtle reference to proposals that have previously been offered by Republican rivals Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. Under Trump’s plan, individuals who make less than $25,000 would pay no federal income taxes.
“Most Republican plans brag about the idea that they will allow about half of all Americans to pay zero federal taxes,” Jindal writes. “I think that is a terrible mistake.”
As governor, Jindal unsuccessfully pushed for Louisiana to eliminate the state income tax in favor of higher sales taxes.
Citing concerns over the impact on state revenues, the state Legislature rejected Jindal’s revamp plan.