April 16, 2004


Specter endorses a flat tax, but Toomey calls it just talk: The incumbent supports a 19% levy without any deductions. His rival says he's failed to act. (Joseph N. DiStefano, 4/16/04, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Facing a vigorous conservative challenger in the April 27 primary election, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) called yesterday for scrapping the federal tax code in favor of a flat-rate income tax.

Speaking to leaders of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, and reporters, Specter endorsed a 1980s plan advanced by a pair of California academics to levy a 19 percent tax on Americans' wages, salaries and pensions, with no deductions.

Under Specter's proposal, American workers would keep paying the current Social Security and Medicare payroll tax of nearly 8 percent, for a total federal tax bite of 27 cents out of every dollar. [...]

As Specter waved a sample postcard-size flat-tax form for news cameras, Snow offered broad support for Specter's tax proposal.

"This card, or something like it, is very much something that we owe the American public," Snow said. He said the flat tax could be modified so poorer families would pay less. Specter said his flat-tax plan was based on proposals from Stanford University economist Robert E. Hall and political scientist Alvin Rabushka in the early 1980s.

Senator Specter voted for the fetal protection law too--someone's hearing footsteps...

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 16, 2004 5:57 PM

I live in Erie and the wife and I are voting for Toomey. As for Specter being a Republican, we vote "Not proven!"

Posted by: Jack Sheet at April 16, 2004 7:08 PM

Typical "conservative only during an election year" action by a RINO. Question is whether the PA voters will buy it again.

Posted by: AWW at April 16, 2004 9:42 PM

I can't believe it -- doesn't Sen. Specter know that such a tax is illegal under Scottish law?

Posted by: jd watson at April 16, 2004 11:54 PM