The Corner

Rubio’s Tax Plan: Structure vs. Level

Senator Rubio has revised his tax plan to address some criticisms of it. I write about the resulting plan here. My basic conclusion: Rubio has the best proposal of any of the presidential contenders in terms of improving the tax structure, but he’s improving it in a way that leads to an unrealistically low tax level. He improves the tax structure by reducing tax breaks and making the burden of taxes fall less on investment (including investment in children). As for levels: I’ve never seen deficits as an ironclad reason to reject tax cuts. I supported the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, for example, and I’d support substantial tax cuts and spending cuts today. But a $6 trillion tax cut when Social Security and Medicare spending is set to rise as rapidly as it is now strikes me as too large–even as an opening bid.


Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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