Carson's plan also eliminates taxes on capital gains, dividends
and interest income, according to an outline released on his
campaign website. It also abolishes the so-called the death tax -
taxes imposed on the value of a deceased person's estate before
distribution to heirs.
In an interview on Fox News, Carson said his "Prescription for
Growth" plan would impose a flat tax rate on all income that
"applies to everyone across the board," with the exception of
Americans living close to or below the poverty level.
"There's nobody who doesn't pay something," said Carson, a retired
neurosurgeon who is one of 12 Republican candidates vying for the
party's nomination ahead of November's election.
Currently, there are seven individual tax brackets, with the top
tier of Americans - those with an annual income of at least $413,201
- taxed at 39.6 percent.
"Go back to the Constitution. Recognize why taxation exists," Carson
said. "It's because we need money to run the government. Itís not to
control peopleís behavior and do all of these other things that have
been added in with this 80,000 pages of tax regulations."
Under his plan, people living below the poverty line would pay
something in taxes but it may be less than the flat rate because "we
don't want to add to their woes," Carson said.
The Carson campaign statement said lower-income families would pay
only the flat tax on income earned over 150 percent of the federal
poverty rate. Those earning less would be asked to make a minimum
payment, it said, but did not give an specific amount.
[to top of second column]
"We do have other things in place to try to increase their
opportunities," Carson told Fox without elaborating, "because we're
not looking to keep people in a state of dependency."
Carson's plan comes amid declining support in polls and struggles to
revamp his campaign, which was thrown into turmoil after his
campaign manager and some 20 other staffers quit last week.
He was in third place in Reuters/Ipsos polling from before the
resignations, holding 12 percent support and trailing U.S. Senator
Ted Cruz, with nearly 15 percent, and celebrity billionaire Donald
Trump, with 38 percent. (http://bit.ly/1muNTuD)
(Reporting by Megan Cassella; Editing by Bill Trott)
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