- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Tuesday that Congress is reluctant to pass a “fair tax” because lawmakers are in bed with a deep-pocketed “donor class” that is reaping benefits from the current tax code.

Speaking at an economic growth summit hosted by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Mr. Huckabee, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, said the fair tax, or national sales tax on new goods, should replace the federal tax code. He said it would unleash economic growth, lead to the elimination of the IRS and ensure that people receive the Social Security benefits they were promised when they paid into the program.

But Mr. Huckabee said that building support for that sort of legislation on Capitol Hill would be a heavy lift because it strips lawmakers of “the No. 1 power they have, which is to manipulate the tax code and create winners and losers in the marketplace.”

“Let’s be real honest,” he said. “America is essentially run by the donor class who feeds the political class who does the dance that is called by the donor class. The political class is all to willing to accommodate [them], therefore, the donor class will continue to fund the political class.”

Mr. Huckabee also pushed back against the argument that the fair tax is regressive, saying that exemptions on certain goods would ensure that the poor benefit from it. He argued ordinary Americans are the ones being hurt by the current tax system.

“What the fair tax does it says if you are a good businessman you are going to succeed, not because you have good pals, not because you have good lobbyist, but because you have good ideas, because you are a good business person,” he said.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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