Ted Cruz proposes a 10 percent flat income tax

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's plan to overhaul the tax code includes a 10 percent flat income tax and a 16 percent "business flat tax" to replace the payroll tax and corporate income taxes.

The senator released his plan in an op-ed published on The Wall Street Journal's website minutes before the primetime Republican presidential debate started. Cruz, who ranks third in the Washington Examiner's power rankings, touted his reliance on Arthur Laffer, an economic adviser to President Reagan. The senator also noted that his plan would abolish the IRS.

"In constructing my plan, I had several requirements. The plan should: spur robust economic growth and job creation, while raising after-tax income for all Americans; be dramatically simpler, to allow working people to file their taxes with a postcard or phone app; and shrink Washington by getting rid of the rat's nest of complex tax requirements, credits and loopholes," Cruz wrote.

"To keep the tax burden fair, my plan includes a $10,000 standard deduction and a $4,000 personal exemption, which means a family of four pays nothing on their first $36,000 of income. It ends the payroll tax altogether (while maintaining full funding for Social Security and Medicare). It maintains the current child tax credit and expands and modernizes the earned-income tax credit, with greater reforms to prevent fraud and encourage marriage."

Cruz's op-ed repeatedly asked readers to "imagine" all of the potential benefits from his tax reform, which he said would include 4.9 million new jobs, average wages rising 12.2 percentage points over the next decade, and "Americans at every level of the economy enjoying double-digit increases in after-tax income."

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