Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, trailing badly in the GOP presidential race, hit hardest Sunday at a Republican who isn’t even in the race -- Sarah Palin.
Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, Huntsman described Palin’s call Saturday for no federal corporate income taxes “a great political bromide” unhinged from basic budget math.
“How do you do it? How to you make the numbers work?” he asked.
At a speech for a tea party event in Indianola, Iowa on Saturday, Palin called for a zero corporate tax rate coupled with an elimination of all corporate tax subsidies and federal bailouts. Palin declined to say whether she was running for president. Palin’s current polling average, according to RealClearPolitics.com, is 10.6 percent. Huntsman’s average is 1.2 percent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the current front-runner, with a polling average of 26.3 percent.
Huntsman's own plan would eliminate all tax subsidies for corporations and individuals and shrink the current six-rate personal income tax bracket with a three-rate bracket with rates of 8 percent, 14 percent, and 23 percent. The current structure contains rates of 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent, and 35 percent. Huntsman also wants to reduce the current federal corporate income tax rate from 34 percent to 20 percent.
Huntsman said his plan would be “revenue neutral” and would raise revenue to offset the losses linked to lower personal income tax rates by eliminating such popular tax breaks as deductions for interest on home mortgages, veterans' and Social Security benefits, and state and local income taxes.
“I know it’s going to be politically controversial, but I think it is absolutely needed at this point,” Huntsman said. “Everybody would like to go down to zero in terms of corporate taxes. I know how difficult it is to make the numbers work. You’ve got to find the revenue somewhere that you can reinvest in the tax code to bring down the rate for everybody. Ours is based on the real world and where we can make the numbers actually work.”