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White House Backs Off Bush Sales Tax Quip

Taxes National Sales Tax Bush 2004

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#1 DWF

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 07:41 PM

http://story.news.ya.../bush_sales_tax

Quote

Administration officials on Wednesday denied that President Bush is considering a national sales tax, a day after the Republican incumbent created a stir by calling such a tax "an interesting idea that we ought to explore seriously."

Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry seized on Bush's comments made while the president was campaigning in Florida Tuesday and suggested such a plan would create a new tax on working families.

"Families already squeezed by rising health care costs, gas costs and college costs would have to carry a whole new tax burden," Kerry said in a statement.

The flap was prompted by an exchange between Bush and a supporter who asked during a town-hall meeting in Niceville, Fla., about Bush's position on legislation for a national sales tax.

"He's talking about getting rid of the current tax system and replacing it with a national sales tax," Bush told his audience. "It's an interesting idea. You know, I'm not exactly sure how big the national sales tax is going to have to be, but it's the kind of interesting idea that we ought to explore seriously."

Conservatives have pushed for the administration to do more to overhaul the tax code, with some calling for either a so-called "flat" income tax or some variation of a federal sales tax.

Bush and his senior aides have suggested that overhauling the tax code would be a second-term priority if the president is re-elected. And Bush said at the Florida meeting: "We're working to simplify the tax code."

But neither Bush nor his aides have been specific on what tax-code changes were under review, and never before suggested anything as radical as replacing the income tax with a federal sales tax.


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