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Hey, did you know that Ben Carson has finally released a tax plan? He has! (Though “plan” is perhaps a bit grandiose for nine bullet points.) There’s not really any reason you should care, but just for the record, here are the highlights:

  • No taxation of income up to $36,000 (150 percent of the poverty level)
  • A flat 14.9 percent tax on all ordinary income above that.
  • Also, business income will be taxed at 14.9 percent.
  • No taxation of interest, capital gains, dividends, or estates.
  • No deductions whatsoever, not even mortgage interest.

This is great! At a guess, your average zillionaire would have an effective tax rate of about 8 percent compared to about 20 percent today. Ka-ching!

And how much would this blow up the deficit? My horseback guess is that it would cost around $12 trillion over the next ten years. That’s even more harebrained than Donald Trump’s plan. You go, Ben! As for the Carson plan’s effect on the economy, here you go:

My flat tax plan will increase our current, anemic economic growth rate of 2.2 percent by more than half. I am confident this would generate an additional 1.6 percent of growth annually. As a result, our economy would be growing at an annual rate of almost 4 percent….This expanded growth translates into more than five million additional jobs over 10 years, with a nearly 11 percent increase in wages.

This promise springs forth fully grown, like Athena from Zeus’s forehead. Given that it’s literally just magic, I have no idea why Carson was so modest. Why not 6 percent growth and a 30 percent growth in wages? It’s all just meaningless squiggles on a page anyway.

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