Just a week before Michigan primary voters go to the polls on Aug. 5th, comes a shocking development in the race for Michigan's 11th Congressional District (MI-11) that was literally hiding in plain sight.
Candidates across Michigan recently submitted detailed answers to various questions for a "Michigan Voters Guide" co-sponsored by the Detroit Free Press, the Lansing State Journal, the Observer & Eccentric papers, and others.
Dr. Anil Kumar, a urologist and first-time candidate vying for the Democratic nomination in #MI11, submitted his answers, which you can view here.
Go below the fold to see Kumar's answer to the question, "Do you believe the current federal tax system is generally fair? What significant changes in the tax code do you support?"
Here's how Kumar, who until the middle of 2013 had never called himself a Democrat, has never voted in a Primary and missed both the 2008 and 2012 General elections, answered the taxation question (emphasis and punctuation added):
[The] Perfect system is a Flat Tax. It has been reported that 62% of Americans advocate a Flat Tax system. Flat Tax systems are in place in several states in the U.S. A Flat Tax system allows everyone to pay the same tax rate regardless of income. The Flat Tax system eliminates deductions, tax credits, and most exemptions. Eliminating deductions, tax credits, and complex tax brackets also simplifies the tax code, making compliance easier. The Flat Tax system encourages economic growth by avoiding a system in which you are penalized in higher taxes for being productive and earning more money. Another part of the Flat Tax system is to remove double taxation, by only taxing earned income. Things like dividends, interest on savings, or capital gains that result from investment or increases in asset value would not be taxed under a pure Flat Tax system.What? Seriously, what is this? Kumar, a front-runner for the Democratic nomination in this SE Michigan district who has pledged to spend up to $750,000 to win in August (leaving him nothing for November, when he'd likely face Republican multi-multi-millionaire David Trott), has NEVER MENTIONED anything about tax policy in the ENTIRE time he's been running for Congress.
Why? Because even he knows that wherever he found that 62% figure, the vast majority of DEMOCRATIC voters are NOT fans of the Flat Tax. Democrats, and especially Progressives, think it's pure flapdoodle, and many of us remember when it was first proposed by Republican Steve Forbes nearly three decades ago.
In fact, the last major political figures to endorse a Flat Tax were also Republicans: Mike Huckabee and Herman "9-9-9" Cain (I think one of those "9s" was his proposed income tax rate).
But look closer at Kumar's arguments:
"[A]avoiding a system in which you are penalized...for being productive and earning more money" could have been written by Ayn Rand. It certainly fits the worldview of Republican "thinkers" like Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Rand Paul.
"Removing double taxation" is just another way of giving 1%-ers like Willard "Mitt" Romney -- whose income is almost entirely derived from interest on investments and capital gains -- a HUGE and PERMANENT tax cut.
What Kumar FAILS to mention here is any form of tax relief for low-wage earners.
Eliminating "deductions, tax credits, and most exemptions" would slap new tax burdens on those least able to afford them. Think about what Kumar has just said he opposes: the Mortgage interest DEDUCTION, the Earned Income TAX CREDIT, and a host of others.
His Flat Tax would devastate the housing market and hit practically EVERY middle-class family in America with higher taxes, which might be partially offset by whatever Flat Tax rate Kumar thinks is right.
Dr. Anil Kumar has spent the past eight months at literally hundreds of events all over Michigan's 11th District. He has sat for interviews; participated in candidate forums; been screened by unions, trade groups, newspapers and others that make endorsements; and has even found common cause with Progressive opponent Nancy Skinner when the third Democrat in the race -- Bobby McKenzie -- was found to have lied about his endorsement status with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
Funny how the good Doctor has NEVER ONCE MENTIONED HIS FLAT TAX IDEA to ANY of these people....