Our first presidential candidate to be featured in our series of interviews is Tommy Thompson, a Republican and former Governor of Wisconsin.
Here are his unedited answers to my six questions:
1. What’s the single most important tax issue facing Americans today?
The growing threat of the AMT to the middle class is the most important tax issue facing Americans. The unintended consequence of Congress trying to make sure the rich “pay their fair share” is seriously threatening middle class families.
2. If you could only make one “quick fix” in terms of an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever – what would it be?
Repeal the AMT.
3. Which is a more egregious tax on the American public: the AMT or the federal estate tax?
4. It has been suggested that the IRS should be eliminated. Do you believe that this makes sense, and if you do, what would you establish in its place?
An IRS at some level or another is of course necessary. With a flat tax, however, the need for a large IRS would be greatly diminished.
5. Do you think that significant tax cuts are possible considering the current state of the economy, specifically the escalating cost of the war in Iraq?
It’s necessary to shift to a flat tax of 17 percent to increase productivity and spur growth. It also is necessary to repeal the AMT or roll it back so it does not hurt the middle class. Both of these changes would have the effect of reducing the level of taxes paid by Americans, but it would also see additional revenues generated from economic growth and better compliance.
6. And just for fun, if Uncle Sam handed you a huge refund check right now, what would you do with it?
Buy more Green Bay Packer season tickets.
For more information on Governor Thompson’s policies, visit his website.