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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.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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