October 19, 2006

Colorado: House Candidate Backs Away from National Sales Tax

Another contested House race, another tiff over whether the Republican candidate supports a national sales tax. Last night, incumbent Colorado House member John Salazar and his Republican challenger, Scott Tipton, tangled briefly over this issue: and the GOP challenger backed away from the proposal. Here's the Pueblo Chieftan's coverage:
Salazar faulted Tipton for supporting a national sales tax, saying it would shift more of the tax burden onto middle-class families. He also said the cost of the war had fueled the national debt to $8.7 trillion, or $28,000 per person in the U.S.
"For the first time, we are borrowing money from China to pay for this war," he said.
Tipton countered that he was not endorsing a national sales tax, but insisted that he had "the courage to explore it."

This would be funny if it weren't so exasperating. Many tax reform ideas can be made to sound attractive in sound-bite form-- but with the very bad ideas, the wheels fall off of public support for the idea as soon as you get past the sound bites to look at the details. Confronted with the harsh reality, Tipton is basically retreating to the sound bite.

A 2004 ITEP analysis showed that imposing a national sales tax would likely increase taxes for middle-income Coloradans by an average of $2,884. Check out the analysis here.


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