Gingrich calls Obama plan to tax the wealthy “left-wing demagoguery”by Jane Musgrave | January 25th, 2012
MIAMI – With a full campaign schedule, GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich hasn’t had time today to fully critique President Obama’s State of the Union address.
But during a Latin Policy Address at Florida International University and again at a packed event in the parking lot of Wings Plus in Coral Springs, he called one of the proposals Obama floated Tuesday night “left-wing demagoguery” that could cripple the nation’s economy.
He blasted Obama’s plan to increase the capital gains tax from 15 to 30 percent for those who make over $1 million a year.
“I’m not sure the president understood but if he actually meant what he said it would be a disaster of the first order,” Gingrich told the crowd of about 200 in an FIU school auditorium.
“It would lead to a dramatic decline in the stock market which would affect every pension fund in the United States. It would affect every person who has a 401-K,” he said. “It would drive capital out of the United States. It would be the most anti-job step we could take.”
He said he would eliminate the capital gains tax and replace the current graduated income tax system with a 15 percent flat tax. His chief GOP rival Mitt Romney, who expects to pay 15 percent in taxes on the $20.9 million he earned on investments last year, said during a debate this week that under such a plan his tax bill would be zero.
Further, economists have pointed out that under Ronald Reagan, a president Gingrich lauds for bringing economic prosperity to the country, the capital gains rate was 28 percent. Under pressure from Gingrich and other Republicans, President Clinton reduced it to 20 percent. In 2003, President George W. Bush agreed to drop it to 15 percent.
Gingrich said taxing wealthy Americans, like Romney, isn’t fair. “I’d like to lower taxes so you would pay the same amount as Romney. He (Obama) would like to raise Romney’s taxes to pay as much as he can get out of him,” he said. “I’m for lower taxes and smaller government and he’s for higher taxes and bigger government.”