Newt Gingrich's Tax Policy: Cut Newt Gingrich's Taxes

September 29, 2011 5:00 pm ET — Jamison Foser

Newt Gingrich lays out his tax policy:

Newt Gingrich tweet

Zero capital gains tax rate? That's great news for the rich. Already low capital gains tax rates are a big part of the reason why some super-rich people like Warren Buffett pay lower effective tax rates than their secretaries:

For the very richest Americans, low tax rates on capital gains are better than any Christmas gift. As a result of a pair of rate cuts, first under President Bill Clinton and then under Bush, most of the richest Americans pay lower overall tax rates than middle-class Americans do. And this is one reason the gap between the wealthy and the rest of the country is widening dramatically.

And Gingrich wants to completely eliminate capital gains taxes? That won't do much, if anything, for the vast majority of Americans, but a tiny handful of people who are already doing very well will save even more money. People so rich they can afford to run a million-dollar line of credit at a jewelry store — they'll do great under Newt Gingrich's tax plan. People like, just to pick one example... Newt Gingrich. Probably just a coincidence.

And that 12.5 percent corporate rate? That's a huge cut, too — the current top corporate rate is 35 percent, so under Gingrich's plan, big companies that are sitting on piles of cash will have even bigger piles of even more cash to sit on.

In short, Newt Gingrich's tax policies would be really good for rich people like Newt Gingrich, accelerating the already growing — and already massive — gap between the wealthy and everyone else. That kind of redistribution of wealth would be denounced as "class warfare" by Republicans like Newt Gingrich if the wealth were being redistributed in the other direction, towards people who don't have any.

When John Edwards ran for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, his public policy proposals were frequently discussed in the context of his personal wealth. That didn't make much sense — Edwards was proposing policies that would benefit the middle class and poor, at the (minor) expense of rich people like Edwards, and yet the media and conservatives behaved as though his combination of wealth and policy preferences was scandalous. Well, here's a rich presidential candidate proposing policies that would line his own pockets at the expense of the vast majority of Americans. Gingrich's personal wealth is an important part of any discussion of his policy proposals.