Last week, Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future rolled out its “12 American Solutions for Jobs & Prosperity” plan, which he calls an “alternative” to President Obama’s economic recovery plan that “isn’t more money for more government, more power for politicians and more make-work for bureaucrats.”
Bill Bennett hosted Gingrich on his radio show today, offering him a forum to push his proposals. During the conversation, Gingrich claimed that solution #8 on his list — eliminating the capital gains tax — was “a new, bold idea”:
GINGRICH: And we have three big things. First, we have zero capital gains. We eliminate the capital gains tax, which is the same as China and Singapore. Second, we go to the Irish corporate tax level, which is 12 and half percent. And third, we make permanent eliminating the death tax, so that small businesses and family-owned businesses aren’t threatened by the IRS when somebody passes away. Let me mention briefly on capital gains, cause it’s a new, bold idea. It’s one that Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin’s been working on.
There is nothing “new” about Gingrich’s idea. In fact, Gingrich has been pushing for it since 1997, when he was Speaker of the House:
Aggressively pushing tax cuts back to the forefront of his political agenda, Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested today that all capital gains and estate taxes be eliminated. He vowed that with or without President Clinton’s support, House Republicans would vote on a tax cut this year.
In September 2008, as the U.S. economy became undeniably weaker, Gingrich again proposed abolishing capital gains taxes, claiming that eliminating them “would cause the stocks held by two-thirds of the American people to soar in value.” But as Center for American Progress Action Fund Vice President for Economic Policy Michael Ettlinger pointed out, “there are, to say the least, flaws in this argument.”