Two Republican U.S. Senate candidates unveiled further details of the policy reforms they would pursue if elected in November.
Vying alongside two others for the GOP nomination to take on retiring Democrat U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl’s seat, former Gov. Tommy Thompson and U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann both updated their plans for Congress over the last two days.
In a proposal released Monday, Thompson called for a renovation of the federal tax system.
According to the statement announcing the proposal, federal revenue would be limited to 18.5 percent of the gross domestic product. Individual people would then have the option of filing a single-page tax form with a 15 percent flat tax.
In addition to moving toward an overall flat tax after two years, Thompson also plans to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts, absolve households earning less than $100,000 from capital gains taxes and end federal taxes on Social Security income.
Thompson said in the statement that the plan fixed a “fundamentally dysfunctional” tax system and would keep more money in the pockets of American workers.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin released a statement in response to Thompson’s tax reforms asserting Thompson’s plan was in “reckless self-interest” and that the flat tax would only create a break for the wealthy, in addition to putting Social Security, Medicare and national security at risk.
Karin Johanson, campaign manager to U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who is the only Democratic candidate, was in accordance with the party, finding the reforms to be only “a façade of fair taxation.”
“It looks on its face that it is a fair tax but it is really a giant tax cut for millionaires,” Johanson said. “His plan actually increases taxes for the middle class.”
Johanson added that Baldwin’s current sponsorship of the Buffett Rule bill, which increases taxes for those with a combined income of more than $1 million, is a strong counterpoint to the Thompson plan that Baldwin supports.
Neumann also proposed a policy plan of his own Tuesday that would require constitutional citations for every bill passed in Congress and force former members to forfeit their federal pension and benefits if they become lobbyists later on.
According to Neumann’s spokesperson Chip Englander, Neumann’s plan will help clean up Washington, D.C.
“By getting rid of career-seeking congressmen and women and forcing former members of Congress to forfeit their pensions if they become lobbyists, we are ending the revolving door,” Englander said.
According to Englander, the conservative voters have responded positively to Neumann’s plan.
Englander added that Neumann is the only candidate who has a plan to balance the budget in five years. However, earlier details released by Thompson have also promised a balanced budget in five years.
Neumann also announced new endorsements and campaign donations Tuesday, revealing that the campaign raised $1.47 million as well as gaining an endorsement by the Citizens United political action committee.
According to the statement, Citizens United found Neumann to be the “voice of reason” in the race.
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and investor Eric Hovde are also running in the Republican primary. The winner will face Baldwin in the general election in November.