Arlen Specter, Proponent of Regressive "Flat Tax," Loses Primary Battle

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Arlen Specter, a long-time U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania who recently switched from the Republican party to the Democratic party, lost his primary battle on Tuesday against Representative Joe Sestak.

Since 1995, Senator Specter introduced legislation to create a federal “flat tax” in every session of Congress, including this session.  This single-rate tax would replace the existing progressive personal income tax, as well as the corporate income tax and estate tax.

A recent report from Citizens for Tax Justice found that Specter's proposal would cut taxes for the richest five percent of taxpayers and raise taxes for everyone else.

The Specter plan was based on the “Flat Tax,” first proposed in a 1983 book by Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka. The Flat-Tax authors wrote that it “will be a tremendous boon to the economic elite” and also admitted that “it is an obvious mathematical law that lower taxes on the successful will have to be made up by higher taxes on average people.”

Sestak will go on to face Republican Pat Toomey, a former Representative and a former president of the right-wing Club for Growth.

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