Flat Taxes and Tithing: How the GOP Candidates Plan to Affect Your Wallet

Donald Trump speaks while Ben Carson looks on during the CNBC Republican Presidential Debate held Oct. 28, 2015, at the University of Colorado in Boulder. 
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Bills have a due date. People need jobs. And the government is never shy about taking out its portion before you get your paycheck each month. Wednesday night’s debate in Boulder, Colo., was all about your money, or at least that is what was hoped. Per the usual, the moderators got sidetracked in their lines of questioning and gave ample reason for several candidates to respond to the disgust with the moderators’ questions versus having a full two-hour meaningful debate.

The 14 Republican presidential candidates who graced the stage Wednesday evening shared their plans that could directly benefit your monthly profit. Let’s be clear, they do not all agree on how to increase your financial freedom, yet their plans show hope for the future.


The national unemployment rate is 5.1 percent, while the unemployment rate in the black community is 9.2 percent. The nation is currently in debt by $13.08 trillion. This is more than double the amount in early 2008 of $5.34 trillion. Black students continue to carry a heavier load in student-loan debt.

Our current state of the economy, especially in black America, demands change. And hopefully, this time, in a way that will spur job creation in our community, incentivize small-business owners and entrepreneurs, and ensure you keep more of your hard-earned dollars.

Change that benefits you and me will rest on our shoulders. Who we elect as our next president will determine whether the wealth of white families will continue to surpass our wealth by 12 times. According to CNN, on average, a white family has about $134,000 in wealth, while a black family only has about $11,000.

The current tax rates range from 10 percent to 39.6 percent. If there is one area in which the Republican candidates agree, it is tax reform. Here are some highlights from Wednesday evening:

Dr. Ben Carson’s plan is a tithing-based tax plan. He proposes a flat tax of 10 percent to 15 percent. His plan has met opposition in the media and, on Wednesday evening, from his GOP-primary opponent Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Carson defended his plan: “We have 645 federal agencies and sub agencies. Anybody who tells me that we need every penny in every one of those is in a fantasy world. Also, we can stimulate, that’s going to be the real growth engine: Stimulate the economy.”


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) touted his tax plan, which he had released earlier Wednesday. His proposal is a simple flat tax. “A family of four pays nothing on the first $36,000; after that, you pay a 10 percent as a flat tax,” he explained. He said he believes that his plan will generate 4.9 million jobs and raise the income levels for all Americans. His proposal also includes a business flat tax of 16 percent.

After the start of a discussion on fantasy football, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said, “We have $19 trillion in debt. We have people out of work. We have ISIS and al-Qaida attacking us, and we’re talking about fantasy football?” Christie contrasted his plan with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s plan to raise Social Security taxes. With much boldness, Christie reminded viewers how he feels about Social Security and the country’s inability to provide: “The government has lied to you and stolen from you.”


Should we have to hire experts to understand the tax code? GOP candidate Carly Fiorina does not think so. The tax code is thousands of pages long, and she wants to reduce it to three pages. She believes  that you should not have to hire someone in order to pay your taxes. Fiorina said that she wants a level playing field for all Americans: “We need a leader in Washington who understands how to get something done.”

I wish I had a Magic 8 Ball and could tell you that each of these plans will make all your dreams come true. I cannot and will not. However, these plans are a step in the right direction. We need a president who will level the playing field and create an economic atmosphere for growth. Plus, ask yourself, “What is the harm in listening to how I can be on a level playing field in the next decade?”


Chelsi P. Henry is a Florida-based attorney, political strategist and entrepreneur. You can contact her at her website or on Twitter.

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