Capitol Alert

Art Laffer, he of the famous curve, wades into U.S. Senate race

Then-California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro speaks at a press conference at the party’s state convention in Burlingame.
Then-California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro speaks at a press conference at the party’s state convention in Burlingame. AP

Republican Tom Del Beccaro, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, said Wednesday that his tax plan has received the blessing of former Reagan adviser and supply-side economist Art Laffer.

Del Beccaro, a conservative ex-chairman of the California Republican Party, has made his proposed flat tax the centerpiece of his low-profile campaign, which faces long odds in a Democratic-leaning state. He is one of three Republicans in a field led by Democrats Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez.

His plan to overhaul the federal tax code and replace it with a 15.5 percent rate on wages, capital gains, dividends, interest and inheritance, previously drew praise from a trio of GOP wise men: Stephen Moore, Larry Kudlow and Lew Uhler. It also would strike the corporate tax and replace it with a 15.5 percent net business income tax.

The tax plan would create millions more jobs in America, Laffer said. “No state would benefit more from a low flat tax than California,” he added.

Flat tax proposals have gained in popularity in recent years, including among presidential candidates, but critics believe they disproportionately help the wealthy while potentially reducing funding for government programs that aim to alleviate poverty.

Del Beccaro said in an email that his proposal, which applies to federal and state taxes, would do away with a tax system that “picks winners and losers” and move to a tax code that “unleashes economic growth.”

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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