In what appears to be his first non-spokesperson explanation in the media of his comment that “we’ve got almost half the population perfectly happy that somebody else is paying” income tax, Beauprez said on a Colorado Springs radio show Saturday that in his 2010 Rotary-Club speech, he was “lamenting” that more people couldn’t be like Beauprez’s father, who fought his way out of poverty, when he paid no income tax, and later made enough money to achieve “some degree of success and prosperity” and to pay “part of the load to carry this state and this great nation.”
Beauprez went on to suggest that it would be more fair to throw out the current income tax code and replace it with a consumption tax.
“I think taxing consumption is a whole lot better idea than taxing work, or the income from work,” Beauprez told KVOR host Ed Jones July 5. “And I think it is more equitable and more fair. So yeah, I think we ought to move that direction. I wrote a book, published in 2009, and I said we ought to take the entire tax code –the whole thing– light it on fire and start all over. And if we start over with that kind of a tax system, I think we’d be far better off and really stimulate this economy.
Jones, substituting for regular host Jeff Crank, did not ask Beauprez how his father’s story squares with Beauprez’s comment that almost half the population is “perfectly happy” not to pay tax. Judging from Beauprez’s story, Beauprez’s father didn’t seem happy at all not to pay income tax, much less perfectly happy.
Neither did Jones ask Romney for details on how his proposed consumption tax, typically applied to the sale goods and services.
HOST ED JONES: Let me go back to something, and–Goll–Governor, again, you are so right! Now, the Dems have come out with this ad on this Rotary Club speech you made four years ago about the 47 percent, [chuckles] – and you were right! And you’re still right!
GOP GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE BOB BEAUPREZ: Well, I was right. Forty-seven percent of folks don’t pay income tax.
JONES: That’s right.
BEAUPREZ: I want to make sure people understand that – income tax. And what I was lamenting in that, Ed, is not that some do and some don’t.
BEAUPREZ: What I was harkening back to was a lesson, again, taught to me by my folks
BEAUPREZ: They went through a period of time when they were so poor that they—not only they didn’t owe any taxes, if they did, they wouldn’t have had any cash to pay it. But what brought it to mind, was I overheard them talking about what their tax bill was going to be, and it seemed like a lot of money at the time, and so I said something, “Wow! That seems like a lot!” My dad took that as an opportunity to point out to me, he said, “Bob, This–we’ve been there before. We were so poor we didn’t—and troubled, during dry years on the farm, we didn’t owe any taxes,“ he said. “I don’t ever want to go there again.”
BEAUPREZ: And he took it as a sign that not only they had achieved some degree of success and prosperity, but they were paying a part of the load to carry this state and this great nation. And he was proud of that fact. What I was lamenting in those comments I made, was that more people don’t have that opportunity for something Arthur Brooks at AEI calls ‘earned success’.
JONES: Yes. Uh-huh.
BEAUPREZ: And I think that’s always something that has identified certainly this great state and this great nation, is the opportunity to earn a piece of that American Dream and make your mark.
BEAUPREZ: That’s my frustration, is we’re now about 250,000 jobs short of where we normally would be in Colorado.
BEAUPREZ: A lot of the jobs that have been created are entry level jobs. So we’ve got to get to the point again where we’re really a society, a state, a culture, where big dreams can happen. Not just “a” job, but a real career opportunity and the kind of opportunity that’s always been a part of Colorado.
HOST JIMMY BENSBERG: Well, Bob we’ve got a fellow on the line who is familiar with providing jobs right here in Colorado Springs. Let’s see if we can get him on the line, here, it’s Ed Bircham. Ed, welcome to the show.
ED BIRCHAM: Yeah, good morning! You guys [are] doing a great job and a great get-together at the headquarters the other day [referring to the GOP unity tour passing through El Paso County]. And Mr. Beauprez, as a businessman myself, [a] successful immigrant from England, here’s my problem with people like [“Socialist”] Steve [a regular listener and caller to the Jeff Crank Show] calling in. Steve would have you believe that the only people who have and money is Republicans. But, look, we’ve got Buffett. We’ve got Gates. We’ve got Soros. So, get out off this kick of ‘just the rich people are Republicans’. What Steve doesn’t understand, Governor – and I’m calling you Governor because you will be, and you’ve got a great Lieutenant Governor [Jill Repella], I was very impressed with her the other day. But my point to Steve is corporations hire people. And your question about the forty-three or forty-seven percent, the only way we’re going to get these people, in my opinon, is we’ve got to go to a flat tax, a consumer tax, get rid of the IRS. And if you’re going to live in this great country, you have to pay something, Governor! Wouldn’t you agree that we just can’t have this number of people –we can take care of the poor people. We have a way to do that. But we just can’t have people not paying something. Do you agree with that?
BEAUPREZ: Yeah, in fact, when I was in Congress, I did endorse a –the consumer –the consumption tax, typically called the Fair Tax idea. John Lenders was the sponsor of it. He sat next to me on Ways and Means [Committee], and we had a whole lot of discussions about it, and I think taxing consumption is a whole lot better idea than taxing work, or the income from work. And I think it is more equitable and more fair. So yeah, I think we ought to move that direction. I wrote a book, published in 2009, and I said we ought to take the entire tax code –the whole thing– light it on fire and start all over. And if we start over with that kind of a tax system, I think we’d be far better off and really stimulate this economy.