Flat tax renews fight on 'trickle-down economics'

October 26, 2011 - 4:30 PM
2012 GOP Flat Tax

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2011 file photo, Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Redmond, Wash. The flat tax is making a comeback among Republican presidential candidates. Most of the contenders _Mitt Romney's an exception _ offer a variation of the tax plan under which everyone pays the same rate. But a flat tax faces tough opposition in Congress because it tends to favor the rich at the expense of others. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The flat tax is making a comeback among Republican presidential candidates, but it would face tough opposition in Congress. It tends to favor the rich at the expense of the rest of taxpayers, renewing an old debate about "trickle-down economics."

Most of the top GOP contenders — Mitt Romney's an exception — offer a variation of the tax plan in which everyone pays the same rate. Businessman Herman Cain has his 9-9-9 tax proposal, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry unveiled a 20 percent flat tax on income this week.

The idea of a flat tax has long been championed by conservative politicians as being simple and fair. Liberals and many moderates contend a flat tax is a giveaway to the rich.