Steve King, the republican who represents the western third of Iowa in Congress, is angling to get on a special presidential commission. King is an advocate of getting rid of the national income tax and replacing it with a “consumption” or sales tax, and he wants to serve on the tax reform panel President Bush is assembling. King says he can’t rate his chances for landing a spot on the panel. “I certainly will be having a voice of some kind whether it’s me there physically or whether I’m feeding information in through a crack in the door, under a door or inside the door. One way or another, I’ll be providing some input.” King is one of nearly five dozen folks in the U.S. Congress who have sponsored a bill that calls for junking the income tax code and replacing it with a sales tax. Others are pushing for a so-called “flat tax” on income. King says a tax on income inhibits the production of Americans, and he wants to shift the tax toward consumption, which he argues will prompt Americans to earn more. King also says with a rebate for low-income Americans, the sales tax will be progressive because the rich will buy more expensive items — and pay higher sales taxes on a luxury car, for instance, and the poor buy a cheaper car on which they pay much lower sales taxes. King says that means someone like Bill Gates would pay the highest amount of tax, and low-income Americans would wind up with a rebate check. President Bush has provided few clues as to what tax reform he wants, but Bush has said he hopes to maintain the deduction for charitable contributions and the tax incentive for home ownership. King says he became an advocate of getting rid of the I-R-S after being audited for two consecutive years in the late 1970s.
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