Pence raps Ramaswamy over inheritance tax idea

ANKENY — Former Vice President Mike Pence says extending the Trump era tax cuts will be a priority if he’s elected president.

“They’re temporary. They actually go away at the end of 2025,” Pence told Radio Iowa this morning. “I don’t think people understand we’re facing a massive tax increase if we don’t elect a Republican president, a Republican House and and a Republican senate.”

Pence, who’s on a three day campaign swing through Iowa, said he’d like to lower the income tax rate for individuals and families and make “a strong move” on the corporate tax rate. “I think driving toward a 15% corporate tax rate would take America from being competitive to having an advantage,” Pence said. “That’s the way you attract investment back in this country and create jobs here in Iowa and all across the country.”

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate tax rate from 35% down to 21%. The plan also doubled the standard deduction and cut individual income tax rates.

Pence also is calling attention to a tax idea floated by an opponent.

“What I’m not going to do is raise taxes and the people of Iowa deserve to know that Vivek Ramaswamy wants to raise inheritance taxes to 59%. It’s not been widely discussed, but it’s a position that he took some time ago,” Pence said. “I’ve spent most of my career in public life trying to eliminate death taxes.”

Ramaswamy — in his book “Nation of Victims” — has suggested the inheritance tax could be used to “save the country’s meritocracy from degenerating into autocracy” and would be a way of “redistributing duty.” Pence said he’ll oppose any effort “by Ramaswamy or anyone else” to raise inheritance taxes.

“Whether it’s the farmers here in Iowa, whether it’s small business owners — having the opportunity to pass along to the next generation savings that all were paid taxes on already is at the very heart at ensuring the vitality of the American dream,” Pence said.

Ramaswamy has recently said he supports a 12% flat tax on income. On his campaign website, Ramaswamy said he mentioned the inheritance tax in the book he released last year as part of a calculation for fully eliminating the federal income tax.