Jon Huntsman hinted to The Daily that he might run as the nominee for a party other than the Republicans.
After vowing to run as a Republican or nothing at all, Huntsman gave himself a little wiggle room this week to be the nominee of Americans Elect, a well-funded nonprofit group well on its way to getting on the presidential ballot in all 50 states.
The lagging GOP contender told The Daily he is “not even considering” an Americans Elect run, though he quickly added the qualifier “when I’m running as a Republican.”
When Colbert played a sound effect of a stereotypical Chinese riff, Huntsman joked, “When’s the delivery food coming?” After a few seconds of awkward silence, Colbert replied, “Did that go over well in Beijing?” This portion of the interview was cut for time from the broadcast. “There was a gasp,” audience member Dana Cole told ABC News. “A little tasteless. No one really saw it coming. He got ahead of himself.”
Representative Michele Bachmann noted recently that 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income tax; all of them, she said, should pay something because they benefit from parks, roads and national security. (Interesting that she acknowledged government has a purpose.) Gov. Rick Perry, in the announcement of his candidacy, said he was dismayed at the “injustice” that nearly half of Americans do not pay income tax. Jon Huntsman Jr., up to now the most reasonable in the Republican presidential field, said not enough Americans pay tax.
Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, and several senators have made similar arguments, variations of the idea expressed earlier by Senator Dan Coats of Indiana that “everyone needs to have some skin in the game.”
This is factually wrong, economically wrong and morally wrong. First, the facts: a vast majority of Americans have skin in the tax game. Even if they earn too little to qualify for the income tax, they pay payroll taxes (which Republicans want to raise), gasoline excise taxes and state and local taxes. Only 14 percent of households pay neither income nor payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center at the Brookings Institution. The poorest fifth paid an average of 16.3 percent of income in taxes in 2010.
Economically, reducing the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit — which would be required if everyone paid income taxes — makes no sense at a time of high unemployment. The credits, which only go to working people, have always been a strong incentive to work, as even some conservative economists say, and have increased the labor force while reducing the welfare rolls.
The moral argument would have been obvious before this polarized year. Nearly 90 percent of the families that paid no income tax make less than $40,000, most much less. The real problem is that so many Americans are struggling on such a small income, not whether they pay taxes. The two tax credits lifted 7.2 million people out of poverty in 2009, including four million children. At a time when high-income households are paying their lowest share of federal taxes in decades, when corporations frequently avoid paying any tax, it is clear who should bear a larger burden and who should not.
-The New York Times. Without a doubt, this is the best editorial I have read all year. Read the entire piece here.
She makes for good copy—and good photography,
Thomas Burr, Washington correspondent for The Salt Lake Tribune:
You know, he said the last time I interviewed him—he talked about how he wants to run a very, you know, civil campaign. He did talk [Tuesday] about the president a little bit, but not in any way that was negative towards him. In fact, he said he respected the president, which is not something you really expect to hear at a Republican announcing.
That‘s very Jon Huntsman.
When he ran his last two campaigns in Utah, in fact, I interviewed the Democratic candidate, he called Huntsman a gentleman.
The first time around in 2004, Scott Matheson was the Democratic candidate. When Huntsman won, Scott Matheson walked a block over to the GOP headquarters, walked in and hugged Huntsman and congratulated him.
This is Jon Huntsman.
‘I don’t know where this is all coming from. It’s way overblown.’