Contact:Bob Harris

Reading Mr. Walker's retreat on the flat tax when he went before the Greensboro Realtors made me think about Steve Forbes.

In 1996, I had the honor of working in his Presidential campaign. Mr. Forbes practically invented the flat tax-one 17% tax rate, no loopholes and a $36,000 standard deduction. Fill out your tax form on a postcard and a completely fair system.

When Mr. Forbes got to the Des Moines Register Debate before the Caucus, he was leading the polls and Bob Dole, Pat Buchanan and the rest were seething. They ganged up, attacked Forbes for stealing the mortgage deduction, ruining churches with no charity deduction and killing the family farm with no depreciation deduction. Steve Forbes answered all the fury with the facts. Just about everyone would have been better off with the flat tax. But it didn't matter. His campaign still collapsed under the shrill attacks.

When Mark Walker got to the Realtors the other day, he jumped off the flat tax like a cat on a hot stove. Remember that when Mr. Walker announced he was going to run against Howard Coble “He said Wednesday that, if elected, he’d focus on tax reforms, perhaps by blending fair and flat tax proposals.

Then, he wrote on his website “It is time for tax reform through a radical change in our current tax code The flat tax and fair tax models are much better models and could be implemented whereby all Americans share some responsibility”.

Supporting a real flat tax or the fair tax, a 23% national sales tax, gores every ox. And the Realtors and Berger pinned down Mark Walker.

Unlike Steve Forbes, Mark Walker folded. He saluted the mortgage interest deduction as “fundamental to the American dream”. Then he endorsed deductions for charity, colleges and something called Section 1031 write off. What other deductions Mark Walker came out for, I really can't say because the article didn't cover everything that might have happened.

Personally, I like the flat tax. I don't like the fair tax. But what I really like is a candidate with guts enough to tell you where he stands and stick by it under pressure.

Mark Walker won't sign the pledge against Obama's tax increases. And before the Realtors, Mark Walker went back on the flat tax and fair tax. The more you think about it, the more you realize-Mark Walker is just another politician.

He's certainly no Steve Forbes

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