Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said he belongs to the “tax-cutting party,” but lowering rates for individuals will be one of Washington's most daunting tasks.
“I really believe that the personal tax cuts are going to be very hard to achieve early on,” the Ohio governor said in an interview with Bloomberg's With All Due Respect on Thursday. “I've been involved in tax reform. I think it's harder than balancing the budget.”
Kasich, a former chairman of the U.S. House budget committee and a former Lehman Brothers Inc. managing director, said the Republican Party will probably come “pretty close to where I am” on taxes. He's proposed a lower capital gains rate, and three income tax brackets with a top rate of 28 percent.
Kasich said “everybody,” including Democrats, agrees on lowering corporate taxes. And he said voters he meets on the campaign trail understand that a flat income tax rate in the teens isn't realistic.
Neither, he said, is the 90 percent marginal tax rate that Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders once flirted with. (He now backs a top rate of 52 percent.) “I think Bernie could be the president of Ben & Jerry’s but I don’t think of the United States. He’s too far out,” Kasich said.
The interview took place in New Hampshire, where Kasich is battling for second place ahead of the state's Feb. 9 primary. He trails front-runner Donald Trump by 20 points in the RealClearPolitics poll average. See the interview on Bloomberg TV and BloombergPolitics.com at 5 p.m. ET.
—With assistance from Ben Brody in Washington.