In an on-the-record conversation at a Bloomberg View editorial meeting, the former Utah governor and ambassador to China said that in his effort to reform the tax code and reduce the deficit he would be willing to:
1.) take away the deduction for interest on home mortgages;
2.) treat capital gains as regular income;
3.) do the same with carried interest (that is, the profit share paid to hedge-fund managers and private-equity folks).
Huntsman, who spoke for about an hour about the Chinese economy, his focus on New Hampshire, and fitting 18-wheelers with engines that run on natural gas, plans to make a more detailed economic-policy speech soon.
Update, 9:45 a.m Aug. 26: Huntsman's spokesman, Tim Miller, sent an e-mail to clarify the the candidate''s view. He writes: "Governor Huntsman believes that tax reform should have no sacred cows, but as he's said many times he does not believe in raising taxes and that any tax reform should be revenue neutral. In that vein, he does not support any policy that would increase the capital gains or carried interest rates."
We look forward to the governor's speech, and to hearing how his tax reform plans are in sync with the ideas he described at the meeting.
(David Shipley is executive editor of Bloomberg View.)