Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would be “welcoming” of a measure from Congress to defund the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if he’s elected president next year.
The comments from DeSantis, who officially announced this week that he would seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, came during a conversation with radio host and Second Amendment advocate Dana Loesch on The Dana Show.
During the interview, DeSantis was asked whether he would sign a measure from Congress to abolish the IRS through funding means, as well as what he would replace the system with.
“Are you for a fair tax, a flat tax, where do you stand on that?” Loesch asked DeSantis.
“So, the answer’s yes. I think the IRS is a corrupt organization and I think it’s not a friend to the average citizen or taxpayer,” DeSantis responded. “We need something totally different.”
“I’ve supported all of the single rate proposals, I think they would be a huge improvement over the current system and I would be welcoming to take this tax system, chunk it out the window and do something that’s more favorable to the average folks.”
DeSantis, who has repeatedly taken aim at the IRS for its unfair practices and crackdown on the middle class, said last August that an effort from the Biden administration to expand the IRS with 87,000 new agents was an indication of disrespect.
“Of all the things that have come out of Washington that have been outrageous, this has got to be pretty close to the top,” DeSantis said at the time. “I think it was basically just the middle finger to the American public, that this is what they think of you.”
DeSantis – highlighting the notion that Washington is “going after you” – also suggested at the time that the new agents would be more out to target those with small businesses or those who work to make ends meet through ordinary, day-to-day jobs.
“They are going to go after independent contractors, they’re going to go after small business people, they’re going to go after someone that may be driving an Uber or a handyman or all these things,” DeSantis added at the time. “Why would they do that? Because you’re not going to be able to contend with the audit, so they’re going to crush a lot of people by doing that.”
Discussing the same subject that month, DeSantis, who was commenting on the FBI’s raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate at the time, wrote in a tweet: “The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves. Now the Regime is getting another 87k IRS agents to wield against its adversaries? Banana Republic.”
During a 2013 appearance on Fox News, DeSantis said from a “policy perspective” that he believes the IRS “is really past its point of usefulness.”
“I think we need to move to a fair or flat tax and give the government less power,” DeSantis, then a member of the House Oversight and Judiciary committee, said at the time.
Ahead of DeSantis’ announcement that he will seek the White House, several of his detractors, including a super PAC supporting former President Donald Trump’s 2024 endeavors, took aim at the governor over his support for a national sales tax during his time representing the Sunshine State’s 6th Congressional District in the House from 2013 to 2018.
“In Congress, Ron DeSantis backed a national sales tax, a 23% tax hike on almost everything you buy … from the gas station to the grocery store,” stated an ad from MAGA Inc., the leading super PAC aligned with Trump’s candidacy in the 2024 race for the White House.
While it is true that DeSantis supported a bill that proposed introducing a 23% federal sales tax, key details were omitted from the ad. In accordance with the bill’s proposed federal sales tax, all other federal taxes, including the income tax, would have been eliminated if the bill had passed.
Known as the Fair Tax Act, or HR25, a version of the bill has been introduced in Congress multiple times since 1999. DeSantis co-sponsored the bill in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
“In Congress, the governor supported the concept of a Fair Tax, a plan to lower the overall tax burden on an individual by replacing all federal taxes — including income tax — with a lower tax,” Bryan Griffin, the DeSantis political team press secretary, said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital last week. “The plan also sought to end the IRS, which, at the time, was being weaponized by the Obama administration.”