Taxes Take Center Stage
April 18, 2012 by Sam Rolley
Yesterday represented Tax Freedom Day in the United States, the day when the average American taxpayer has stopped working for the sole purpose of paying local, State and Federal taxes.
Republican Presidential contender Ron Paul took the opportunity to remind Americans of his dedication to undoing the U.S. tax system.
In a statement, Paul said:
My ultimate goal remains to repeal the 16th Amendment and end the tyranny of the IRS once and for all. Of the four men seeking the presidential nomination of one of the major parties — President Obama, Governor Romney, Speaker Gingrich, and myself — I am the only one who has consistently opposed increases in taxes and spending. I am also the only one who has consistently fought the Federal Reserve’s assault on the middle class’ standard of living. My campaign to Restore America Now is the clear choice for any American concerned about rolling back taxes, cutting spending, and curbing inflation.
Paul’s “Plan to Restore America” contains several tax provisions, it would:
- Extend 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
- Eliminate the individual income tax and the Internal Revenue Service.
- Lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent.
- Get rid of the estate tax.
- End taxes on personal savings and tips.
- Eliminate the dividends and capital gains taxes.
Newt Gingrich’s “Jobs and Growth Plan” would:
- Extend all 2001-2011 tax cuts that would otherwise expire in 2013.
- Offer an optional alternative tax system, which would create a 15 percent flat tax rate and allow taxpayers to claim a standard $12,000 exemption for each individual and dependent.
- Repeal the Federal estate tax.
- Lower the corporate tax rate to 12.5 percent.
- Capital gains, dividends and interest income would not be taxable under the flat tax system.
Mitt Romney’s plan would:
- Extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
- Allow some provisions set by the 2009 stimulus act to expire, including the earned income tax credit.
- Repeal the Federal estate tax.
- Cut the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.
- Extend for one year the full expensing of capital expenditures.
- Make the current research and experimentation credit permanent.
- Allow a “tax holiday” for the repatriation of corporate profits from abroad.
On Monday, the Senate blocked President Barack Obama’s “Buffett Rule” that would raise taxes on those with incomes higher than $1 million. The plan had been denounced by all of the GOP candidates and conservatives as a whole as a wealth-redistribution scheme.
As Romney has been declared the inevitable GOP nominee by the establishment, many pundits have focused more heavily on the candidate’s tax proposals and how they will be implemented.
Romney has identified specific loopholes and deductions for the wealthy that he plans to eliminate in order to finance his tax cut and ensure that the Nation’s top earners face the same tax burden they do today.
“I’m going to probably eliminate for high income people the second home mortgage deduction,” Romney said. “By virtue of doing that, we’ll get the same tax revenue, but we’ll have lower rates. The nice thing about lower rates is that small businesses get to keep a larger share of what they’re earning and plow it back in to hire more people and expand their business.”
To this point, he has been tight-lipped about the possibility of cutting Federal agencies to ease Americans’ tax burden. But a reporter recently overheard the candidate sounding much more like a conservative’s conservative at a closed-door fundraiser, according to MSNBC.
“I’m going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them. Some eliminate, but I’m probably not going to lay out just exactly which ones are going to go,” Romney said. “Things like Housing and Urban Development, which my dad was head of, that might not be around later. But I’m not going to actually go through these one by one. What I can tell you is, we’ve got far too many bureaucrats. I will send a lot of what happens in Washington back to the states.”