I in a recent debate among the Republican hopefuls for 2016 the moderator posed the question regarding taxes citing that 68% of Americans polled support an increase in taxes for those making over a $1 Million per year. Is that truly reflective of America? Is that the result of the persistent attempt to create a class or economic warfare where the rich are hated for being rich and a desire to “spread the wealth?” I don’t know, but I suspect it has more to do with envy and jealousy and buying into the diatribe and rhetoric that the rich are not paying their fair share. Whatever a fair share is!
I thought it would be germane to our discussion and vetting of the candidates to consider where they stand on personal and corporate income taxes. I have been surprised in discussing the various candidates with friends and those I meet, how little they know about where their preferred candidate stands on these issues. I will address the Republican and Democrat Candidates in alphabetical order regarding their proposed Tax Rates. I cannot go into the full details of their individual plans, you will need to go to their websites and review the details.
- Jeb Bush – – Top individual rate 28% and 20% for corporations. He would eliminate State and local deductions, offer a new break for lower earning spouses and the full and immediate write-off of capital investments with no interest deduction.
- Ben Carson – – Top individual rate 14.9% for individuals and businesses. He would abolish all tax credits and deductions, eliminate taxes on estates, capital gains, dividends and interest. His tax rates would apply above 150% of the federal poverty level.
- Ted Cruz – – Flat Tax of 10% for individuals and 16% for businesses. He would keep the mortgage and charitable contribution deductions as well as tax-deferred savings accounts. Businesses could deduct investments.
- John Kasich – – Top individual rate 28% and 25% for corporations. Full write-off of capital investments and expand the earned-income tax credit.
- Marco Rubio – – Top individual rate 35% and 25% for businesses. No taxes on capital gains and dividends from new investments. He adds a $2,500 child tax credit.
- Donald Trump – – Top individual rate 25% and 15% for businesses. Removes individuals with income under $25,000 and married couples under $50,000 from income tax.
On the Democrat side, I have seen numerous plans and Hillary and Bernie both support a tax code that would have at least 49-50% tax rate on the top individuals.
- Hillary Clinton – – Proposes higher capital gains rates on assets held for 1-6 years and a 4% “Fair Share Surcharge” on taxpayers making more than $5 Million per year. Debt free Tuition at public colleges and expanded childcare assistance programs. More entitlements.
- Bernie Sanders – – Proposes a 0.2% payroll tax increase to pay for family leave program. Keep the Death or Estate Tax and have it begin at $3.5 Million instead of the current $5.45 Million. Impose Social Security Payroll taxes on wages over $250,000 no caps. His health plan would require a new 6.2% business payroll tax and a 2.2% tax for all top rates up to 52%. Expand Social Security benefits, free tuition to public colleges and universal health and child care.
At this point, among the candidates, we have the Democrats proposing a tax increase and most of the Republicans proposing tax reductions although Rubio’s is a minimal reduction. The Bush and Kasich plans are incredibly similar in rate and extras. Dr. Carson’s plan would give a dramatic reduction for individuals and businesses. Ted Cruz would move away from the progressive tax plan to a Flat Tax. There are nuisances of each plan that each of us should carefully consider.
However, I suggest that these are all PLANS and PROPOSALS and not guarantees that they can or will get them enacted by congressional legislation. When I hear a candidate say, “I will do this or that” I take it with a grain of salt and reflect on the process upon which our government works or is supposed to work. We have had over seven years of lawlessness in which the sitting president acts as a King or Potentate and imposes his will on Congress, the Courts, and the People. NO MORE! That must stop and so far as I am able to discern the GOP candidates have indicated they will not follow that path, so I am hopeful.
I personally believe that everyone should have skin in the game and when we have half of the population paying ZERO TAXES voting to increase taxes on the other half we have a problem of epic proportions. If everyone had a stake in the American government we would see a renewed push for limited government as proposed and established by the Constitution and our founding fathers.
God bless you and God bless America!