Here is my 2 cents worth on the plans-
(1) Make most Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 permanent. OK so far. The whole idea of “sunsetting” is stupid, as is making tax changes temporary with the need to extend each or every other year.
(2) Raise the Estate Tax personal exemption from $1 million to $5 million. While not a fan of the Estate Tax I am hesitant to do away with it altogether because of a fear of losing the “stepped-up basis” in inherited property. So I am OK with this as well. I would also make the Gift Tax exemption (unified credit) equal to the Estate Tax exemption.
(3) Eliminate the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) altogether. Yes! Yes! Yes! A resounding OK – two thumbs up for this proposal. The AMT must be destroyed!
(4) An alternative two-rate income tax code that claims would simplify the system. Taxpayers would choose which code to use. Here is where we start to differ. I have discussed this proposal in the past. Why make it an option – make the simplified system the official tax system.
(5) Raise the limits on tax rates, which would shift taxpayers from the 28% rate to 15%. I suppose it sounds good on the surface.
(6) Reduce the corporate tax rate and close corporate tax loopholes. You can’t do one without the other – so I am OK with this. For my money the best way to reduce corporate taxes is to create a “Dividends Paid” deduction for corporations.
(1) Keep the Bush tax cuts for all but those earning more than $250,000. What makes Obama think that a couple earning $250,000 is wealthy. Perhaps in Kansas the couple is filthy rich – but not so in New York or New Jersey. Why should we punish those who earn more by having them pay a disproportionately higher share of taxes while we continue to increase the number of tax “non-payers”?
(2) More tax cuts for the middle class resulting in about $1000 per family. The concept is OK – but it depends on the details.
(3) Seniors making less than $50,000 would be exempt from tax. Creating more tax “non-payers”. Why not just do away with the tax on Social Security benefits for those age 65 or older.
(4) Increase the capital gains tax rates to between 20 and 28%. No! No! No!
(5) Simplification of the tax code. Yes! Yes! Yes! However, Democratic candidate plans have called for more complicated credits and deductions.
Perhaps the only thing that George W did right in his 8 years in office was create the commission to review and make recommendations for substantially simplifying the Tax Code. But when it did not recommend exactly what he wanted he turned his attention elsewhere. This process needs to be reinstated.
What do you think?