Last updated on: 9/2/2015 10:08:49 AM PST
Should Any Federal Taxes Be Increased?
"[A] priority must be reforming our tax code... First, hard-working families need and deserve tax relief and simplification. Second, those at the top have to pay their fair share. That's why I support the Buffet Rule, which makes sure millionaires do not pay lower rates than their secretaries. I have called for closing the carried interest loophole, that lets wealthy financiers pay an artificially low rate.
And let's agree that hugely successful companies that benefit from everything that America has to offer, should not be able to game the system and avoid paying their fair share, especially while companies who can't afford high-priced lawyers and lobbyists end up paying more."
Source: Wall Street Journal, "Hillary Clinton Transcript: Building the 'Growth and Fairness Economy,'" wsj.com, July 13, 2015
"[W]e're calling for a fair tax system. So we have, for example, a financial transaction tax, which would bring hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy; an offshore tax haven tax; and a progressive tax on millionaires and billionaires."
Source: The Real News Network, "Why Is the Green Party's Jill Stein Running to Be President," therealnews.com, Mar. 19, 2012
"Let me just set it straight. I put in the biggest tax decrease of anyone running for office so far. And that really is a proposal because we have to go to Congress... I said I may have to increase it on the wealthy. I'm not going to allow it to be increased on the middle class. Now, if I increase on the wealthy, that means they're still going to being paying less than they pay now. I'm not talking about increasing [the tax rate] at this point. I'm talking about increasing [the numbers] from my tax proposal."
[Editor's Note: Trump previously expressed a PRO opinion on this question. Read Trump's former position on increasing federal taxes]
Source: Eric Levitz, "Donald Trump Does Not Want to Raise Taxes on the Wealthy," nymag.com, May 9, 2016
Now Not Clearly Pro or Con
"[W]e need to get rid of the income tax… We need to stop taxing work, savings and investment. I advocate removing all income taxes, all capital-gains taxes, and replacing them with a consumption tax, kind of a national sales tax called the Fair-tax.
[Editor's Note: Johnson previously expressed a CON opinion on this question. Read Johnson's former position on increasing federal taxes.]
We also need to get rid of payroll taxes… Some think the Fair-tax is regressive, but in fact it’s progressive - taxing the wealthy more than the poor. Fair-tax issues a ‘prebate’ for families to spend on food, clothing, transportation, medical care or whatever they want to spend it on - it's their money."
Source: Gary Johnson, "Johnson: Let's Get America Moving Again," washingtontimes.com, Feb. 2, 2012
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria
appear below in black and white and in alphabetical order.)
"Implement a Financial Transaction Tax to Limit High-Frequency Trading: High-frequency trading creates volatility and unnecessary risk in financial markets, while serving no productive purpose in the real economy. A small tax should be applied to each sale and purchase of a financial instrument to limit this activity - one that would be nearly imperceptible to longer-term investors, but could dramatically cut down on high-risk, speculative activity on Wall Street.
Implement a financial transaction tax: The tax will be well-designed not to soak financial traders, but to fix bad incentives for speculation that comes at the cost of real job-creating investment."
Source: "Protecting the American Dream from Another Wall Street Crash," martinomalley.com, July 2015
"[W]e have to raise individual tax rates [for the wealthy] substantially higher than they are today because almost all of the new income is going to the top 1%.
[Editor's Note: In addition to the above mentioned tax increases, Bernie Sanders stated the following on his campaign website page "Income and Wealth Inequality," available at berniesanders.com: "As president, Sen. Sanders will stop corporations from shifting their profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying US income taxes. He will create a progressive estate tax on the top 0.3 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million." Bernie Sanders has also stated his support for a 6.2% tax on investment income above $250,000.]
And yes, those folks and large corporations will have to pay under a Sanders administration, more in taxes, so that we can use that revenue to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, create the jobs we need, make sure that every kid who has the ability is able to get a college education in America because public colleges and public universities will be tuition-free."
Source: Eric Bradner, "Bernie Sanders Says He'd Raise Taxes," cnn.com, July 5, 2015
"I'm not in favor of increasing taxes on anyone.
And in New Jersey, I have proven that. We haven't raised taxes on anyone in six years. In fact, Americans for Tax Reform just said two weeks ago that I vetoed more tax increases than any governor in American history. I vetoed over 400 bills that the Democratic legislature has sent me that would have increased spending and increased taxes. And every veto has been sustained.
The fact is you either have to hold the line on taxes or you don't. Once you let them get their foot in the door, they're coming for your wallet next. Whoever the person in the middle class is who thinks higher taxes on somebody else is going to lead to higher taxes on them, it is."
Source: The Lead with Jake Tapper, CNN, Sep. 9, 2015
"When it comes to jobs and growth and opportunity, the two most effective levers that the federal government has to facilitate small businesses creating new jobs, are tax reform and regulatory reform...
[Editor's Note: Ted Cruz has signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to "oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes." (accessed on Oct. 5, 2015)]
I am campaigning on a flat tax that would allow every American to fill out his or her taxes on a post card that allow us to abolish the IRS."
Source: David M. Drucker, "Ted Cruz Gets Specific on 'Abolishing the IRS,'" washingtonexaminer.com, Apr. 24, 2015
"The only way to get a bureaucracy under control is to do two things. Give it less money—we haven't done that for 50 years. And know where every dollar's being spent. I am a prioritize-tax-dollars Republican...
We have to have lower rates. The government needs to take in less tax money, not more. There's only one way to cut deficits - actually, there are two ways, and they go hand in hand. Grow the economy, cut spending."
Source: John Harwood, "10 Questions for Carly Fiorina," cnbc.com, Sep. 16, 2015
"We need the FairTax.
• The FairTax brings trillions of dollars in offshore investment and manufacturing back to the United States - creating millions of good jobs for American workers.
• The FairTax is the only plan that lowers everyone's tax rates, untaxes the poor, broadens the tax base, and helps protect Social Security and Medicare.
• The FairTax is the only plan that guarantees criminals, illegal immigrants, and all who operate in the underground economy pay their fair share - not just hard working Americans who play by the rules.
• The FairTax is the only plan that guarantees Washington bureaucrats don't have access to your personal financial information.
I cut taxes nearly 100 times as governor, including the first broad-based tax cut in the history of my state. It's time for Washington to wake-up because America's tax system is badly broken and beyond repair."
Source: Huckabee 2016, "Abolishing the IRS—Fair Tax," www.mikehuckabee.com/tax-reform (accessed Aug. 19, 2015)
"The federal government's high taxes and complex tax code are barriers to economic growth whose negative effects are especially harmful as America's economic recovery continues to struggle. John Kasich will work with Congress to cut personal and business taxes, simplify the tax code and initiate a top-to-bottom review of our tax system to eliminate barriers to innovation, and root-out bias, arrogance and corruption in the Internal Revenue Service.
TAX CUTS FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES:
Lowering income tax rates, reducing the number of brackets, and increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit will allow all taxpayers, especially low and middle income earners, to keep more of their own money and be better able to save and invest for the future.
TAX CUTS FOR JOB CREATORS:
Lower taxes and incentives to invest will restore global competitiveness to America's business tax system to help create new jobs."
Source: Kasich for America, "Kasich Action Plan: Reclaiming Our Power, Money, & Influence from Washington," johnkasich.com (accessed Oct. 16, 2015)
"Some of my fellow Republican candidates for the presidency have proposed plans to fix the tax system. These proposals are a step in the right direction, but the tax code has grown so corrupt, complicated, intrusive and antigrowth that I've concluded the system isn't fixable.
[Editor's Note: Rand Paul has signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to "oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes." (accessed on Oct. 5, 2015)]
So I am announcing an over $2 trillion tax cut that would repeal the entire IRS tax code—more than 70,000 pages—and replace it with a low, broad-based tax of 14.5% on individuals and businesses. I would eliminate nearly every special-interest loophole. The plan also eliminates the payroll tax on workers and several federal taxes outright, including gift and estate taxes, telephone taxes, and all duties and tariffs. I call this 'The Fair and Flat Tax.'"
Source: Rand Paul, "Taxes," randpaul.com (accessed Aug. 28, 2016)
"The current tax code taxes too much, taxes unfairly, and conspires with our outmoded welfare system to trap poor families in poverty, rather than facilitate their climb into the middle class. Our reforms seek to simplify the structure and lower rates. How? By consolidating the many existing income tax brackets into two simple brackets—15% and 35%—and eliminating or reforming deductions, especially those that disproportionately benefit the privileged few at everyone else’s expense."
[Editor's Note: Marco Rubio has signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to "oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes." (accessed on Oct. 5, 2015)]
Source: Marco Rubio and Mike Lee, "We Must Have a Pro-Family, Pro-Growth Tax Reform," marcorubio.com (accessed Oct. 5, 2015)
Not Clearly Pro or Con
"Restoring the right to rise in America requires accelerating growth, and that can't be done without a complete overhaul of the U.S. tax code...
[Editor's Note: Jeb Bush has not signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to "oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes." (accessed on Oct. 5, 2015)]
I want to lower taxes and make the tax code simple, fair and clear. It should be easy to understand and make it easy for people to fill out their own tax forms.
We will cut individual rates from seven brackets to three: 28%, 25% and 10%...
The plan nearly doubles the standard deduction now taken by roughly two-thirds of all filers. It eliminates the marriage penalty, expands the Earned Income Tax Credit, ends the death tax, retires the Alternative Minimum Tax and ends the employee’s share of the Social Security tax on earnings for workers older than 67...
Second, I want to eliminate the convoluted, lobbyist-created loopholes in the code. For years, wealthy individuals have deducted a much greater share of their income than everyone else. We will retain the deductibility of charitable contributions but cap the deductions used by the wealthy and Washington special interests, enabling tax-rate cuts across the board for everyone...
I will cut the corporate tax rate from 35%—the highest in the industrial world—to 20%."
Source: Jeb Bush, "Jeb Bush: Reform & Growth," jeb2016.com, Sep. 8, 2015
Not Clearly Pro or Con
"Well, I like the idea of a proportional tax. That way you pay according to your ability. And I got that idea, quite frankly, from the Bible, tithing. You make $10 billion a year, you pay $1 billion. You make $10 a year, you pay $1. You get the same rights. That's pretty darn fair, if you ask me.
Now, some people say it's not fair because, you know, the poor people can't afford to pay that dollar. That's very condescending. You know, I grew up very poor. I experienced every economic level. And I can tell you poor people have pride, too. And they don't want to be just taken care of.
And also, if everybody is paying, it makes it very difficult for these politicians to come along and raise taxes. It's easy to raise it on 1 percent or 2 percent or 5 percent. It's very difficult to raise it on 100 percent."
Source: FoxNews.com, "Can Dr. Ben Carson Emerge from Crowded GOP Field? Plus Rep. Michael McCaul on Threat from Homegrown Terrorism," www.foxnews.com, May 10, 2015
Not Clearly Pro or Con
"Lower Rates While Limiting Distortions. Our individual and corporate marginal rates are some of the highest in the industrialized world, putting our economy and our workforce at an enormous competitive disadvantage. At the same time, the volume and scope of credits, deductions, and carve-outs create enormous loopholes and reward those who can afford an army of tax attorneys at the expense of working families and small businesses. We must lower marginal rates while streamlining the overall process and limiting the use of deductions and credits that are not cost-effective and have a distortionary effect on our tax system."
Source: Lindsey Graham 2016, "Ease Tax and Regulatory Burdens," www.lindseygraham.com (accessed Aug. 19, 2015)