John McCain (has secured nomination)
McCain believes that the tax system is one that is fair and at its current state, stimulates wealth and a vibrant economy. McCain has openly defended his record saying repeatedly that he has never voted for, nor has he supported, a tax increase. But some critics point to his run for the Republican presidential nominee in 2000 when he criticized Bush’s tax plan for giving too much money in tax relief to the wealthy as evidence that he is not as Republican on his tax policy as he leads people to believe. Also, he has not signed the no-tax-increase pledge that has been circulating the Republican field and has served for the litmus test on taxes for Republican candidates. Instead, McCain is more focused on cutting federal spending. He would make the Bush tax cuts permanent, but his focus on tax reform policy lies in cutting federal spending... . . more | Other issues | Bio
Paul’s tax reform is based on eliminating the IRS and the income tax. But unlike others that oppose the income tax, Paul has not endorsed the Fair Tax commonly known as the consumption tax, although he notes that it would simplify the tax system. Paul has deemed the IRS unconstitutional and believes that all of America’s problems can be solved by looking into the constitution. He believes that if the reform does not either eliminate or reduce a tax, it is not sufficient. Paul has been accused of opposing any form of taxes, but he insists that he is only against the IRS. In addition to his position on the IRS, Paul is focused on cutting federal spending. On his blog, Paul says that, “Real conservatives have always supported low taxing and low spending.”. . .more | Other issues | Bio
Rudy Giuliani (dropped out)
As a Democrat for most of his adult life, Giuliani has said that the issue of taxes was what drew him to the Republican Party. And, as president, he would make the Bush tax cuts permanent. He would also “kill” the estate tax. Giulinai says that his platform on taxes is one of proof, not theory. He cites his success with cutting taxes while he was mayor of New York City, where unemployment dropped 50 percent and he collected 40 percent more from lower taxes than the city had collected from higher taxes.
“The way to do it sometimes is to reduce taxes and raise more money.” — Giuliani at the Iowa Debates.
In addition to lowering taxes, Giuliani plans to index the alternative minimum tax (AMT) according to inflation and lower corporate taxes. This is all a part of Giluiani’s theory that lowering the correct taxes stimulates businesses, thereby creating more jobs, which leads to more people spending more money and sparks an overall boost in the economy.. . . more | Other issues | Bio
Mike Huckabee (dropped out)
Huckabee believes that Americans should be taxed on what they buy not what they earn. He plans to enact this philosophy with the “FairTax,”what he refers to as the productivity tax. It will eliminate all income and payroll taxes essentially taking away the need for the IRS. Under the FairTax, Americans will only be taxed on what they buy and will receive monthly reimbursements on necessity purchases. What the Fair Tax does not do is put money in the government’s pocket, it is what Huckabee calls “revenue neutral.” Despite his tax hike-free reform plan, Huckabee has fallen under criticism from his Republican opponents, especially Romney, who pointed to his tenure as Arkansas governor where he raised the sales, gasoline and grocery tax. Huckabee has fired back stating that some taxes are necessary to ensure services such as firefighters and drivable roads are available to the public.... . . more | Other issues | Bio
Duncan Hunter (dropped out)
Hunter believes that increasing taxes only leads to an an increase in poverty. In order to combat this, Hunter supports cutting taxes for all Americans and not just those that are sectioned off based on their income and deemed worthy. Hunter has refused to sign the “no new tax” pledge on the grounds that there could be an emergency that would warrant tax increases. He is in favor of simplifying the tax system with either a fair tax or a flatter, simpler tax system. Although he has not devoted his entire tax reform policy to support the FairTax, Hunter has publicly sponsored it. At an Iowa debate, Hunter pointed out that the worst kind of tax-related spending was one that touched all Americans regardless of their income bracket, money spent toward tax preparation, and would move to rid the country of this financial burden. . . . more | Other issues | Bio
Romney understands that the current tax structure may not be perfect, but he does not think that throwing it out in exchange for the Fair Tax system that some of his opponents have discussed is sound policy. Instead, Romney proposes that the government is spending too much and believes that changing this is key to tax reform. The tool in which Romney plans to execute this with is the line-item veto - something in which he and Rudy Giuliani disagree. He is in favor of eliminating the tax on personal savings in order to encourage more Americans to put money away, the estate tax and he would make the Bush tax cuts permanent. His campaign, which has been filled with “no tax increase” promises, has been challenged by some Massachusetts businesses, which say that Romney raised taxes in Massachusetts as governor. Romney’s camp called these accusations not wholly true, stating that the changes he made in the Massachusetts tax structure were closing tax loopholes and “enforcing” tax law more than they were raising taxes. Still, Romney was the first Republican to sign the pledge not to increase taxes. At the end of an interview with U.S. News & World Report, Romney emphasized what his plan is to keep America’s economy on its current path, “Keep our taxes down and our spending down…Deregulate, deregulate, deregulate.”. . . more | Other issues | Bio
Tom Tancredo (dropped out)
Under the “productivity taxing” system that is in place today, Tancredo believes that every American pays too much. He is in favor of eliminating the income tax - and the IRS along with it - and moving toward the FairTax system that would employ sales tax only. Tancredo also supports a flat tax in which everyone regardless of their income would pay a set fee. He is in support of making Bush’s tax cuts permanent and has taken the oath not to increase taxes. Second on his tax reform agenda is decreasing federal spending. Tancredo suggests that only through the fundamental restructuring of social security and Medicare can federal spending ever be fully controlled.. . . more | Other issues | Bio
Fred Thompson (dropped out)
Thompson says the U.S. tax code is in need of reform so that it based on simplicity, fairness and growth. He says the Internal Revenue Service should be dissolved and a new U.S. tax code should be written that gets the government out of the pocketbooks of the citizens, while enhancing U.S. competitiveness. His plan calls for permanently extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, which are subject to expire in 2010. He also wants to reduce individual income tax rates to save every tax-paying family at least $500 and he wants to preserve the $1,000 child tax credit. His plan also includes repealing the death (estate) tax, repealing the alternative minimum tax, reducing the corporate tax rate, permanently extending small business expensing and updating the simplifying the depreciation tables. His plan would also give each taxpayer the choice of paying a simple flat tax or paying income taxes under the current tax code. . . more | Other issues | Bio
— Las Vegas Sun new media managing editor Dave Toplikar and intern Jenna Kohler compiled this report.