There’s no need for me to explain in detail the favored tax policy by each of the four leading candidates for the President of the United States for two reasons. First, Jeanne Sahadi wrote an excellent tax policy summary for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Secondly, the candidates’ stances now may be indicative of what will happen once they are sworn into office, but there are hurdles built into the system. Additionally, candidates’ positions can change between now and 2009
Here are some things to take away from what they candidates say they want.
* They all want to preserve recent tax cuts for low- to middle-income earners.
* The two Republicans want to preserve recent tax cuts for households earning over $250,000 while the Democrats want to repeal these cuts.
* Romney wants to lower the rate on the lowest tax bracket to 7.5% from 10% and exempt workers over 65 from having to pay Social Security tax.
* Obama wants to eliminate income tax for seniors earning less than $50,000 and add a $500 to $1,000 credit to all households with working family members (phased out for households with income between $150,000 and $200,000).
* The two Democrats want to expand the earned income tax credit and the saver’s credit.
There are more differences in the article.
The big questions are whether these positions will change as campaigns get tighter and we approach the general election, whether opinions will change once the new President is sworn in, and whether they can get the changes pushed through Congress.
According to the polls, the economy seems to be a hot issue among primary voters, and the candidates’ positions on income tax are related to this priority. Will the economy still be in the front of voters’ minds when the general election rolls around?
Updated February 10, 2011 and originally published February 6, 2008.