State of Michigan Archives: on Tax Reform


Rick Snyder: Simplify the tax code; end job-killing Business Tax

These [new tax reform] bills bring greater fairness and simplicity to Michigan's tax structure while aggressively positioning the state to be economically competitive. The new laws eliminate the job-killing Michigan Business Tax, simplify the tax code, level the playing field among taxpayers and protect low-income families. We will encourage entrepreneurship & spur investment in Michigan. The changes take Michigan from 30th to 16th in the nation in terms of lowest state and local business tax burden.
Source: Michigan 2011 gubernatorial press release, #256823 May 25, 2011

Jack Hoogendyk: Lower corporate taxes; keep tax cuts; end death tax

Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, jackformichigan.org, ďIssuesĒ May 2, 2008

Duncan Hunter: Sponsored FairTax proposal

Q: Tell us about your FairTax. Youíre going to get rid of the IRS. Youíre going to have basically a consumer tax. If you put a tax on spending, wonít that encourage people to hoard their money rather than spend it, and hurt the economy?

HUCKABEE: Nothingís going to discourage Americans from spending money! No, the FairTax does something that is absolutely phenomenal for the economy. It untaxes productivity. It untaxes those things which we export.

HUNTER: Iím a sponsor of the FairTax.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Fred Thompson: Phase out the AMT; lower taxes grow the economy

Q: The Alternative Minimum Tax is about to hit 20 million people. It was meant to make sure rich people paid taxes but now, itís moving down because of inflation. How do you deal with the lost revenue if the AMT is reduced?

A: Well, in the first place, I donít buy the concept that any reduction in taxes is lost revenue to the government. The taxpayers havenít lost it. Itís in their pocket. We shouldnít confuse the wealth of government with the wealth of nations. As you pointed out, the AMT was designed to target the rich guy. And when the Democrats start targeting the rich guy, if youíre a middle-class guy you ought to run because youíre going to get hit. Weíre going to have to look at this as part of a total picture. Generally speaking, lower tax rates grow the economy. Itís been proven in the Ď20s, it was proven during the Kennedy administration, proven during the Reagan administration and again during this administration. I would apply that same principle to the AMT. It ought to be phased out.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

John McCain: Tax system is fair; wealthy pay bulk of taxes

Q: Wall Street executives are making millions, paying tax rates of 15%, while the average guy is paying 30% in taxes. Is this system fair?

A: Everybodyís paying taxes, and wealth creates wealth. A vibrant economy creates wealth. Revenues are at an all-time high.

Q: So youíre saying the system is fair?

A: Sure itís fair. The bulk of the taxes are paid by wealthy people. Should we reform our tax code? Absolutely we should fix our tax code, and we should fix it immediately.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Mike Huckabee: FairTax untaxes productivity & things which we export

Q: Tell us about your FairTax. Youíre going to get rid of the IRS. Youíre going to have basically a consumer tax. If you put a tax on spending, wonít that encourage people to hoard their money rather than spend it, and hurt the economy?

HUCKABEE: Nothingís going to discourage Americans from spending money! No, the FairTax does something that is absolutely phenomenal for the economy. It untaxes productivity. It untaxes those things which we export.

HUNTER: Iím a sponsor of the FairTax.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Tom Tancredo: Takes the oath: no tax increase

Q: Are you prepared to say categorically that under your administration, there will be no tax increase?

A: Absolutely. Iíll take the oath. The fact is this, that when we talk about spending cuts, we have to think about what exactly it is that pushes spending at the federal level, which is mandatory spending. If you want to control federal spending, you must look at Social Security and Medicare.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Mike Bouchard: Prioritize our spending and hold ourselves accountable

Renewing Michiganís economy starts with prioritizing our spending & holding ourselves accountable for the decisions we make. After all, just because we have checks in the checkbook doesnít mean we have money in the bank. What we see in Washington proves they just donít understand that. Unfortunately, Sen. Debbie Stabenowís tax-and-spend philosophy only adds to Washingtonís spending problem. In fact, she has voted over 76 times for higher taxes in the Senate and hundreds of times throughout her career.
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, mikeformichigan.com, ďIssuesĒ Oct 1, 2006

Mike Bouchard: Growth in government stunts economic growth

[Experts say], ďGrowth in government stunts general economic growth. Increases in government spending or taxes lead to persistent decreases in the rate of job growth.Ē Unfortunately, Senator Debbie Stabenowís tax-and-spend philosophy only adds to Washingtonís spending problem. In fact, she has voted over 76 times for higher taxes in the Senate and hundreds of times throughout her career
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, mikeformichigan.com Sep 30, 2006

Mike Bouchard: Make the Bush tax cuts permanent

Since the second tax cut in 2003, the US economy has generated over five million jobs nationwide. Further, these tax cuts have lowered federal taxes for over 3.5 million Michigan residents. Unless we act to make these tax cuts permanent, the average Michigan family will see their taxes increase by nearly 50% in 2011. Sen. Stabenow opposed these tax cuts repeatedly, and opposes making them permanent. I will be a vote for making this lower rate permanent.

Some have argued that such tax cuts are responsible for the current federal deficit and have benefited only the very wealthy. In fact, federal revenues have grown from about $2 trillion in 2001 to about $2.3 trillion. At the same time, federal spending has increased from about $1.9 trillion to around $2.7 trillion. The problem isnít too little revenue, in my view, but too much spending. As President Kennedy once observed in defense of his own tax cuts, ďa rising tide lifts all boats.Ē The same was true for the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.

Source: Campaign booklet, ďRenewing Michiganís EconomyĒ Sep 14, 2006

Bret McAtee: Current confiscatory tax policy is unconstitutional

Elected officials from the two major parties are drunk with power and ignore the Constitution at every turn. This is seen in their making policy in areas that are constitutionally forbidden them and in a taxation policy that is confiscatory.
Source: Declaration of Candidacy For Michigan US Senate Jan 1, 2006

John Engler: Exempt new high-tech sectors from state business tax

Our goal is to see Michigan in the forefront of basic research for life-saving and life-improving technologies and treatments. Last year, we took an important step into the Next Michigan with a $1 billion commitment to research. Your work has attracted attention across the nation. We want to strengthen further our foothold in these emerging fields - life sciences, micro-systems and information technology. With the proper tax and regulatory climate and the right education and legal strategies, investment and job creation potential in these sectors is enormous.

So I propose a Next Michigan action plan to encourage these new companies to make our state their home. Letís put out the welcome mat and exempt them from Michiganís state business tax.

Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Michigan legislature Jan 31, 2001

John Engler: Has cut and will continue to cut personal & business tax

In Michigan, reductions in personal income taxes and business taxes will take place as scheduled. And unemployment taxes are being cut again. Make no mistake, we begin this decade as we ended the 1990s, by cutting taxes. When I took office, Michiganís personal income tax rate was 4.6 percent, while the Single Business Tax was 2.35 percent. By the time we gather next January, multi-year tax cuts approved in 1998 and 1999 will have dropped Michiganís flat rate income tax to 4.1 percent and our business tax to 1.9 percent, saving families and job providers an additional $350 million. By 2004, the personal income tax rate will be down to 3.9 percent, the lowest rate since 1971. In addition, the SBT continues its phased reduction at the rate of 0.1 percent per year.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Michigan legislature Jan 31, 2001

John Engler: Strengthen Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Just as taxpayers have a right to keep more of their money, they have a right to be treated fairly. Tonight, I urge you to strengthen our Taxpayer Bill of Rights by assuring homestead exemptions are received by those entitled to them, by requiring Boards of Review to provide residential property taxpayers with written explanations of decisions, and by easing electronic filing requirements.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Michigan legislature Jan 31, 2001

George W. Bush: People should not pay more in taxes than they do for food

Today in America, people pay more in federal, state and local taxes than they do in food and clothing and housing.. This isnít right, folks. We ought to send some of your money back to the people who pay the bills.
Source: Speech in Michigan Nov 4, 2000

George W. Bush: Leaving money in Washington means bigger budget spending

McCAIN [to Bush]: For us to put all of the surplus into tax cuts. itís a mistake. We should put that money into [making] sure their Social Security system will be there, that Medicare is helped and, most of all, letís pay that $5.6 trillion debt weíve laid on future generations.

BUSH: I have a plan that takes $2 trillion over the next 10 years & dedicates it to Social Security. My plan has been called risky by voices out of Washington. In my judgment whatís risky is to leave a lot of unspent money in Washington, because guess whatís going to happen. Itís going to be spent on bigger federal governments.

McCAIN: Your tax plan over the next five years not only spends all of the surplus, it spends $20 billion in addition to that. But this idea that somehow if the money is left. -- you donít understand the role of the president. The president of the US will veto bills that spend too much. Iíll veto bills that force Congress to spend less. Thatís whatís being president is all about.

Source: (cross-ref from McCain) GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

George W. Bush: 1997 no-tax pledge: judge results, despite breaking pledge

Q: [to Bush & Forbes]: Forbesí TV ad says that in 1994 you signed a pledge to not support sales tax or business tax increases, and in 1997 you broke the pledge.

BUSH: I led my state, in 1997, to the largest tax cut in Texas history. I laid out a plan that cut $1 billion of property taxes.. I am a tax-cutting person.

FORBES: There was a lot of hedging about this pledge. The pledge was made in 1994. I have a copy of it here, promising not to raise the sales tax or to propose any kind of income tax. When he proposed this bill in 1997 it did have provisions in there for tax increases including increasing a sales tax. Pledges should not be lightly made and a pledge is a promise. Bushís own staff admits that he broke the pledge. In 1998, I supported you & I would have voted for you. But you did break that pledge.

BUSH: [People] need to look at the results. Thatís whatís important. The results are people from all walks of life received a substantial tax cut under me as the governor of Texas.

Source: (cross-ref to Forbes) GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

George W. Bush: Cut top tax rate to 33% while cutting lower income taxes too

Q: [to McCain]: Youíve said that 60% of Bushís tax cut will go to the very wealthy. Are you are playing a class warfare game, pitting rich against poor?

McCAIN: I have never engaged in class warfare. [But] thereís a growing gap between the haveís and have-notís in America and that gap is growing and itís, unfortunately, divided up along ethnic lines. We ought to cut middle-income and lower-income taxes. But Iím not sure we need to give two-thirds of that tax cut [money] to the wealthiest 10% of America.

BUSH: I believe everybody ought to get a tax cut. I believe itís important to cut the top rates. I think itís important to drop the 39.6% [top tax rate] to 33%. I also know itís important to make sure people who are on the outskirts of poverty get a tax cut as well. And my plan does both.

Source: (cross-ref to McCain) GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

George W. Bush: ďA tax-cutting personĒ in TX, would do same for US

I led my state, in 1997, to the largest tax cut in Texas history. I laid out a plan that cut $1 billion of property taxes. And in the 1999 legislative session, I proposed [and enacted] the largest tax cut in our stateís history, replacing the $1 billion record with nearly $2 billion of tax cuts. I am a tax-cutting person. I know how to get it done. I have laid out a plan that is going to cut the rates on everybody in America; a plan that is conservative and a plan that is compassionate.
Source: GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

John McCain: Tax cuts should go to middle- & lower-income people

Q: [to McCain]: Youíve said that 60% of Bushís tax cut will go to the very wealthy. Are you are playing a class warfare game, pitting rich against poor?

McCAIN: I have never engaged in class warfare. [But] thereís a growing gap between the haveís and have-notís in America and that gap is growing and itís, unfortunately, divided up along ethnic lines. We ought to cut middle-income and lower-income taxes. But Iím not sure we need to give two-thirds of that tax cut [money] to the wealthiest 10% of America.

BUSH: I believe everybody ought to get a tax cut. I believe itís important to cut the top rates. I think itís important to drop the 39.6% [top tax rate] to 33%. I also know itís important to make sure people who are on the outskirts of poverty get a tax cut as well. And my plan does both.

Source: (cross-ref from Bush) GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

John McCain: Leaving money in Washington means President vetoes spending

McCAIN [to Bush]: For us to put all of the surplus into tax cuts. itís a mistake. We should put that money into [making] sure their Social Security system will be there, that Medicare is helped and, most of all, letís pay that $5.6 trillion debt weíve laid on future generations.

BUSH: I have a plan that takes $2 trillion over the next 10 years & dedicates it to Social Security. My plan has been called risky by voices out of Washington. In my judgment whatís risky is to leave a lot of unspent money in Washington, because guess whatís going to happen. Itís going to be spent on bigger federal governments.

McCAIN: Your tax plan over the next five years not only spends all of the surplus, it spends $20 billion in addition to that. But this idea that somehow if the money is left. -- you donít understand the role of the president. The president of the US will veto bills that spend too much. Iíll veto bills that force Congress to spend less. Thatís whatís being president is all about.

Source: (cross-ref to Bush) GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

Orrin Hatch: Leaving money in Washington means bigger budget spending

There isnít one of us here who isnít going to try and reduce taxes. I played a major role in reducing marginal tax rates from 70% down to 28% by 1996. I was one of those who carried that message to President Reagan. And he carried that message against all of Washington. The problem is that - I agree with Governor Bush - you leave this money in Washington, I guarantee you those guys will spend it. I guarantee it will be both Republicans and Democrats.
Source: GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

Steve Forbes: Evidence that Bush broke 1997 no-tax pledge

Q: [to Bush & Forbes]: Forbesí TV ad says that in 1994 you signed a pledge to not support sales tax or business tax increases, and in 1997 you broke the pledge.

BUSH: I led my state, in 1997, to the largest tax cut in Texas history. I laid out a plan that cut $1 billion of property taxes.. I am a tax-cutting person.

FORBES: There was a lot of hedging about this pledge. The pledge was made in 1994. I have a copy of it here, promising not to raise the sales tax or to propose any kind of income tax. When he proposed this bill in 1997 it did have provisions in there for tax increases including increasing a sales tax. Pledges should not be lightly made and a pledge is a promise. Bushís own staff admits that he broke the pledge. In 1998, I supported you & I would have voted for you. But you did break that pledge.

BUSH: [People] need to look at the results. Thatís whatís important. The results are people from all walks of life received a substantial tax cut under me as the governor of Texas.

Source: (cross-ref to Bush) GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

Mark Schauer: Decrease corporate tax; support individual flat tax

Source: Michigan State 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Michigan Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Tax Reform.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Tax Reform:
  Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Gov.Brian Schweitzer(MT)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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