issues2000

Topics in the News: Death Tax


Paul Ryan on Tax Reform : Aug 11, 2012
Eliminate double taxes like the death tax and AMT

I have been a fierce advocate on behalf of the taxpayer in Congress. Washington doesn't have a revenue problem--it has a spending problem. Unfortunately, many in Congress don't share this viewpoint.

I have advanced reforms to a tax code that is too complicated, too burdensome and puts American-made products at a competitive disadvantage to foreign competitors. For individuals, I have proposed a flatter, simpler system for taxpayers to pay their income taxes. You would be able to choose to pay your taxes using the current code--with all of its deductions, credits, and so on--or under the simplified tax option with just two low rates and with a tax form that would fit on a postcard. I believe that we should not double and triple-tax Americans--have sought to eliminate the death tax, the Alternative Minimum Tax, along with taxes on savings.

Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: 2012 House campaign website, ryanforcongress.com, "Issues"

Barack Obama on Tax Reform : Jan 24, 2012
Buffett rule: millionaires pay minimum of 30% in taxes

When it comes to the deficit, we've already agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts and savings. But we need to do more, and that means making choices. Right now, we're poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else? Because if we're serious about paying down our debt, we can't do both.

Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30% in taxes, and you shouldn't get special tax subsidies or deductions. On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year, like 98% of American families, your taxes shouldn't go up.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2012 State of the Union speech

Donald Trump on Free Trade : Dec 5, 2011
20% tax on all imported goods

If we want jobs in America, we need to enact my 5-part tax policy: kill the death tax; lower the tax rates on capital gains & dividends; eliminate corporate taxes in order to create more American jobs; mandate a 15% tax for outsourcing jobs and a 20% tax for importing goods, and enact the 1-5-10-15 income tax plan [four brackets with a top rate of 15%].

Government needs to stop pick-pocketing your wallet. Every time it does, it slows growth and kills jobs. It's also immoral.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 65

Donald Trump on Tax Reform : Dec 5, 2011
4 brackets; 1-5-10-15%; kill death tax & corporate tax

My 5-part tax plan involves reforming the income tax. The government confiscates way too much of your paycheck. The tax code is also a very complicated system that forces Americans to waste 6.1 billion hours a year trying to figure it out.

What does that tell you? It tells me that it's time we restore simplicity & sanity to the income tax. Here's my income tax plan:

It's clear and fair. Best of all, it can be filled out on the back of a postcard and will save Americans big bucks on accountants and massive amounts of time wasted attempting to decipher the tax code.

Our country is hungry for real tax reform. That's why we should implement the 1-5-10-15 income tax plan. And we need to enact [the rest of] my 5-part tax policy: kill the death tax; lower the tax on capital gains & dividends; eliminate corporate taxes; and a 20% import tax.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 64-65

Mitt Romney on Budget & Economy : Sep 22, 2011
Obama economy hurt middle class the most, so help them first

CAIN: [to Romney] : My 9-9-9 plan starts with throwing out the current tax code and pass 9% business flat tax, 9% personal income tax, and the 9% national sales tax. It eliminates or replaces the corporate income tax, personal income tax, capital gains tax as well as the estate tax. And unlike Gov. Romney's plan my plan throws out the old one. He's still hooked to the current tax code. That dog won't hunt.

ROMNEY: My intent is to help the people who have been most hurt by President Obama's economy. And the people who have been most hurt are the middle income families of America. And that's why my plan says that if middle income families want to save their money, anybody earning under $200,000 and not pay any taxes on interest, dividends or capital gains, zero tax on their savings, that's the plan I'm for. And I will get that done in my first year.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL

Barack Obama on Tax Reform : Sep 8, 2011
We need a tax code where everybody pays their fair share

I'm well aware that there are many Republicans who don't believe we should raise taxes on those who are most fortunate and can best afford it. But here is what every American knows. While most people in this country struggle to make ends meet, a few of the most affluent citizens and corporations enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that nobody else gets. Right now, Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary--an outrage he has asked us to fix. We need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake, and everybody pays their fair share.

I'll also offer ideas to reform a corporate tax code that stands as a monument to special interest influence in Washington. By eliminating pages of loopholes and deductions, we can lower one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Our tax code shouldn't give an advantage to companies that can afford the best-connected lobbyists. It should give an advantage to companies that invest and create jobs here in America.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Pres. Obama's 2011 Jobs Speech

Newt Gingrich on Jobs : Jul 21, 2011
Jobs & Prosperity Plan: cut business taxes & regulations

Q: Can a president create jobs without expanding the role of the federal government?

A: My Jobs and Prosperity Plan: No tax increase, 100% expensing, reduce business tax to 12.5%, eliminate cap gains & death tax; audit & reform the Federal Reserve; repeal Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes Oxley, Community Reinvestment Act; break up Freddie and Fannie; Repeal & replace Obamacare and fully develop American energy. These would all create jobs by REDUCING government.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on Twitter.com

Gary Johnson on Corporations : Jun 15, 2011
Eliminate corporate income tax as real way to create jobs

Q: Why are you running for president?

A: I'm the only candidate that is talking about a balanced budget in the year 2013 and eliminating a corporate income tax as the real way to create jobs.

Q: Why's that?

A: Everyone else is parsing it in terms of lowering the corporate income tax. Eliminate it. It's not that big of a generator of income, and it's a double tax. Get rid of it and you would have an explosion of hiring. As a corporation, why wouldn't you base your business in the United States--and the jobs that went along with that--with no corporate tax? The advantage to not taxing corporations would be an advantage to all of us.

Q: But the biggest advantage would go to the best off. It would be much cheaper for corporations to pay out to shareholders.

A: Exactly. That income would get distributed to shareholders, at which point it would get taxed.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone Magazine

Newt Gingrich on Tax Reform : Jun 13, 2011
Death tax is a direct assault on civil society

Expansive government rapidly becomes expensive government, and that requires new and higher taxes. The transfer of money from citizens to the bureaucracy then further weakens civil society & leads to even more expensive & even more expensive government. That effort to finance Big Government through higher taxes is a direct assault on civil society, and the "death tax" is a prime example. This tax, which is in a constant state of flux and was resurrected in 2001 after effectively disappearing in 2010, falls especially hard on small business. That sector contributes immensely to America's social and economic dynamism, often acting as the cornerstone of community organizations and local philanthropy. Entrepreneurs and shopkeepers are community leaders and, when prosperous, are generous with their time and money. Prosperity and generosity are highly correlated, as those with more to give feel obliged to give more.
Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: A Nation Like No Other, by Newt Gingrich, p.129-130

Gary Johnson on Jobs : May 5, 2011
Long unemployment benefits postpones dealing with problem

Q: The nation's unemployment rate is 8.8%. Among your proposals for getting the private sector to start hiring are eliminating corporate income tax, doing away with the Federal minimum wage law and to stop extending unemployment benefits, isn't that just a windfall for big business?

JOHNSON: Well absolutely not, I think that repealing or doing away with the corporate income tax is simply getting us back to where we were and we need to understand that the corporate income tax is a double tax. And with regard to unemployment benefits, I'm in the camp that believes that we as individuals, we need a bit of help, so government helps out but at the point at which it runs out, that's when we really deal with the problems that we have as individuals. That's when we deal with those problems. So does government actually perhaps make the problem worse, as opposed to better, by having a finite amount of time that you would receive unemployment benefits?

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina

Newt Gingrich on Health Care : Feb 11, 2011
Repeal ObamaCare; sign tort reform instead

    President Obama could be bipartisan. There are seven steps to the center for Obama.
  1. Sign the repeal of ObamaCare. 58% of the American people, in the most recent poll, favor repeal of ObamaCare.
  2. Sign Tort reform for doctors. He said the other night he would like to do it, let's let him do it.
  3. Sign the permanent repeal of the death tax.
  4. Sign a new Hyde Amendment, so no tax payer money funds abortion in the United States.
  5. Sign a new Conservative Budget Act, to control spending and move to a balanced budget.
  6. Sign a law to decisively control the border now.
  7. Sign a tenth amendment implementation act returning power from Washington to the states and to the people thereof. And that act should include--to prove how real it is-- block-granting Medicaid so that states can control the cost and improve the quality without interference from Washington bureaucrats.
Now, I hope you'd agree with me that a President Obama that did those seven things would have come to the center.
Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference

Marco Rubio on Tax Reform : Feb 20, 2010
Capital gains tax is double taxation

Jobs aren't created by politicians. They're created by people who are willing to use their money to start a business or expand an existing one and what they're looking for are clear signs from Washington that Washington is serious about pro-growth policies, about controlling spending, and about ending the practice of monetizing our budget shortfalls so here are a few measures that I think will help change or send that signal. Let's reform the tax code and reduce tax rates across the board. Let's eliminate double taxation by abolishing the taxes on capital gains, on dividends, on interest and while we're at it let's eliminate the one on death too. Let's significantly lower the corporate tax rate so once again it's competitive with the rest of the world. And finally let's undertake serious measures that show that we are serious about getting control of our federal national debt.
Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Speech to 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference

Marco Rubio on Corporations : Feb 3, 2010
Eliminate taxes on capital gains; lower corporate tax rates

I will support efforts to reduce the tax burden on American workers, entrepreneurs and businesses. This includes: eliminating the Death Tax; eliminating taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest, thereby encouraging greater savings and investment; and making America the most attractive place to do business by lowering corporate tax rates.
Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.marcorubio.com, "Issues"

Sarah Palin on Tax Reform : Nov 17, 2009
To end recession: slay the death tax and cut capital gains

Our nation is facing great challenges, but I'm optimistic--ad I know there is a way forward.

Ronald Reagan faced an even worse recession. He showed us how to get out of one. If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes and slay the death tax once and for all. And if we really want to help the poor and middle class get through this recession, how about cutting their payroll taxes? Giving people control over more of the money they've earned: now that's real stimulus. Get federal spending under control, and then set aside and watch this economy roar back to life.

The way forward is full of promise. But it takes more courage for a politician to step back and let the free market correct itself than it does to push through quick fixes. Reagan showed courage when he stayed the course through the long recession of the early 1980s. Critics even in his own party told him to abandon his tax cuts. He was confident they would work. And they did.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.391-392

Sarah Palin on Tax Reform : Nov 13, 2009
FactCheck: No, Reagan didn't end 1980s recession by tax cuts

PALIN: Says Ronald Reagan faced an even worse recession than the one that appears to be ending now, and "showed us how to get out of one. If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes and slay the death tax once and for all."

THE FACTS: The estate tax, which some call the death tax, was not repealed under Reagan and capital gains taxes are lower now than when Reagan was president.

Economists overwhelmingly say the current recession is far worse. The recession Reagan faced lasted for 16 months; this one is in its 23rd month. The recession of the early 1980s did not have a financial meltdown. Unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent, worse than the October 2009 high of 10.2 percent, but the jobless rate is still expected to climb.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: AP Fact Check about "Going Rogue", in NY Times

Paul Ryan on Tax Reform : Jul 4, 2009
Road Map: simplified two-level flat tax

The Road Map plan simplifies both the personal & corporate tax code. As individuals, we could choose between the current tax code and a simplified two-level flat tax. The simplified plan would tax the first $50,000 of individual income at 10%. All income above $50,000 would be taxed at 25%. There are no taxes on interest, capital gains, dividends, no AMT, and no "death taxes."

The new, simplified tax code eliminates nearly all existing tax deductions and exclusions, but it allows generous standard deductions and personal exemptions. Individuals receive a $12,500 deduction. Personal exemptions allow $3,500 for each family member. Tax return could be done on a post card.

The Road Map plan would not require major changes in the current income tax system now collected by employers. People who don't like the simplified tax alternative could stay with the current tax system. This gives people a choice, and the total tax revenue to the government would be the same. Who could complain about that?

Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: Saving Freedom, by Jim DeMint, p.243-244

Sarah Palin on Tax Reform : Sep 3, 2008
Raising taxes hurts small business and hurts jobs

The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes ... raise payroll taxes ... raise investment income taxes ... raise the death tax ... raise business taxes ... and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.

My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that’s now opened for business--like millions of others who run small businesses. How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up?

Or maybe you’re trying to keep your job at a plant in Michigan or Ohio ... or create jobs with clean coal from Pennsylvania or West Virginia ... or keep a small farm in the family right here in Minnesota. How are you going to be better off if our opponent adds a massive tax burden to the American economy?

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention

Barack Obama on Tax Reform : Oct 30, 2007
Trillion dollar giveaway: the Paris Hilton Tax Break

Obama said, “Domestically, our national debt and budget constrain us in ways that are going to be very far-reaching. And I think whoever is elected in 2008 is going to be cleaning up the fiscal mess that was created as a consequence of the president’s tax cuts.” Obama opposed repealing the estate tax: “Let’s call this trillion dollar giveaway what it is--the Paris Hilton Tax Break. It’s about giving billions of dollars to billionaire heirs and heiresses as a time when American taxpayers just can’t afford it.“ Obama has proposed to ”reverse some of those tax cuts that went to the wealthiest Americans.“ As Obama put it, ”It’s not as if rich people were suffering under Bill Clinton.“
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Improbable Quest, by John K. Wilson, p.155

Hillary Clinton on Tax Reform : Oct 30, 2007
Freeze estate tax at 2009 level of $7 million per couple

I’m in favor of doing something about the AMT. How we do it and how we put the package together everybody knows is extremely complicated. I want to get to a fair & progressive tax system. The AMT has to be part of what we try to change when I’m president There are a lot of moving pieces here. There are kinds of issues we’re going to deal with as the tax cuts expire. I want to freeze the estate tax at the 2009 level of $7 million for a couple. I’m not going to get committed to a specific approach.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Mitt Romney on Tax Reform : Aug 31, 2007
Death tax just doesn’t make sense

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p.115

Mike Huckabee on Tax Reform : Aug 5, 2007
Tax system penalizes productivity; needs complete overhaul

Q: The FairTax would eliminate the income tax, estate tax, payroll tax and capital gains tax and replace it with a 23% sales tax. Do you support it?

A: I absolutely support the FairTax. And part of the reason is, the current system is one that penalizes productivity. If we could have the FairTax, you take $10 trillion parked offshore, bring it home, you rebuild the “Made in America” brand, you free up people to earn money, to work, you don’t penalize them for taking a second job, you don’t penalize them for investing, you don’t penalize them for savings.

Today, our tax system doesn’t need a tap of the hammer, a twist of the screwdriver, it needs a complete overhaul. And what the FairTax does, it ends the underground economy. No more illegals, no more gamblers, prostitutes, pimps and dope dealers will be able to escape the tax code. It’s the single great thing that will help this country [achieve a] revitalized economy.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate

Mitt Romney on Tax Reform : Aug 5, 2007
Commission studied FairTax and found serious flaws

Q: The FairTax would eliminate the income tax, estate tax, payroll tax and capital gains tax and replace it with a 23% sales tax. Do you support it?

A: It’s good, but it’s not that good. There are a lot of features that are very attractive about a FairTax. Getting rid of the IRS is something we’d all love. But the truth is, we’re going to have to pay taxes. Completely throwing out our tax system and coming up with an entirely new one is something we have to do very, very carefully. The president’s commission on tax reform looked at this and said: Not a good idea. Some of the reasons are the FairTax, for instance, charges a 23% tax, plus state sales tax, on a new home, when you purchase a new home. But if you buy an old home, there’s no tax. Think what that might do to the construction industry. We need to thoroughly take it apart before we make a change of that nature. That’s why my view is, get rid of the tax on savings and let middle-income people save their money tax-free

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate

Hillary Clinton on Tax Reform : Jun 28, 2007
Why cut off payroll contribution at $95,000?

Q: Do you agree that the rich aren’t paying their fair share of taxes?

A: Middle-class and working families are paying a much higher percentage of their income. [Billionaires like] Warren Buffett pay about 17%, because don’t forget, it’s the payroll tax plus the income tax. And when you cut off the contribution at $95,000, that’s a lot of money between $95,000 and the $46 million that Warren Buffett made last year. We’ve got to get back to having those with the most contribute to this country.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic Primary Debate at Howard University

Barack Obama on Tax Reform : Oct 1, 2006
Estate tax only affects the wealthiest 1/2 of 1%

We have to stop pretending that all cuts are equivalent or that all tax increases are the same. Ending corporate subsidies is one thing; reducing health-care benefits to poor children is something else. At a time when ordinary families are feeling hit from all sides, the impulse to keep their taxes as low as possible is honorable. What is less honorable is the willingness of the rich to ride this anti-tax sentiment for their own purposes.

Nowhere has this confusion been more evident than in the debate surrounding the proposed repeal of the estate tax. As currently structured, a husband and wife can pass on $4 million without paying any estate tax. In 2009, this figure goes up to $7 million. The tax thus affects only the wealthiest one-third of 1% in 2009. Repealing the estate tax would cost $1 trillion, and it would be hard to find a tax cut that was less responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans or the long-term interests of the country.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p.191-192

Barack Obama on Social Security : Jan 6, 2006
Raise the cap on the payroll tax on wealthy individuals

What we need to do is to raise the cap on the payroll tax so that wealthy individuals are paying a little bit more into the system, if we are going to deal with this problem specifically. Right now, somebody like Warren Buffet pays a fraction of 1 percent of his income in payroll tax, whereas the majority of the audience here pays payroll tax on 100 percent of their income. I’ve said that was not fair.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Democratic primary debate

Hillary Clinton on Abortion : Oct 11, 2005
Voted liberal line on partial birth & harm to fetus

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p. 85-86

Jeb Bush on Tax Reform : Jun 21, 2001
Supports estate tax repeal, but not at states’ expense

Even as they deal with declining revenue growth from a softening economy, states are scrambling to plan for the potential loss of $50 billion to $100 billion over 10 years from the repeal of the federal estate tax enacted last month. The loss in revenue would come because states for 75 years have tied their own estate and inheritance taxes to the federal estate tax.

Governors are also chafing under a Congressional timetable that calls for the states to lose their tax revenues by 2005 while stretching the repeal of the federal estate tax more gradually over 10 years. Jeb Bush warned about anticipated revenue shortfalls [in Florida], including the expected loss of $210 million from the estate tax in the 2002-03 fiscal year. “While I support the eventual repeal of the estate tax,” Mr. Bush, the president’s brother, wrote, “shifting the burden merely allows Washington to spend more, while requiring us to spend less.”

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Kevin Sack, NY Times

  • Additional quotations related to Death Tax issues can be found under Tax Reform.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Tax Reform.
Candidates on Tax Reform:
Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
Secy.John Kerry
Secy.Chuck Hagel

 Related issues:
Bailout & Stimulus
Federal Reserve
Flat Tax
ObamaCare

2016 Presidential contenders:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Amb.John Bolton(R-MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(R-FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(T-MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(R-NJ)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Ted Cruz(T-TX)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(D-NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(D-IL)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Nikk Haley(R-SC)
Rep.Peter King(R-NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Gov.Deval Patrick(D-MA)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
Sen.Rob Portman(R-OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(R-FL)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
2012 Presidential:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(T-MN)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(R-GA)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(R-AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(R-UT)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Sarah Palin(R-AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(R-TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(R-TX)
Gov.Mitt Romney(R-MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(R-WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Donald Trump(I-NY)
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Page last updated: Oct 02, 2014