Republican Party on Tax Reform

Party Platform


OpEd: 1986 tax reform was bipartisan; 2017 reform isn't

[In a speech this week promoting proposed 2018 tax cuts], Trump lavished praise on Reagan's tax reform, which he once called a 'catastrophe.'

One might wonder why Trump reversed himself. The answer is, he really hasn't. Republicans have used the aura of the 1986 Tax Reform Act to promote their tax-cut plans. But what they have in mind now is quite different. The 1986 Tax Reform Act was a bipartisan law, which did not reduce revenue to the government, and actually increased the effective tax rate paid by the rich by eliminating special treatment for capital gains and other tax breaks for the rich. Some Democrats have offered to support legislation along those lines, but the Republican leadership has outright refused.

It's not clear whether Trump realizes the law he praised at length [this week] is the same one he previously accused of destroying the American economy.

Source: New York Magazine on Trump Administration promises , Aug 30, 2017

Line in the sand: no tax increases (focus on spending)

Republicans say their line in the sand is "no tax increases." I'm glad so many Republicans are talking tough about the problem being overspending, not under-taxation. I've been making that case since 1995. If these same Republicans, who continue to vote for more spending, had been as resolute since 1995, the problem would be much easier to solve. Every dollar of deficit spending Republicans backed--along with Democrats--was a deferred tax increase. Our present challenges prove that deficits do matter.

Source: The Debt Bomb, by Sen. Tom Coburn, p. 56 , Apr 17, 2012

56% oppose raising taxes on earnings over $250,000

Older people with some accumulated equity can find an economic downturn very menacing because governments at all levels spend more on programs to help working-age families. Will governments respond by hiking levies on the more economically comfortable? Many Tea Party people are acutely worried that the answer will be yes. [One participant] reports a strong fear among Tea Partiers that they may be asked to pay higher taxes in the future, a result consistent with our fieldwork experience.

Tea Partiers' dread of tax hikes even surpasses the usual level at which Republicans worry about and oppose tax increases. 80% of Tea Partiers oppose raising taxes on Americans making more than $250,000 a year, a number that far exceeds the 56% of non- Tea Party Republicans who are opposed to such levies. Even compared to fellow conservatives, Tea Partiers are especially worried about the political response to the economic downturn--which helps explain why the Tea Party outburst happened when it did.

Source: The Remaking of Republican Conservatism, p. 31 , Jan 2, 2012

Cut taxes to stimulate economy and help families

Source: Republican Platform adopted at GOP National Convention , Aug 12, 2000

Tax cuts & low interest rates lead to home ownership

Low interest rates open up more housing opportunities than any government program. Affordable housing is in the national interest. That is why tax reform should continue to encourage homeownership. We will turn over to communities abandoned HUD properties for urban homesteading, a citizen effort that has been successful in revitalizing neighborhoods. We affirm our commitment to open housing, without quotas, and we applaud the efforts by the housing industries to assure access for everyone.
Source: Republican Platform adopted at GOP National Convention , Aug 12, 2000

Repeal death tax & give tax break to care for elderly

We call for full repeal of the death tax. We support Governor Bush’s call for a 100 percent above-the-line tax deduction for premiums for long-term care insurance, recognizing and rewarding individual responsibility, and we welcome his proposal to allow an additional exemption for each elderly spouse, parent, or relative a family tends to in their own residence.
Source: Republican Platform adopted at GOP National Convention , Aug 12, 2000

Simplicity & fairness: 3 tax brackets with lower top rate.

Party signed tax simplicity & fairness: 3 brackets with lower top rate

Our Challenge Our tax code is a mess, and that's putting it lightly. Multiple brackets. High rates. Special interest breaks everywhere. Rules and regulations that are too complicated to understand. It costs more and more each year just to do your taxes, let alone pay them. All of this drags people down and leaves businesses buried in paperwork and compliance problems. So instead of promoting growth, our tax code is pushing jobs overseas. And the agency charged with overseeing all of this--the IRS--has repeatedly violated the trust of the American taxpayer.

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Page last updated: May 05, 2021