Ross Perot on Tax Reform

1992 & 1996 Reform Party Nominee for President


Increase taxes on the wealthy

Perot, the "billionaire populist," offered simple solutions to complex problems: he would erase the government's deficit by "looking under the hood." Perot promised to balance the federal budget and pursue economic nationalism.

Although critical of "trickle-down economics" and in favor of increased taxes on the wealthy, Perot as presidential candidate directed most of his criticism at the nation's political elite and never took on the corporations that were downsizing and shipping jobs overseas.

Source: The Tea Party: A Brief History, by R. Formisano, p. 82 , Apr 4, 2012

The rich should pay higher taxes

His commonsense approach to education (the only thing he would raise taxes for), the debt ("like the crazy aunt tucked away in the room upstairs nobody talks about"), and taxing the wealthy ("makes no sense for me to pay less of a percentage of my income that other people"), rang true in a season of sour, false notes. He promised a coalition government, using the best minds of both parties. He said he would "get a shovel and clean out the barn."
Source: The Man Behind the Myth, by Ken Gross, p.202-203 , Sep 20, 2000

Take away the right of Congress to raise taxes

Let's take away the right of Congress to raise taxes because they're acting irresponsibly. If they want to raise taxes, put it on the ballot, and if you think it's worthwhile we'll do it. Let's cut out the deficit spending--just right now, cut it. Expenditures cannot exceed revenues. When you start down this path, don't blink. You're going to have to eliminate the tricks, the loopholes, and the improper accounting procedures, but that can be done if you stay focused.
Source: The Man Behind the Myth, by Ken Gross, p.234 , Sep 20, 2000

Consider a VAT value-added tax

There is currently much discussion around Capitol Hill about radically changing the US tax system. However, sweeping changes should be entered into cautiously. We need stability in our tax laws and regulations. Uncertainty harms our economy and discourages investment.

One plan worth considering is a value-added tax (VAT), which collects a small percentage at each point in the manufacturing process. The VAT does not apply to sales outside the country. An advantage of this tax is that it is relatively easy to collect, and it encourages our exports, which means more jobs for the US. Another advantage of the VAT is that it taxes consumption rather than savings. There seems to be growing support for a consumption-based tax system. Presumably, a VAT would partially or substantially replace the income tax.

The disadvantage of the VAT is that it is regressive, but there are ways to compensate for that. The VAT should be closely analyzed in connection with any plan to reform our tax system.

Source: The Dollar Crisis, p.111-112 , Jul 2, 1996

Capital gains tax cut helps the rich; so cut investment tax

We cut the capital gains tax rate from a maximum rate of 35% to a maximum rate that got as low as 20% during the 1980s. Who got the benefit? The rich did, of course, because that's who owns most of the capital assets.

Capital gains is too lengthy a topic to get into very deeply in this book. However, I do have one suggestion. We should consider offering a special tax break for people who take a risk by investing their money in new businesses. If the money goes into the treasury of a start-up company to build that company, the investor ought to get a tax break for taking a substantial risk. If someone is just shooting dice on Wall Street, we shouldn't offer him or her a tax advantage to do it.

Source: Not For Sale At Any Price, by Ross Perot, p. 72&75 , Apr 1, 1993

Cut spending and raise taxes to pay off debt

According to Perot, the national debt is like the “crazy aunt that nobody in the family talks about.” And there is only one way we can bring this leviathan under control: “We must cut spending and raise taxes to pay our bills.

Perot does not advocate any substantial program cuts. His proposals primarily involve cost-cutting efficiency measures-the elimination of waste, the tightening of expansion, and the identification of spurious entitlement claims. His plans also rely heavily on increasing both the efficiency and capacity of the tax-gathering agencies in government. By strengthening the IRS, modernizing its computer capabilities, eliminating loopholes, and shoring up enforcement measures. He believes that much of the federal shortfall can be eliminated.

He admits that his big-government, big-business coalition would require additional tax revenues. Thus he would have a stronger and more efficient IRS.

Source: Strong-Man Politics, by George Grant, p.106-7 , Nov 7, 1992

Raise marginal tax rates on the wealthy

We should raise the marginal tax rate on the wealthy from 31% to 33%. In 1993, this change would affect individuals who make over $55,550 and joint filers who make over a total of $89,250. Therefore, less than 4% of the taxpayers in America will be affected, but we will raise $33 billion in five years. If other reductions I propose do not provide sufficient revenue, we should be prepared to raise the marginal rate to 35%.
Source: United We Stand, by Ross Perot, p. 43 , Jul 2, 1992

Disallow mortgage & health deductions for the rich

Why should we subsidize interest on huge, expensive homes? The average mortgage in the US is $104,000. I propose that we limit deductions on interest to mortgages of $250,000 and that we eliminate this special deduction for vacation homes.

Another subsidy for the rich is the exemption from taxes on expensive employer-paid health insurance. These plans support the rich and encourage excessive health costs. They should be taxed as additional income.

Source: United We Stand, by Ross Perot, p. 42-43 , Jul 2, 1992

Decrease capital gains tax to foster long-term thinking

Source: United We Stand, by Ross Perot, p. 66-68 , Jul 2, 1992

Other candidates on Tax Reform: Ross Perot on other issues:
Former Presidents/Veeps:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
V.P.Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
V.P.Al Gore
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

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Political Thinkers:
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Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Joe Scarborough
Gov.Jesse Ventura
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Page last updated: Oct 28, 2021