Dem Front Runners on the Economy & Taxes

More good Political/Economic coverage from the staff at CNN/Money; This time, in light of the success in Iowa, writer Mark Gongloff looks at the tax policies of both Kerry and Edwards:

“Kerry wants to roll back tax cuts for families earning more than $200,000 per year. But he wants to keep the higher child tax credit, the lower marriage penalty and the new 10 percent tax bracket for lower-income families. He also calls for new tax credits for health care and college tuition.

Edwards has similar ideas, but offers greater detail. He would repeal tax cuts — including dividend and capital-gains tax cuts — for what he says are the top two percent of Americans, those making $240,000 or more per year. Edwards would also keep the tax on very large estates, and he would set the top rate on capital gains at 25 percent for families earning more than $350,000, which he says represents less than one percent of all Americans.

Edwards would also adjust the tax code so that the top one percent pay the same tax rate on investment income that middle-class families pay for their wage and salary income, in order to fix what he calls the “two tax systems” in America, “where a millionaire investor sitting by his swimming pool pays a lower tax rate than a Manchester teacher.”

Here’s how the two Iowa victors stack up against the rest of the pack:

Like Kerry, Edwards would keep in place the latest middle-class tax cuts and would introduce more breaks, including:

  • a $5,000 credit for first-time home buyers
  • a $1,000 credit for savings accounts
  • a cut in the capital-gains tax rate, along with allowing the first $1,000 in capital gains and the first $500 in dividends to be tax-free

Kerry also wants to give manufacturers tax breaks for developing new energy technology; Quite frankly, I am waiting for the candidate who will reintroduce tax credits to Americans who reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern Oil via Solar power. (Did you know that since 1998, you could install roof tiles which generate electricity via solar power?)

Sidenote: I will throw my support to the first candidate — of either party — who sponsors a credible plan to provide significant tax credits for the installation of solar products in American homes and businesses (primarily for consumers) .

Not only that, but I will write a big fat check to them . . .

Kerry and Edwards on the economy
Mark Gongloff
CNN/Money, January 20, 2004: 4:15 PM EST

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