Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tax Issues in 2008 Democratic Party Platform

With the Democratic National Convention underway the Democrats have released their 2008 Party Platform. You can download a PDF of the full platform by clicking here, but below are the tax-related contents, thanks to Tax Prof.

  • We must reform our tax code. It’s thousands of pages long, a monstrosity that high-priced lobbyists have rigged with page after page of special interest loopholes and tax shelters. We will shut down the corporate loopholes and tax havens and use the money so that we can provide an immediate middle-class tax cut that will offer relief to workers and their families. We’ll eliminate federal income taxes for millions of retirees, because all seniors deserve to live out their lives with dignity and respect. We will not increase taxes on any family earning under $250,000 and we will offer additional tax cuts for middle class families. For families making more than $250,000, we’ll ask them to give back a portion of the Bush tax cuts to invest in health care and other key priorities. We will end the penalty within the current Social Security system for public service that exists in several states. We will expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, and dramatically simplify tax filings so that millions of Americans can do their taxes in less than five minutes..
  • [W]e will eliminate all income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000 per year. Lower and middle income seniors already have to worry about high health care and energy costs; they should not have to worry about tax burdens as well.
  • [W]e will ... increase the Earned Income Tax Credit so that workers can support themselves and their families.
  • We will expand the childcare tax credit....
  • We will invest in women-owned small businesses and remove the capital gains tax on start-up small businesses.
  • We will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit to ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans. In exchange for the credit, students will be expected to perform community service. ... We will enable families to apply for financial aid simply by checking a box on their tax form.
  • We will ... make the Research and Development Tax Credit permanent.
  • We will invest in American jobs and finally end the tax breaks that ship jobs overseas.
  • We will exempt all start-up companies from capital gains taxes and provide them a tax credit for health insurance. We will provide a new tax credit for small businesses that offer quality health insurance to their employees.
  • We will end tax breaks for companies that ship American jobs overseas, and provide incentives for companies that keep and maintain good jobs here in the U.S.
  • We will not raise taxes on people making less than $250,000, and will eliminate all income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000. We recognize that Social Security is not in crisis and we should do everything we can to strengthen this vital program, including asking those making over $250,000 to pay a bit more.
  • And if you invest in America, America will invest in you: we will ... establish tax incentives for college students who serve, and create scholarships for students who pledge to become teachers.
  • We will support fathers by ... removing tax penalties on married families....

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