The Republicans recently released their 2008 Republican Party Platform, which outlines the party’s views on major issues in the next election. You can download a 67 page PDF of their full platform by clicking here. Below are the tax related items of the platform courtesy of Tax Prof.
“Republican Tax Policy: Protecting Hardworking Americans:
The most important distinction between Republicans and the leadership of today’s Democratic Party concerning taxes is not just that we believe you should keep more of what you earn. That’s true, but there is a more fundamental distinction. It concerns the purpose of taxation. We believe government should tax only to raise money for its essential functions.
Today’s Democratic Party views the tax code as a tool for social engineering. They use it to control our behavior, steer our choices, and change the way we live our lives. The Republican Party will put a stop to both social engineering and corporate handouts by simplifying tax policy, eliminating special deals, and putting those saved dollars back into the taxpayers’ pockets.
The Republican Agenda: Using Tax Relief to Grow the Economy
Sound tax policy alone may not ensure economic success, but terrible tax policy does guarantee economic failure. Along with making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent so American families will not face a large tax hike, Republicans will advance tax policies to support American families, promote savings and innovation, and put us on a path to fundamental tax reform.
Lower Taxes on Families and Individuals
- American families with children are the hardest hit during any economic downturn. Republicans will lower their tax burden by doubling the exemption for dependents.
- New technology should not occasion more taxation. We will permanently ban Internet access taxes and stop all new cell phone taxes.
- For the sake of family farms and small businesses, we will continue our fight against the federal death tax.
- The Alternative Minimum Tax, a stealth levy on the middle-class that unduly targets large families, must be repealed.
- Republicans support tax credits for health care and medical expenses.
America’s producers can compete successfully in the international arena — as long as they have a level playing field. Today’s tax code is tilted against them, with one of the highest corporate tax rates of all developed countries. That not only hurts American investors, managers, and the U.S. balance of trade; it also sends American jobs overseas. We support a major reduction in the corporate tax rate so that American companies stay competitive with their foreign counterparts and American jobs can remain in this country.
Promoting Savings through the Tax Code
We support a tax code that encourages personal savings. High tax rates discourage thrift by penalizing the return on savings and should be replaced with incentives to save. We support a plan to encourage employers to offer automatic enrollment in tax deferred savings programs. The current limits on tax-free savings accounts should be removed.
Fundamental Tax Reform
Over the long run, the mammoth IRS tax code must be replaced with a system that is simple, transparent, and fair while maximizing economic growth and job creation. As a transition, we support giving all taxpayers the option of filing under current rules or under a two-rate flat tax with generous deductions for families. This gradual approach is the taxpayers’ best hope of overcoming the lobbyist legions that have thwarted past simplification efforts.
As a matter of principle, we oppose retroactive taxation, and we condemn attempts by judges, at any level of government, to seize the power of the purse by ordering higher taxes.
Because of the vital role of religious organizations, charities and fraternal benevolent societies in fostering charity and patriotism, they should not be subject to taxation.
In any fundamental restructuring of federal taxation, to guard against the possibility of hypertaxation of the American people, any value added tax or national sales tax must be tied to simultaneous repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, which established the federal income tax.
The Democrats Plan to Raise Your Taxes
The last thing Americans need right now is tax hikes. On the federal level, Republicans lowered taxes in 2001 and 2003 in order to encourage economic growth, put more money in the pockets of every taxpayer, and make the system fairer. It worked. If Congress had then controlled its spending, we could have done even more.
Ever since those tax cuts were enacted, the Democratic Party has been clear about its goals: It wants to raise taxes by eliminating those Republican tax reductions. The impact on American families would be disastrous:
- Marginal tax rates would rise. This is in addition to their proposal to target millions of taxpayers with even higher rates.
- The “marriage penalty” would return for two-earner couples.
- The child tax credit would fall to half its current value.
- Small businesses would lose their tax relief.
- The federal death tax would be enormously increased.
- Investment income — the seed money for new jobs — would be eaten away by higher rates for dividend and capital gain income.