Certainty through Tax Code Reform By Michele Bachmann
December 14, 2010
Uncertainty is in the air this holiday season, as lawmakers are yet to pass legislation preventing Obama’s tax hikes from affecting all taxpayers on January 1, 2011. Even though Congress likely will vote on a tax bill in the next 16 days, more uncertainty is just around the corner.
As a former federal tax attorney, I know our nation’s current tax system is onerous and confusing. The new majority must take a cold hard look at our way of doing business. According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, we find ourselves in a perpetual state of temporary tax codes:
“In the late 1990s, there were typically fewer than a dozen tax provisions that had just a limited lease on life and needed to be renewed every year or so.Our founding fathers never intended a larger-than-life government manipulating our very economy via the tax code. We can start to reverse this course by focusing on pro-growth measures that will provide needed certainty to businesses and families. The 112thCongress should consider cutting the corporate tax rate to make it more attractive for businesses seeking to operate in the industrialized world. I would also like to see the zeroing out of capital gains taxes. Then, let’s reduce all marginal personal income tax rates for individuals and start debate on ending the death tax. Better yet, given our nation’s dire economic situation, let’s begin a serious discussion about whether or not to scrap the current tax code and replace it with a fairer, flatter tax code. I think Americans would appreciate slashing the tax code to a fraction of its current length of more than 50,000 pages.
“Today there are 141.
“Now Congress, taking up a deal worked out between the Obama administration and Republican leaders, is poised to turn the whole personal income-tax system into something of a temporary structure. The plan embraces a broad range of provisions—an extension of Bush-era rates, a new estate-tax formula—but for only two years. A payroll-tax cut in the bill is for a single year.
“This means that if the compromise passes largely intact, the U.S. will have no permanent regime governing levies on salaries, capital gains and dividends, the Social Security tax, as well as a slew of targeted breaks for families, students and other groups. This on top of dozens of corporate-tax provisions that already were subject to annual renewal.
“The level of uncertainty, unusual for developed nations, complicates planning and discourages hiring and investment, many economists and corporate executives say.”
The American people have given Republicans a second chance. In the 112th Congress, it is my desire to see Congress bring greater simplicity to our tax policy. As a small business owner myself I know a pro-growth economy is possible and one place to start is through tax code certainty for small businesses, corporations and families.
Reduce Government Spending By Herman Cain
It is no secret that federal government spending is out of control. They view the American taxpayers as a bottomless piggybank for their wasteful programs and expansion of power. And we the people will not tolerate it any longer.
The massive debt caused by liberal policies will be passed onto our children and grandchildren if we do not stop it. They will be stuck with the tab for the government takeover of health care, industry bailouts and failed stimulus packages. They will be the ones approached with outstretched palms by the Chinese to pay back the billions upon billions we owe them. Each generation of Americans should seek to leave behind a better and more prosperous nation for the next, not saddle them with debt from reckless spending.
Though it might not be politically popular to modernize and eliminate some of our entitlement programs, responsible leaders should be willing to do it all the same. They must be prepared to make tough choices and learn to simply say “no.” This can only happen when our elected officials stop being politicians and start being leaders. Simply put: there is no “Department of Happy” in Washington, D.C.
Nothing should be off the table. Every federal agency, every government program and expenditure must be reviewed and revised with a keen eye and a red pen. Leaders should be willing to shrink budgets by target percentages, and those charged with implementing those changes must be held accountable.
And it works! I have served as an executive of several major corporations. When times were tough and money was tight, I asked our employees to cut back drastically, and explained why it was necessary, and they did. We have all had to make difficult decisions in our own household or at our work place. Serious but responsible belt tightening can save businesses, and it can also save our country with the right leadership.
The Gingrich Jobs and Prosperity Plan
America only works when Americans are working. Newt has a pro-growth strategy similar to the proven policies used when he was Speaker to balance the budget, pay down the debt, and create jobs. The plan includes:
- Stop the 2013 tax increases to promote stability in the economy. Job creation improved after Congress extended tax relief for two years in December. We should make the rates permanent.
- Make the United States the most desirable location for new business investment through a bold series of tax cuts, including: Eliminating the capital gains tax to make American entrepreneurs more competitive against those in other countries; Dramatically reducing the corporate income tax (among highest in the world) to 12.5%; Allowing for 100% expensing of new equipment to spur innovation and American manufacturing; Ending the death tax permanently.
- Move toward an optional flat tax of 15% that would allow Americans the freedom to choose to file their taxes on a postcard, saving hundreds of billions in unnecessary costs each year.
- Strengthen the dollar by returning to the Reagan-era monetary policies that stopped runaway inflation and reforming the Federal Reserve to promote transparency.
- Remove obstacles to job creation imposed by destructive and ineffective regulations, programs and bureaucracies. Steps include: Repealing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which did nothing to prevent the financial crisis and is holding companies back from making new investments in the U.S; Repealing the Community Reinvestment Act, the abuse of which helped cause the financial crisis; Repealing the Dodd-Frank Law which is killing small independent banks, crippling loans to small businesses and crippling home sales; Breaking up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, moving their smaller successors off government guarantees and into the free market; Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency with an Environmental Solutions Agency that works collaboratively with local government and industry to achieve better results; and Modernizing the Food and Drug Administration to get lifesaving medicines and technologies to patients faster.
- Implement an American energy plan that removes obstacles to responsible energy development and creates jobs in the United States.
- Balance the budget by growing the economy, controlling spending, implementing money saving reforms, and replacing destructive policies and regulatory agencies with new approaches.
- Repeal and replace Obamacare with a pro-jobs, pro-responsibility health plan that puts doctors and patients in charge of health decisions instead of bureaucrats.
- Fundamental reform of entitlement programs with the advice and help of the American people.
Health Care By Mitt Romney
Our next president must repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based reforms that empower states and individuals and reduce health care costs. States and private markets, not the federal government, hold the key to improving our health care system.
Repeal and replace President Obama’s health care law
Mitt Romney believes that Obamacare must be repealed. On his first day in office, he will issue an executive order paving the way for waivers from Obamacare for all 50 states. Subsequently, he will call on Congress to fully repeal Obamacare, and advocate reforms that return power to the states, improve access by slowing health care cost increases, and make health insurance portable and flexible for today’s economy.
Give states the responsibility, flexibility, and resources to act
The central advantage of our federalist system is that different states will experiment with and settle on the health care solutions that suit their residents best. We can empower states to expand health care access to low-income Americans by block-granting funds for Medicaid and the uninsured. Mitt Romney’s reforms also offer the states resources to help the chronically ill, to improve their access to care, and to improve the functioning of insurance markets for others.
Empower individuals to purchase their own insurance
The tax code currently offers open-ended subsidies for the purchase of insurance through employers. Mitt Romney will expand the tax deduction to also include those who buy their own health insurance. This simple change creates the best of both worlds. Absolutely nothing will change for those who like their current coverage. And individuals who don't get coverage through their employers will have portable, lower-cost options.
Focus federal regulation of health care on making markets work
Mitt Romney believes that the federal regulation of health care should be limited and focused. Obamacare takes an opposite approach and uses federal regulation in an all-encompassing manner. Mitt will use limited federal regulation to correct common failures in insurance markets, while eliminating counterproductive federal rules. For example, individuals who are continuously covered for a specified period of time may not be denied access to insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Mitt also believes that individuals should be allowed to purchase insurance across state lines, free from costly state benefit requirements. Finally, individuals and small businesses should be allowed to form purchasing pools to lower insurance costs and improve choice.
Medical Malpractice Reform
Reform the broken medical liability system
The current medical liability system encourages defensive medicine and drives up health care costs. To address these problems, Mitt Romney will cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice litigation. He also believes in providing innovation grants to states for additional medical liability reforms, such as alternative dispute resolution or health care courts.
Make health care more like a market and less like a government program
Mitt Romney will strengthen health savings accounts (HSAs), which help consumers save for health expenses and choose cost-effective insurance. For example, he believes that we should permit HSA funds to be used to pay for health insurance premiums. The market reforms Mitt is proposing will drive down costs, better inform consumers, and improve the quality of health care in our nation.