Bobby Jindal on Tax Reform
Republican Governor; previously Representative (LA-1)
JINDAL: Under our tax plan, look, the top rate is 25 percent, 10 percent, 2 percent. That 2 percent is the most important. I think everybody should pay something. I think everybody should have skin in the game. We shouldn't be creating one group of Americans that's dependent on government, another group that's paying taxes
Sen. SANTORUM: I have a 20% flat tax. That's on all income--so capital gains, corporations, individuals, 20%. I think that's a fair number. [With state taxes, that makes] probably 33% overall.
Gov. CHRISTIE: Our plan puts forward a rate of 28% for those who are making the most and 8% on the low end. We get rid of all deductions except for the home mortgage interest deduction and the charitable contribution deduction. That means getting rid of the state and local income tax deduction.
Jindal was referring to a 1962 speech in which JFK pledged "across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes" for the purpose of stimulating the economy. So is Jindal making a fair analogy?
No, because the top marginal tax rate in 1962 was 91% and JFK proposed lowering the top rate to 65% (compared to a top rate of 37% today). In the context of much higher rates in 1962, cutting tax rates meant something very different than today--Jindal knew that context, and hence was lying about JFK's proposal. No politician of any party today would even consider RAISING tax rates to the LOWER 65% levels proposed by JFK in 1962!
JINDAL: I'd simplify the brackets to 25%, 10%, 2%, so that an average middle-class family that pays 25% today, would pay 10% under my plan. I think everybody should pay something, even if it's only 2%. That's the most important 2% in my plan. There are millions of folks that wouldn't pay taxes in Jeb's plan and Trump's plan. I think that's a mistake.
Q: But every working American pays 6.2%, when it comes to Social Security taxes. They pay another 1.45% of Medicare. Isn't that skin in the game?
JINDAL: You're talking about payroll taxes that fund programs. People pay for their Medicare, they pay for their Social Security. I want every American to worry and care about how those folks in D.C. are spending our money. I don't want us to continue to create one class of Americans that pays income taxes, that pays for government, another class of Americans that's growing more and more dependent on government. That's what we have today.
It is not yet clear how Jindal would address the federal tax system. As governor of Louisiana, he has pushed to eliminate state income taxes by eliminating some deductions or loopholes and trying to broaden the tax base. Faced with significant state budget shortfalls, Jindal has [proposed cutting back on tax credits that largely help local governments.
That's why my top priority is to overhaul our tax code and eliminate income taxes. This is our moment to eliminate the income tax and unleash major economic growth and opportunity in our state that will keep our sons and daughters here at home to find jobs and raise a family.
Eliminating income taxes will help make Louisiana the very best place to start a business. This is the best way to grow our economy and create good-paying jobs throughout the state.
Over the last ten years, more than 60% of the 3 million new jobs in America were created by the nine states without an income tax. Over the past decade, states without income taxes have seen nearly 60 percent higher population growth than the national average.
"I'm not calling for a period of introspection and navel-gazing," the Governor promised. "Far from it. I'm calling for us to get busy winning the argument. There is much work to be done. Then, after that, we must go out and win the next election, so that we can preserve for our children and grandchildren all that makes us the greatest country in the history of the world."
So let me bypass political correctness and say exactly what I mean: the more you pay in taxes the less free you are--the less free you are to do what you want with your money, to start a business, to chase your dreams, to chart your own course, to live the way you want and make your own way in this world.
When government grows too large, we begin to lose pieces of our freedom. Big government programs that try to take care of everyone are like cement. When Washington pours them, they set and last forever. Their heavy weight crushes innovation, kills competition, chokes our work ethic, erodes responsibility, and suppresses rugged individualism.
That is why Republicans put forward plans to create jobs by lowering income tax rates for working families, cutting taxes for small businesses, strengthening incentives for businesses to invest in new equipment and hire new workers, and stabilizing home values by creating a new tax credit for home-buyers. These plans would cost less and create more jobs.
But Democratic leaders in Congress--they rejected this approach. Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, they passed the largest government spending bill in history, with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest.
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 CTJ scores as follows:
Citizens for Tax Justice, founded in 1979, is not-for-profit public interest research and advocacy organization focusing on federal, state and local tax policies and their impact upon our nation. CTJ's mission is to give ordinary people a greater voice in the development of tax laws. Against the armies of special interest lobbyists for corporations and the wealthy, CTJ fights for:
[The ATR, Americans for Tax Reform, run by conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist, ask legislators to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in each election cycle. Their self-description:]
In the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, candidates and incumbents solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases. Since its rollout in 1986, the pledge has become de rigeur for Republicans seeking office, and is a necessity for Democrats running in Republican districts. Today the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is offered to every candidate for state office and to all incumbents. More than 1,100 state officeholders, from state representative to governor, have signed the Pledge.
The Taxpayer Protection Pledge: "I pledge to the taxpayers of my district and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."
Opponents' Opinion (from wikipedia.com):In Nov. 2011, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) claimed that Congressional Republicans "are being led like puppets by Grover Norquist. They're giving speeches that we should compromise on our deficit, but never do they compromise on Grover Norquist. He is their leader." Since Norquist's pledge binds signatories to opposing deficit reduction agreements that include any element of increased tax revenue, some Republican deficit hawks now retired from office have stated that Norquist has become an obstacle to deficit reduction. Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has been particularly critical, describing Norquist's position as "no taxes, under any situation, even if your country goes to hell."
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