With the election less than three weeks away, many Americans still aren’t clear on where the presidential candidates stand on a variety of issues. With the economy being on the top of nearly everyone’s mind, it might help to know exactly where both President Obama and Governor Romney stand on the issues of both debt and taxes.
What does each candidate believe about debt?
OBAMA: America is looking at four straight years of trillion dollar deficits, if projections hold. He won approval from Congress to raise debt limit to avoid default, but at great political cost. Today he’s calling for Americans to reduce the debt via a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases. A key element to this plan is letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire for couples making more than $250,000.
ROMNEY:Governor Romney defended 2008 bailout of banks and financial institutions as a necessary evil in order to avoid the collapse of the entire system, though he opposed the auto bailout. He says he would cap federal spending at 20% of gross domestic product by end of his first term, which is down from the current rate of 23.5% — but he hasn’t been specific about how he’ll cut spending. Romney also favors a constitutional balanced budget amendment.
What does each candidate say about taxes?
OBAMA: The president proposes we raise taxes on the wealthy and require them to pay at least 30% of their income. He supports extending the Bush-era tax cuts for anyone who makes under $200,000 (or $250,000 for couples). However, in 2010 he agreed to extend the cuts for two years. Obama has proposed letting the top two tax rates increase 3 to 4 percentage points back to 39.6% and 36%, and then raise rates on
dividends and capital gains for the rich. His health care legislations taxes the highest-value health insurance plans. Working closely with Congress, Obama created a first-term record of significant tax cuts, though some were temporary.
ROMNEY: Governor Romney says we should keep Bush-era tax cuts for everyone and even drop all tax rates further, by 20%, which would bring the top rate down from 35% to 28% (for example), and the lowest rate from 10% to 8%. He’d cut exemptions, deductions and credits for the richest Americans. He’s also proposed ending the Alternative Minimum Tax for individuals, eliminating capital gains tax for families who make below $200,000 and cutting corporate tax to from 35% to 25%. He hasn’t been specific on which tax breaks or programs he would cut to help cover costs.
So which candidate matches your views on the issues?