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A Primer on Taxes in America
Posted by Randy | March 12, 2012

“Am I taking advantage of the right deductions?”
“Am I paying too much in taxes?”
“Do secretaries really pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than millionaires?”
“What are loopholes and how are corporations able to get away with them?”
“Will new policy changes in Washington make my business taxes go up?”

These are just a few questions that ring through the ears of Americans when they think of our federal tax system. Few of us hear the word “taxes” without automatically thinking of complexity, confusion, and frustration. Our federal tax code is a vast system of numbers, equations, deductions, credits, loopholes, forms, and publications. Beyond the federal tax code itself, there are complicated policy issues regarding taxes that need to be addressed.

I have put together this background and issue primer on taxes in America to help break down our current federal tax code and shed light on some current issues surrounding our tax system. This document does not touch on every complexity of our tax system; there are volumes of works published with the purpose of providing detailed explanations of any one of the topics addressed in this primer. However, it is my hope that this background and issue primer will provide helpful information and begin a discussion about taxes in America.

In this document, you will find:


Click here or click the document below to read:

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  • Keith Horton commented on 3/12/2012
    Thanks Randy, I agree with you on your tax stance. You have my support.
  • Darrell Williams commented on 3/13/2012
    Mr. Forbes Federal Income taxes are excise taxes on federal privileges and federal activities. Numerous Supreme Court decisions support this. I will challenge you in a public forum to prove otherwise. The 16th amendment did not create a new class of direct tax without apportionment. I challenge you $50,000 that the federal Government does not have the power to tax the private citizens who are in no way participating in any federal activity and are solely active in the private sector doe not owe Federal Income Taxes. If you take this challenge and are not able to show to the contrary then you must pay me $50.000
  • Randy Scott commented on 3/13/2012
    Interesting but I don't necessarily agree with your conclusions. I agree the Tax code needs to be at a minimum overhauled, if not outright eliminated. I would support a simple Flat tax with no Loopholes and no Tax Credits. Untill every citizen has a stake in keeping the tax rate as low as possible we will continue to see a Tax code that no one really understands.
  • Thomas G commented on 3/14/2012
    Congressman, let me shed some light on the tax issue for you. Americans know that your stewardship of the economy since you arrived in the congress with president Bush has been disasterous, the total irresponsibilty of the Bush tax cuts, the refusal to support increases in the debt limit last year choosing to shove our great nation into default, the refusal to inact the law of Dodd-Frank to reign in financial industry abuses, more than 7.5 TRILLION dollars in new debt during your first 8 years when we sent you to congress with a balanced budget, your refusal to urge your leadership to bring up the president's jobs bill that was fully paid for, your refusal to rescind your commitment to the Grover Norquist blackmail pledge so you could act wisely in stewardship and your refusal to urge action to increase the minimum wage as millions of Americans fall into poverty while you protect the rates at 1931 levels for millionaires and billionaires with no 'job creator' results. The American people want tax rates on millionaires and billionaires restored to sensible rates, rates that even Arthur Laffer says are required in order for supply side theory to even work. Congressman, your record is astonishingly poor, if not actually incompetent sir. I do not believe you know what you are even talking about. You call for a balanced budget amendment which is the epitome of shirking your own responsibilities. You know that the supreme court ruled the line item veto unconstitutional. You oppose actions to reign in speculation in the energy markets...you learned NOTHING from Enron, you misstate the facts regarding regulations as has been reported by the congression budget office. Please sir, stop ignoring your abysmal record on the economy and change course...you sir, are acting to harm our country. Adjust the taxes of millionaires and billionaires, prove to your own constituency you respond to listen and respond to our wishes...represent us sir, stop harming your district and this great nation.
  • Joan Green commented on 3/15/2012
    I support a flat tax of 9% or less. It GOD Almighty only ask us for 10% then WHY should we pay the government more that HIM???? ALSO WHY DO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS GET FREE HAIRCUTS, FREE MEDICAL TREATMENTS, FREE TO GIVE THEMSELVES RAISES AND THE MILLION DOLLAR RETIREMENTS THEY HAVE STORED AWAY FRO THEMSELVES.?????????????????????
  • ARETHA REYNOLDS commented on 3/15/2012
    Corporations who move their businesses overseas/out of the country should pay higher taxes. Corporations who gouge the people should NEVER get tax breaks & returns to the tune of millions of dollars. This is a disgrace! It's time you elected officials start working for "we, the people" instead of big business and the top 1% earners in this country. Is America now a whore to the "haves" or is it still a nation "for the people by the people?"
  • Andy T commented on 3/15/2012
    Randy, I believe in dumping the entire tax code and rewriting it as more of a fair tax system based upon "purchases" or "use." This ensures we tax those who have no income or hide their income because they will still need to purchase things. It also eliminates much of the confusion and special interest group power by removing tax loopholes. If this is not possible I recommend going to a flax tax with zero deductions or exceptions, whereby any and all income is taxed. Thank you for your coninuing interest in our opinions and ensuring you are in sync with your constiuents.
  • Peter O'Brien commented on 3/15/2012
    We need to make the tax simple and identical for all, no exceptions, no exemptions, no deductions. We need to cap spending; government gets a percentage (let's say 15% of last years GDP) and needs to stay within it. We need to limit deficit spending to declared emergencies - such as wars. (No more undeclared wars.) We need to reduce - and eventually eliminate - corporate taxes. We need to eliminate all the separate taxes - capital gains, inheritance, etc. - Everything lumped together, one tax rate. We need to end the use of continuing resolutions - they are expensive and they are a means for Congress to shirk their prime day-to-day responsibility.
  • J c commented on 3/15/2012
    Will anyone show us what the effects are with changing the tax code? the code needs reform badly, but how does the populous vote on a reformed code without knowing the potential effects? It's easy to say "I'm in favor of a flat tax, " "the corporate tax rate should be lowered," "loopholes should be closed," but how do we vote on any reform without pulling out the chalkboard and educating the masses?
  • Stephen Dexter commented on 3/15/2012
    I am pleased that we were able to enter several courses of action vice the "usual one". Taxes are always a difficult situation. Favor the many (the poor) or the few (the wealthy and the well-to-do). Some principles need to be adopted and followed: Most folks should pay some taxes. The wealthy should not have access to loopholes and preferential rates (such as they now have with dividends and capital gains). They have fared well in this society and they owe it much - including the obligation to pay a full share of its costs. Itemized deduction should be more fair - by this I mean that a person in the 35% bracket should not get a 35% reduction in taxes for contributing $1,000 to his church while a person in the 25% bracket gets only a 25% reduction, even though he makes the same $1,000 contribution. We should stop favoring certain income groups and certain industries when it comes to tax preferences. We are all on this earth and we all benefit from living here and having our gov't. We all owe that gov't something. However, I do support the concept of the graduated income tax so some of us have a greater obligation to pay more in taxes than those who make less.
  • Dorothy Bryant commented on 3/15/2012
    I support a change in our tax code where all of us pay the same percentage of our income to our country. I do, however, feel there should be deductions for minor children living in the home. My husband is retired Air Force after serving 21 years. There are no truer Americans then us. It does not bother us to pay taxes; it is what you do as an American to support your country. I do, however, hate filing income taxes. All the money that is wasted paying someone to figure ones taxes, paying IRS workers to go behind and re-figure ones taxes and especially all the money wasted to audit a tax return. It is time to make this a simpler operation. Just set a percentage and let's go with it.
  • Donny Mason commented on 3/15/2012
    I support the Fair Tax idea. No taxes withheld but we will pay a tax at point of purchase. That way everyone will pay Their Fair Share. If that cannot be done, then a flat tax for everyone no matter what their income may be. More people need to be paying into the system, not making the ones that do pay, pay more.
  • jason Hayek commented on 3/15/2012
    If the intent is to make the tax code fair, then all unearned income needs to be taxed. Unemployment is taxed. Food stamps and housing assistance should be as well. Scholarships in excess of tuition is taxed. All forms of grant aid should be as well. With the way the tax code is written, the majority of the assistance will fall below the threshold of taxation anyways, but in the interests of fairness it all should be included in yearly income. If a family has combined income (all wages) of $50k, they should have the same net income tax as a family with $30k from wages and $20k from various assistance. All things being equal, let all things be equal.
  • Jessica Martinkosky commented on 3/15/2012
    I also support simplifying the tax code, in addition to my responses to the poll. Simplifying is not the same as a flat tax.
  • Gordon robbins commented on 3/15/2012
    Consumption tax, no loopholes, deductions etc.... Cap of federal spending to a percentage of the GDP. Reduction of corporate income tax, elimination of the death tax, reduction of capital gains tax.
  • James Byrd commented on 3/15/2012
    While some of these proposals are very good, none come close to the fair tax as a remake of the tax system.
  • Paul Sykes commented on 3/15/2012
    The IRS and all tax laws should be eliminated and in it's place there should be a flat tax along with an adjustable national sales tax. In addition we should have a balanced budget every year.
  • JIM TATE commented on 3/15/2012
    flat tax or fair tax or whatever name it is given. one tax rate....uniformly applied to all income and all earners of every dollar. no exclusions...no exemptions...no deductions. and if ten percent is good enough for Jesue it ought to be enough for Uncle Sam..... problem is not a lack of revenue.....problem is an excess of spending and a nanny state. cut spending.....all spending.....no sacred cows and no sacred programs. eliminate the energy department that has never produced any energy. It only produces impediments to energy. eliminate the education department. Education should be a local endeavor not a federal one. eliminate all support for the united nations.....nada penny more.... revoke membership and start charing them rent. cut off all foreign aid.....have you seen the deficit? We need to take care of our seles instead of proping up dictators round the world.
  • Robin Rysavy commented on 3/15/2012
    I support ceasing all aid to ILLEGAL immigrants and also believe welfare payments should be monitored more closely. Illegal immigrants receive way more monetary assistance than many of our own US citizens. We need to STOP this immediately. If they apply for citizenship and are here legally they should be able to work and pay taxes to the US instead of sending their cash earnings back to their country of origin. Those receiving welfare (in any form: food stamps, etc) should undergo drug testing and those who are able to work should be made to find jobs. One more idea: unwed women who have children by many different fathers should only receive social security payments for the FIRST CHILD ONLY. My mom used to work for Social Security and found that many single women who were not married had many "welfare babies" by different fathers just so they could collect money for each child. If we limited the number of children eligible for these payments, they would stop having so many babies that they cannot support nor care for.
  • Donald Buchholz commented on 3/15/2012
    I would say pass the "Tax Code Termination Act (H.R. 462) then pass the FAIR TAX (H.R. 25) this would solve a ton of problems and produce revenue from people who have never paid income taxes such as prostitues, pimp, drug dealers, gangsters, and many others. It would also eliminate the abiltiy of well off people from writting off their daughters wedding because they had "Business Associates" present, it would also eliminate the ability to have a write off for a "Business Meeting" in Yankee Stadium whild watching the "All Star Game". These types of schenanagans have been going on and most are not aware of this and it is rarely chanllenged by the IRS currently. It would be a blessing to the lower income people as they would recieve a tax refund for esenstials (food, clothing, etc) up to a certain level of income predetermined. I might also add this would be a progressive tax as well. Since a more well off person would most likely buy more, that person's overall taxes paid would progressively be more.
  • Terry Ringler commented on 3/15/2012
    There should be some type of national sales tax or VAT. It's the only way to get taxes from the underground money, which is substantial.
  • Charlotte Keene commented on 3/15/2012
    I would love to see the INCOME tax totally go away and have only a consumption tax, as it would catch everyone who purchases anything. Everyone who works "under the table" purchases items. There could be a luxury tax for high $ cars, jewlery, houses etc, which would catch the rich to pay more. New purchases only to be taxes, so used items have already been taxed, so they would then be tax free. The Government could save a bundle just getting rid of the IRS, Treasury could handle incoming taxes and have a smaller audit section.
  • Robert Bond commented on 3/15/2012
    I could find only couple of items in your tax primer that really made any sense. I like the Bill to eliminate the Internal Revenue Code but it should abolish the 16th Amendment completely. The flat tax is simply more of the same system we have now. I have to figure out whether it is more beneficial to me to take the 19-17% deal and whether the same deal is going to be right for me 5 years from now. More math – more paperwork – more involvement with the IRS – more government control – less freedom. The best solution is to completely abolish the system we have currently that taxes income and institute a system that taxes spending – a consumption tax. This taxing method has been extensively studied and found to be a superior solution to the hodge podge system we have now. . It is already in the House as HR 25 – the Fair Tax. You state that you have three goals for tax reform – FAIR – SIMPLE – COMPETITIVE. The Fairtax meets all these goals and more. FAIR – everyone pays the same rate – 23% - rich man or poor man, legal or illegal, – EVERY man pays. And no more tax loopholes, lobbyists or social engineering through tax giveaways to industry and big business. And to assist everyone in poverty, the monthly “PREBATE” (about $525 for a family of 4) pays the tax on the first $20,000 of spending – FOR EVERYONE. SIMPLE – you pay the tax at the cash register every time you buy something NEW. No more IRS forms to fill out, deadlines to meet, recordkeeping, penalties and interest. Nothing to worry about ever again. COMPETITIVE – Everyone knows that business never really pays taxes. They are just passed along to the final consumer. The Fairtax simply brings this out into the open. Retailers become the tax collectors. Businesses are not taxed - period – 0% tax rate. This would make the United States THE place to do business. What a boom we would see as world-wide companies set up shop to manufacture their goods here. And of course all those workers would get to keep their ENTIRE paycheck. SO it’s time for YOU to become a Fairtax supporter. It accomplishes all your goals. And make my life a lot simpler and easier. And you could stop publishing documents on tax reform and get on with Constitutional government.
  • Allen Adams commented on 3/15/2012
    Being endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. So let's play fair and get back to basics. Eliminate all forms of income tax. Go simply to a national Sales Tax with no exemptions, and a rate of 12%, to be distributed with 4% to the Federal Government, 6% to the State, and 2% to the local governments on population proportional distributions. Let all projects deemed "unable to afford", become referendum vote decisions with special tax assessments for funding decided by the popular vote. America is waking up, and Washington DC is about to meet the Giant!
  • Nancy Karnath commented on 3/15/2012
    I support a few of the list but if you mark one it cancels out another. I have noted this in other surveys and therefore the wording in each impresses me that there are hidden agendas and not so much of the idea of cooperation with the opposition.
  • Bill Shirley commented on 3/15/2012
    I favor whatever method gets rid of the IRS, whether it is the flat tax, fair tax or national sales tax.
  • greg williams commented on 3/15/2012
    Noting will be done....why? there is an old saying"never under estimate the power in a room full of stupid people."
  • Bill Avery commented on 3/15/2012
    I am in favor of abolishing the IRS and going to a national sales tax. There is a lor of income that is going unreported and the sales tax will produce funds on it. Als0, we will save millions, if not billions by shedding the IRS. The sales tax would be much simpler to process and manage and will save the taxpayer tax prep. fees.
  • Dan Sherry commented on 3/15/2012
    I support the Fair Tax and abolishing the IRS
  • Ray G commented on 3/15/2012
    repeal the income tax and kill it dead. Go with a national sales tax. everyone pays. even the drug dealers will get taxed when they spend their loot!
  • Ray G commented on 3/15/2012
    No income tax! National sales tax!!
  • Mauritta Hill commented on 3/15/2012
    I think 9 to 10% flat tax on everyone is more than fair. I wonder if Congress and HR really know what they are doing. Everything striaght down party lines tells me its not about the people its about you.
  • James Amspacher commented on 3/15/2012
    Flat tax + consumption tax. Lower corp tax to 15%.
  • James Creasey commented on 3/15/2012
    I strongly favor the Fair Tax proposal (fairtax.org). This consumption tax would level the playing field and be "fair" for all Americans. It would encourage businesses to return to the US and it would take away the power of lobbyists to influence lawmakers in regards to taxes.
  • Larry Hopkins commented on 3/15/2012
    The Fair Tax would be the best plan for American society which is supposed to be about individual liberty. We need to take away politicians ability to use the income tax as a weapon to pit American against American. The politicians using the tax code to pick the winners and losers has been a disaster for economic development and wealth creation. No income tax only a consumption tax like the Fair Tax.
  • Louis Tayon commented on 3/15/2012
    Support anything that would eliminate the need for a large internal revenue service and a code that anyone could understand and is fair for everyone
  • matthew webster commented on 3/15/2012
    I would still support the fair tax or a national sales tax as a replacement for ALL!! Our current taxes. Our entire tax code. It has become to bloated and confusing for any one to decifer. I am an educated individual and the tax code looks like Greek to me. But in reality I would accept a return to a taax cde that can be published in less than 200 pages at 12 size font. (Like the 1929 tax code)
  • Mary Howald commented on 3/15/2012
    I agree with Robert Bond. The FairTax is the way to go. Yes, we would also have to rescind the 16th Amendment.
  • JamesR Smiley commented on 3/15/2012
    STOP taxing incomes of Americans, it's TIME TO PASS THE FAIR TAX! ABOLISH the IRS and impose a national SALES tax based on a 23% tax on purchases of new items or services--most everday items ALREADY have the tax built in NOW--few would go up pennies or down based on their current cost. Fair tax would END business taxes--businesses and corporations DO NOT pay taxes--they merely pass the tax burden through cost of items sold or service provided. Those dollars would be available to GROW or EXPAND businesses, billions would become available for new loans, new industries, new homes, etc. ALL citizens participating in the American economy will PAY TAXES! No more hiding money overseas--it will be exempt from tax burden and will come home FOR INVESTMENT, SAVINGS. No more hiding income, drug dealers spend millions but pay NO TAXES because they don't report income--but they will pay taxes. No more under the table economy for illegals, their income will not be taxed but they will participate just as foreigners who enter and spend money will pay their part of supporting the system. No more income REPORTING, govt will have NO NEED in knowing your income, the taxes will be collected at every cash register across the national spectrum as new items or services are paid for. It's time to FREE AMERICA from punitive income taxes that are USED to keep citizens under thumb of federal govt.
  • Cornelia Steinert commented on 3/15/2012
    If a person hasn't paid any tax, then they should not be entitled to a refund dependent on any type of tax credits. I would also favor a national sales tax.
  • Stephen Moulton commented on 3/15/2012
    I fully support the Fair Tax, which is a concept that has been circulating in Washington for some time. The other measures are simply a less effective route in the same direction.
  • William Bransford commented on 3/15/2012
    The FAIR TAX as proposed by Rep John Linder and documented in Neal Boortz's books does everything you say you would like to do. Pass the FAIR TAX now! Please.
  • William Bransford commented on 3/15/2012
    Just pass HR 25, the FAIR TAX bill. It accomplishes everything you say you want to do about taxation! Please pass it now.
  • Oran Dillon commented on 3/16/2012
    Pass the Tax Code Termination Act (H.R. 462) then pass the FAIR TAX (H.R. 25).
  • Rick Townsley commented on 3/16/2012
    I find it very distasteful to all the hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens to have others pay pennies on the dollar when remitting their taxes. Granted, some individuals may need this assistance - and there should be stricter IRS guidelines on that. But, what I get irate about is watching those TV commercials with folks (obviously better off that most) bragging about (example only for emphasis).., "I owed $1M in taxes but only had to pay $10K...thank you XWZ services!!" Everyone should pay their fair share and some do not and make it a game. I do not believe that more affluent persons should pay more - they already pay enough and those persons (and big corporations) shouldn't be taxed to the point that no/little capital investment occurs. Thank you.
  • Rob P commented on 3/16/2012
    I support repealing the income tax, abolishing the IRS, and instituting the Fair Tax. I believe a flat tax, while not ideal, is better than the current system. I also believe that there should be a requirement for a balanced budget.
  • R. G. commented on 3/16/2012
    End the IRS, which is nothing more than a thuggish institution designed to act as the enforcer arm of the unconstitutional Federal Reserve banking cartel. The only purpose of the IRS is to collect real wealth and money from people to pay real interest on the national debt. A debt which was incurred by our government without our consent 99% of the time, and which was financed by the fed cartel by simply creating money out of thin air. What a great scam we've had foisted upon us since 1913. Create money out of nothing, lend it to a corrupt government, and charge the taxpayers real interest. The only solution to this is to ABOLISH the federal reserve, the IRS, and the income tax.....AND....NOT replace them with another pig wearing a different shade of lipstick.
  • Recinda McGovern commented on 3/16/2012
    I actually have a question that I hope you can answer. I have twin boys who recently turned 17, so this year I was unable to receive the Child Tax Credit for either child. This makes no sense to me. The costs for caring for my sons definitely did not decrease when they turned 17, so why do I no longer receive a tax credit for them?
  • Eric DeGroff commented on 3/16/2012
    I would support a national sales tax as a replacement for the income tax, assuming there's a way to lessen the burden on low-income families buying necessities. From what I've heard about it, I'd also support the "Fair Tax" approach.
  • David Mason commented on 3/16/2012
    I believe we should return to the system of taxing real estate, and limiting voting to those who pay taxes.
  • Richard Corcoran commented on 3/16/2012
    Interesting primer, but significantly one sided in places. Why only use data from Heritage Foundation and not look at the other sides "findings." If you only give one side it appears that you haven't even looked at the other side and the argument appears biased, whether that was the intention or not.
  • Sandra Sterling commented on 3/16/2012
    I do agree we need tax reform but our tax code is so complex I don't believe much will change...lots of debate and citizen opinion surveys etc will ensue but lobbyists and big money corporations will win out. I'd like to see in simple terms if we change one thing what will the effect be. Or if we scratch the whole system and go to a VAT for ex..what is the effect of that? If nothing else I'd like to see tax loopholes eliminated . I also think it's wrong to tax money that has already been taxed(death taxes for ex.) While I'm at it I might as well say i'm disgusted with the lack of cooperation between the Democrats and Republicans...used to think a balanced legislature was good since compromises usually meant pretty good solutions...now it is just a disgrace...We as a country are in a downward spiral and it saddens me to think of what my chidren and grandchildren will have to face...so yes Mr. Forbes we need change..first and foremost our congressional representatives need to represent their constituents ahead of their party and the parties need to work together...amazing what some good common sense with a sprinkling of morality might still be able to accomplish.
  • Brian Kopper commented on 3/16/2012
    The tax issues are very complex. So complex that to be fair, one can not just pick one response from the list provided. Therefore a need to comment on all eight suggestions is required. 1. Yes indeed close all the tax loop holes 2. I am in favor of a flat tax of shorts, meaning a flat tax on a sliding scale. For example; Those who's income is less than $20,000 (poverty level) should not be required to pay any Federal or State Tax. Those who earn $20,000 to, say $65,000 should have a flat rate of 15%. And those who earn $65,000 to $250,000 should have a flat rate of 28%. And all others above $250,000 a flat rate of 38%. Bare in mind though when implementing such a flat rate the following deductions shall be the only deductions allowed period. a. Mortgage's b. Child care (prorated) c. Tuition cost (prorated) and d. Cost of durable goods such as heavy equipment or high cost items in the medical or transportation fields and (prorated) etc. 3. I support deductions as noted above if a flat tax were to be implemented. 4. I support terminating the tax code! There is no reason at all that there should be thousands rules and regulations If the flat tax rate was implemented it would not only create far more revenue... It would also significantly Simplify audits and enforcements. 5. The flat tax rate would cause corporations to pay a flat rate of 38% of there GROSS. 6. I support ending the death tax. As it is now it's like double jeopardy. Those family members who have passed away have already paid the tax's on there estate. And those who inherit same have only an obligation to pay tax's on the continued profits and or interest of said estate. Options 7 and 8 revert to above.
  • Michael Hopson commented on 3/17/2012
    The document was to answer the question “Do secretaries really pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than millionaires?” It does not answer that question about secretaries on average versus millionaires on average. Also, just a brief look at the corporate tax rate shows that it does not make sense. It starts out rising then peaks out at 39% then goes DOWN. Why would a corporation that makes $100,000 pay more in percentage in taxes than one that makes $19,000,000? Looking at the international perspective I'm not quite that section is clear. One chart the US is at 27.3% and the average OECD is at 36.2%. The next graph then shows the opposite. Also it is Congress who writes the tax code in which the IRS then implements. You are a Congressman, please work with all your fellow congress people for the People, and not for any other cause. Thank you.
  • R Hart commented on 3/17/2012
    Why are we as citizens wasting our time giving comments-whether we agree or disagree?The citizens of the United States have lost all voices with all government officials. (elected & appointed) There have been some valuable points/opinions/advice given to the "officials" supposedly representing the taxpaying citizens to no avail. The very people that are representing us DO NOT listen; they have their own agenda.
  • David Saunders commented on 3/17/2012
    I support the "fair tax" plan with the following modifications. 1. straight 20% sales tax on the end use (retail) price of any goods sold. 2. No monthly rebates based on any family size or composition. 3. repeal of the 16th amendment to the U.S Constitution. 4. Repeal of all Federal individual income, corporate, estate, interest, dividend, excise taxes.
  • Diana Christopulos commented on 3/17/2012
    Stop giving $70 billion in annual subsidies to oil, coal and gas - well-established industries that are, in the case of oil, collecting record profits. Why is this not on top of the Republican agenda? It is worse than a bailout.
  • William Dunkley commented on 3/17/2012
    I agree with Mr. Kopper's second comment. A stepped flat tax, recognizing the limitations of lower incomes and the increasing abilities of higher incomes, with no deductions, would not only be simpler and fairer, but would save taxpayer costs (little time spent in preparation and record accumulation), but also government costs in checking complex returns (total income determines total tax).
  • David Saunders commented on 3/18/2012
    I support the FAIR TAX plan with the following changes. A 20% federal retail sales tax on all good sold in the United States. No monthly rebates of any kind to any “household”. Repeal the 16th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Repeal all laws concerning all individual income, payroll, corporate, dividend, interest, estate, excise taxes. Amend the Constitution to enact the FAIR TAX plan that would require a 3/4ths majority in both houses of the Congress make any change to the rate and must be passed in two separate Congresses. There should be no taxes on prescription drugs or taxes on services (professional fees, etc). Abolish the Internal Revenue Service. The government in Washington, DC should not be concerned with the number of individuals in a household or how much income anyone earns from salaried work, dividends or interest. The “wholesale” cost of goods manufactured in the United States would drop 20 – 30%. Goods manufactured in the United States would be at a much more competitive price that imported goods from anywhere. This would leave Congress the responsibility to set duties on goods imported into the United States. The FAIR TAX is the most equal taxing method. If an individual wants to buy an automobile, that person would pay a 20% tax on the retail value. If that individual wants to have 1 or 20 children, that is that person’s choice and not the federal government’s. That would certainly eliminate all the loop holes and end the tax code being the providence of “special interest goups”.
  • Sandra Miller commented on 3/18/2012
    I would like to see something done about licensing for contractors. If you are a General Contractor/Construction Business, you have to have a Contractors License issued by the State, but you also have to purchase a business license in the City where you are located and every City where you conduct business if it is over a certain dollar amount. It is a form of tax and it is double taxation, in addition, it makes it difficult for small businesses to operate when they have to pay all these fees to the Government. Also, if a contractor is working on a Government installation, the Cities still come after them for a business license fee. A Federal Government installation is not actually a part of the City where they are located, they are owned by the Federal Government.
  • Elwyn Jordan commented on 3/18/2012
    As usual, your poll questions are simplistic and worded to solicit a certain response rather than find out what we think about a topic. For example in this poll a response was "I support repealing the death tax." Who wouldn't object to taxing someone's family because a family member died. Elwyn Jordan
  • Alan Cunningham commented on 3/19/2012
    Corporate taxes should be removed. I agree completely with others that corporate taxes are hidden and add to the cost of everything. Corporations do not pay taxes, they only pass them through to the consumer. In addition, think about the secondary effects on not having to pay someone to find ways around the tax and filing returns. The additional savings would result in even further price reductions. Unfortunately this is why the Government likes them -- it hides the tax from the view of the individual and allows them to provide "favors" to selected industries and individual companies. I would go one step further and require that ALL taxes (or items that result in a revenue to the Government so they will not just change the name) be specifically listed in the costs of goods. Just think about the shock that would result from consumers when they fill-up there car with gas and see how much of the cost is going to the Government (Federal, State, & local) and not the actual cost of the fuel. This obviously applies to all other items that are "taxed" individually. The federal tax code should be used for providing revenue to the Government only and not to allow for social engineering, favors, or other pet projects. These items should be voted on individually rather than hidden in a complex tax code that no one understands completely. As an aside, all laws should be written in plan language so that the average individual can understand them without the need of a lawyer.
  • Darrell Wesner commented on 3/23/2012
    I would support a true flat tax 0f 10 to 15 percent for every individual, group, and corporation in the United States or has financial business with the United States. I would consider two exemptions. Since there is a seperation of church and state I would consider true church donations that only benefits the church. Civic groups and organizations that provide funding to other individuals and groups will be exempt only the money that actually is provided. Any funds that are kept within the group or organization will be taxed at 10 percent.
  • Ronald Lewis commented on 3/23/2012
    I am more supportive in the Flat Tax. This way everyone has an investment in this country's debt. The more you make the more taxes you pay. There should be no additional taxes. The cost of enforcement of the tax codes could almost be eliminated, a substantial savings. More importantly, people would be more concerned as to how the government was spending their money.
  • DC Turtle commented on 3/23/2012
    Please please pass this silly budget. It will guarantee your defeat.
  • harry anjoorian commented on 3/24/2012
    the current tax system is an absolute disgrace! period! how can any sane person think that they can spend more than they take in is mind boggling! only you congressional fools would think that way!
  • William Nusbaum commented on 3/24/2012
    I've been a Republican for all of my adult life but am growing increasingly tired of our Party leaders offering up government employee jobs, wages, and benefits at the drop of a hat. I agree that everyone must do their share during hard times; however, this is becoming the common theme in our leadership. By the way, we haven't had a budget in two years now. Maybe it's time we cut back on the wages and benefits of every member in Congress until you pass one.
  • Doug Johnson commented on 3/24/2012
    There are several items that need to be addressed. These include the following: 1. President, both parties looking out for what is best for the country and not what is best for winning elections. 2. President/both parties need to be held responsible for what they say and actually do what they say instead of just saying words to get elected. 3. Get rid of all the lobbyist so that congress and senate are not influenced by the few 4. Get rid of the superpac's. If individuals want to donate funding have them donate to the national debt 5. Instead of the president, congress and senate receiving millions and millions of dollars for each election have individuals donate their funds to the national debt 6. if those running for election are so good they do not need millions of dollars to tell people they are so good
  • Rich Reviello commented on 3/24/2012
    Flat Tax sounds good no deductions for anything sounds even better. No deductions for 2nd homes because it is used for business meetings, no travel to vacation spots for meetings. Just think no deductions for giving to your Church or the Red Cross. If that came up for a vote I wonder what the sermone would be, on the Sunday before election day?
  • David Labbe commented on 3/26/2012
    Any bill that continues to freeze federal pay is a non starter. Two years of no raises is enough. Find some money somewhere else. I do vote and I do count. Virginia is the second largest federal pay area in the country. This bill hurts all federal workers as well as your state and district. I do not see how you can possible support this bill and claim to represent your district. I would give anything to be able to vote in a new Republican, a real Republican, in place of you, someone who would actually care about their constituents.
  • David Grizzle commented on 3/26/2012
    I prefer Senator Rand Paul's budget plan.
  • Keith Gardner commented on 4/9/2012
    There should be NO corporate tax at all. Corporations don't pay taxes, they merely collect them by passing them on to customers. Of course, as has been said on here, there really should be no income tax at all. The only reason income tax was passed at all was to work with the central bank to fleece the American people to pay off political cronies and it still is the reason for it today.
  • Robert Bartlett commented on 4/9/2012
    The United States should have the lowest tax rate in the industrialized world. This would be a maximum incentive for businesses, our own as well as others to locate here. This is a job multiplier as well as a great way to find and use other resources to boost our economy.
  • Jim Lynch commented on 4/9/2012
    I'm very ambivalent about our corporate tax policy. On the one hand, taxes are an operating expense which, like any other such expense, is just passed on to the customer. So the corporation is just a tax collector. So from that logic, it would seem to make more sense for corporations to pay no taxes. On the other hand, we use our tax code to guide behavior rather than the sole reliance on regulations. I'd be all for cutting the corporate tax rate to zero, but only in the context of a full over-haul of our tax laws. Which means it'll never happen. But I can dream right!
  • James Byrd commented on 4/9/2012
    Corporate taxes should be zero. Corporations do not really pay taxes. It is only a pass through to consumers. If taxes need to be raised do it directly on the people who end up paying so that they know what they are paying.
  • Larrry Trotter commented on 4/9/2012
    I think that the corporate tax rate has to be competitive with the countries that many of the US companies are moving. Unless the tax rates are, the US companies have no incentive to move back to the US.
  • Kim Rudisill commented on 4/9/2012
    I find all discussions about tax rates to be missing one salient point. Very few individuals and very few companies actually pay an effective tax rate that is equal to the maximum marginal tax rate. I would be far more sympathetic to anyone's argument for higher or lower tax rates if the comparisons were based on effective tax rates. It's no secret and blatantly obvious that if you reduce deductions in calculating taxable income that you can reduce the marginal tax rate and generate an identical tax burden. Play with the definitions of what goes into gross income, taxable income and tax rates and one can make the numbers say almost anything. So we are at 39% and someone else is at 20%...so what? Tell me the gross income, tell me the taxable income and tell me the effective tax rate of the United States versus the rest of the world and you will get my attention. Until then, you are just blowing smoke!
  • Gary Telecsan commented on 4/9/2012
    Even politicians should know the difference between tax rate and the effective rate paid, which for many corporations is effectively 0. If we're going to change the rate, we should change the rules, or Mr. Average citizen will be picking up a larger share. The US effective rate for corporations is among the lowest in the western world. Don't be deceived by numbers without context.
  • Pottayil Thomas commented on 4/9/2012
    Corporate profits in excess of future (say 5 years) growth needs should be distributed to shareholders and they will be paying the tax. Who will calculate the future growth need? May be it should be in a wide range, like the Congressional Wealth estmate!
  • Donald Arthur commented on 4/9/2012
  • D amato commented on 4/9/2012
    Decrease it to 39% even, and hold it at that. I know corporate tax is highest in the US but other countries will be looking at this in the future and raising their tax rates to compensate for what the everyday worker can't afford.
  • Mary Howald commented on 4/9/2012
  • Carl Louk commented on 4/9/2012
    The U.S. Corporate tax rate should be 10% GOD only ask that you Tithe 10%. If GOD only need 10% of our money the government doesn't need more then GOD.
  • H. Freeman Seebo commented on 4/9/2012
    The State of Washington has a Gross Revenue Tax called the B&O Tax (because Income Taxes are Unconstitutional) they gave it another name. However, it is the single best model for an income tax that I have ever seen. You report your field of business, and your gross revenue, i.e. sales. there is a minimum below which you pay no tax. As your gross revenue increases, there is a graduated discount. Once you reach the threshold, you pay a flat rate that applies to your business area. It is completely fare, it does not allow any discounts, and it does not encourage lying, manipulation or encourgaments to hide or steal. It is absolutely simple and straight forward. It is also completelyrespectful of the freedom and rights of the indivdual to whom it is applied.
  • Barbara Haskins commented on 4/9/2012
    I support lowering the rate to compete with other nations. I agree with many comments re effective rates, etc. I favor losing all deductions. I also favoring getting rid of corporations filing as individuals or vice versa- S corporations. Separate these two. Whenever tax reform comes up, this is the issue I hear: that it penalizes the S filers. Change this re small business owners.
  • Carl Vetzel commented on 4/9/2012
    Between 15 and 20%
  • Dan Novak commented on 4/9/2012
    US corporations don't pay 39%...there are too many loop holes in the tax code for them...a better figure is probably 5%...a more realistic tax rate is 10% for everyone, every business, every person, no exemptions...period.
  • Louis Tayon commented on 4/9/2012
    The tax code needs to be made simple for everyone. That said if corporations are given a lower tax break it should be tied with their increase (real) of new jobs and not to provide additional corporate salary incentives
  • Louis Tayon commented on 4/9/2012
    A complete overhaul of the existing tax code to make it very simple is most important. That said, any lowering of the tax rate or tax incentives for corporations should be tied to the increase I new jobs (real numbers) and not add to salary incentives of corporate partners.
  • Jim Adkins commented on 4/9/2012
    I support a flat tax with no deductions. A 14% tax on everyone would be fair for all. Everyone uses the government services in one form or another therefore it is only right that everyone pays a tax for the services. If a person earned one dollar ($1.00) they would pay fourteen cents ( $0.14). The rich that makes a hundred million dollars they would pay fourteen million dollars ($14,000,000.00) in taxes. A flat tax with no deductions would be best for all concerned.
  • Jerry Dudley commented on 4/9/2012
    While I would prefer 25% corporate tax rate, I would accept 28% if that is the only way to move forward. Either would be a big improvement on the current rate. While I am a conservative in principle, I fell that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are willing to compromise, even a little, for the good of the people and the country.
  • Aldo Mosti commented on 4/10/2012
    Now is NOT the time to drop taxes, the Governement is already broke & short of funds. This is the same reason i opposed Obamacare....there is NO money for it. What NEEDS to be done is to close the Loopholes to force the corporations to pay what they should pay. AFTER the economy is back on it's feet is the time to discuss lowering taxes, not now.
  • whispering sage commented on 4/10/2012
    I would encourage all to read Cracking the Code and find out what exactly the law says NOW. I have made drastic changes to the way I file for myself and my husband. I am also careful never to call myself an "employee" making "wages" or "income" as those are legally loaded terms and not to apply in a general sense. For a first lesson take the test at www.howyoubecomeliable.com
  • Dave D commented on 4/10/2012
    As in almost every instance which involves the government the tail is wagging the dog. The bureaucrats act like they are doing corporations/businesses a favor by allowing them to exist. In reality government exists because of corporations/businesses and citizens. No one actually believes that needed governmental services (military, police, fire, etc.) are free and recognize that payment of a tax is the method of collection. However, a tax rate should not be arbitrarily established to allow the bureaucrats to spend any which way they desire. Tax rates should only be set after a tax is explained and justified. Business is business. And, the government should be run as a business. Get rid of the deadwood individuals, programs and agencies. Stopping the fraud, theft and mis-use of expenditures should be a major focus of governmental bureaucracy as it is in a business. Until such time as these and other issues are addressed to me an acceptable amount of tax would be 9% of less. Jobs that have been outsources would return with new jobs to the USA. Because of new business the amount of taxes collected would proportionally increase.
  • Joe Doudera commented on 4/10/2012
    Corporate taxes are simply another tax on us, the consumer. The tax is added into the cost of goods and services and we pay it. The tax rate for corporations should be ZERO. Corporation profits should be taxed only when the money is passed into an individual's hands as dividends or income.
  • Cathy Squires commented on 4/10/2012
    Congressman Forbes, As I have e-mailed you before, the Fair Tax is the way to go both for corporate & the individual (http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer). In the long term more taxes would be collected because it is collecting taxes from tax streams that usually aren't taxed (tourist, under the table, illegal), and allow people to decide how they want to spend their whole pay check, not have a large portion of it "contributed" to the government for others to decide how it should be spent.
  • Jerry Pond commented on 4/10/2012
    Since the rate is only on profit and not the full income and the 3 year carry back and 2 year carry forward of losses it should stay where it is. If the dollar amount of taxes a corp pays on its profit is divided by the total income they actually pay less than 1%. Why should corp the only ones who actually make income (profit) pay less than individuals?" We already pay all there bills for them they swhould pay their fair share of taxes especially the oil companies who are robbing us blind. The airlines and Chrysler have not paid any taxes in at least 40 years.
  • Mark Kraemer commented on 4/10/2012
    Zero is correct. Individuals will pay taxes on the profits paid out by the corporations. Retained earnings are used to create more jobs. Zero is the correct rate if we want jobs. Government needs to shrink or we will as a nation become much poorer.
  • Robert Bond commented on 4/10/2012
    This is a no brainer. Lower the corporate tax rate to zero - 0 - nada - nothing. Abolish the IRS and ADOPT THE FAIRTAX. Companies and offshore accounts would return to this country by the millions ($$$$$$$). Instant prosperity.
  • Ed Rogers commented on 4/10/2012
    The current rate is a facade. Most businesses ao any size have found ways to circumvent the 39.5% rate, so the effective rate on average is ore than competitive world-wide. However, the tax system is quite unfair, with small businesses tending to be disadvantaged compared to big businesses. So we need to reach a fair arrangement not only for corporate taxes but the whole system. I DO NOT like the Ryan proposal and urge that a Simpson-Bowles-type commission be appointed to do a thorough examination of alternatives with overall goals of taxation representing fair assessment of the benefits all sectors of the economy derive from government. This is not an easy job! But is it essential. Government needs income to provide all the services of a civilized America. Please do your best, Rep. Forbes! (Your security codes are virtually impossible to reproduce.)
  • Sandra Miller commented on 4/10/2012
    Based on information that I found at: http://www.worldwidetax.com/#partthree on 62 countries, I think the corporate tax rate should be somewhere around 25%. I averaged the rates for the 62 countries found on this site and got 23.26%. It's interesting that there are places in the United Kingdom whose corporate tax rates are lower than they are in the US, because their cost of living is greater.
  • C M commented on 4/10/2012
    The question of how much tax can only be answered by determining how much government. The scope of government is well-over its limits, thus taxes and all other 'revenue' generation schemes are inflated to fund the expansive state. Limit the size and scope of the federal government to its constitutionally enumerated powers and the need for funding will decrease commensurately. For starters lower the corporate tax below every other nation and gain the competitive edge. Then keep trimming the federal government while equipping individuals for self-government once again.
  • Robert Brown commented on 4/10/2012
    Congressman Forbes: I echo the comments of others who say that so called 'corporate taxes' are nothing more than addiitonal taxes on citizens (consumers). Anyone who knows basic business principals understands that overhead costs are built into the cost of goods when sold. Others argue that businesses must pay something to support the use of common infrastructure. I can understand that argurment on perhaps a local level, but not for the Federal government. If I had my way corproate taxes would be ZERO and the Federal government would emply a consumption tax (known as the Fair Tax by many).
  • Atwood Brooks commented on 4/10/2012
    I support the Ryan budget, but I think the coporate tax rate, ideally, should be in the high teens to make us more competitive in the international market.
  • M R Wood commented on 4/11/2012
    The question seems absurd. I don't believe the average voter has sufficient understanding of the tax code to make an evaluation of how taxes are to be levied. Educated economists working extensively with such matters are unable to agree, much less politicians whose decisions are solely based on campaign contributions.
  • Herbert Hudson commented on 4/11/2012
    Not the tax rate that is the problem.. It is the loop holes that allow some corps to pay little or no taxes that poses a problem.
  • Robert Paxson commented on 4/11/2012
    I would approve lowering the corporate tax rates under three conditions. 1) The economy is completly out of the recession 2) GDP is over 1.5% 3) We have a balanced budget. Lets balance the books first before cutting income. Once the budget is balanced I would be 100% behind lowering corporte tax rates for corporations to 25% (or even lower to 23%) as well as all americans. We need to get out books straight first before changing anything.
  • John Parker commented on 4/11/2012
    Congressman Forbes, along with his other cronies, has been given their recent prepared talking points from Mecca (RNC) and this one’s a doozy. You just read how the U.S. has just become "number one" in corporate taxation. What Mr. Forbes doesn’t tell you is the campaign to make this event news was led by the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs that advocates for a lower corporate rate and a more "competitive" tax system. What Mr. Forbes doesn’t tell you is corporate taxation is the highest on paper only. In practice, the true U.S. corporate tax rate is barely half of the 35 percent nominal rate. An in-depth study conducted by Citizens for Tax Justice last November found that the biggest and most profitable Fortune 500 corporations paid only 18.5 per percent in federal income taxes on their U.S. profits from 2008 through 2010. Many companies paid little or nothing. In fact, over the last 10 years, Boeing has only paid federal income taxes in two years (in 2002 and 2007) and has gotten tax refunds from the U.S. Treasury all the others. Fact: Boeing's average federal tax rate in the last decade? Negative 6.5 percent. General Electric paid no taxes last year and, in the last ten years, has averaged a federal income tax rate of 2.3 percent on its $83 billion in U.S. profits. Don’t expect Mr. Forbes to advise you of this fact, either. The reason for the extraordinarily low U.S. corporate tax payments, of course, is that our corporate tax code is riddled with loopholes and tax breaks, most of them indefensible. These include rules that let companies shift their profits, on paper, to low-tax foreign tax havens, and thereby avoid their U.S. tax responsibilities. The price tag for these subsidies is slated to approach $2 trillion over the next 10 years. In fact, if you look into the foreign taxes paid by U.S. companies, you'll make an interesting discovery. Despite the common corporate claims that U.S. taxes are higher than taxes in other developed countries, it turns out that most U.S. multinational corporations are actually paying higher taxes to foreign governments on the profits they earn there than they pay to the U.S. on the profits they earn here. One would think that eliminating corporate tax subsidies would be high on the list among the ways we could cut our nation's long-term budget deficits. And in fact, the American general public does think so. Will Mr. Forbes acknowledge this fact? Only when hell freezes over. But that is the power of corporate money and corporate lobbying in our nation's capital that every Republican presidential candidate and virtually every GOP member of Congress (Forbes, et al) thinks we need to reduce corporate tax payments even further. And even some Democrats in Congress feel the same way. Another recent CTJ study found that 98 percent of sitting members of Congress (Forbes, et al) have accepted campaign money from the thirty most notorious tax avoiding companies. There's a price to pay for cutting the corporate income tax. It inevitably means higher taxes or reduced public services (or both) for the rest of us. Maintain the current corporate tax rate and get rid of all useless or harmful corporate tax breaks, which should appeal to anyone who believes in free markets. As an added bonus, if we get rid of these “representatives” (Forbes, et al) of the people who prostitute the body politic, this country may finally be able to envision economic and moral revival and clarity. Figures don’t lie, but liars figure…
  • Dan Martyn commented on 4/13/2012
    Since corporations simply pass on the tax to the consumer - do away with corporate income tax altogether. This should lower prices, which means consumers can spend on more things or save more money (which ever they desire).
  • Andrew Van Der Plaats commented on 4/18/2012
    I'm in support of EVERYONE paying the same percentage when it comes to their taxes, as their neighbors. No tax breaks for the oil firms, no breaks for the wealth, or industries, everyone pays the same percentage. How simple, excuse me, had can that be to accomplish??
  • John Boyle commented on 4/18/2012
    Before we raise taxes, we need to curb the spending patterns that our government has adopted...I do not believe raising taxes will correct the issues we have today, we have created loopholes in every tax law to date, poor, middle, upper class or the wealthly, i do believe we should all pay our fair share, fix the laws we have today before we create new.
  • Mark Test commented on 4/18/2012
    I am in favor of ALL income earners in the US paying their fair share of taxes. I agree the tax codes should be modified to see this happens in addition to closing the "loopholes" so many take advantage of, and in many cases probably abuse because the current laws allow it. I am also in favor of making the US corporate tax rate globally competitive to help businesses prosper and stimulate job growth in the US. And while we are discussing what's fair, when I say ALL income earners paying their fair share of taxes, I especially want to include ALL members of congress and any other government officials currently exempt from doing so.
  • Homer Hazel commented on 4/18/2012
    Congressman, I don't like paying taxes, but I have always paid my taxes. I paid when I was a private in the USMC making a mere $90.00 per month. We need a revision to our tax codes so everyone gets to pay some tax. And we have to stop giving people more money back than they pay in taxes. What kind of a stupid idea is that. When the 47% who pay no taxes start paying taxes, then I will consider agreeing to have my taxes raised.
  • Ed Eng commented on 4/18/2012
    A form of flat rate tax/consumption based at point of purchase would simplify the codes and eliminate loopholes for individuals. Then establish a basic incentive for corporations and businesses who 'consume' goods/services and labor domestically as opposed to overseas. Arbitrarily raising taxes upon those who outperform/are more successful over others is not right and leaves less incentive to excel.
  • Dale Delgado commented on 4/18/2012
    Rather than increasing the taxes on the top 1% (who already pay 40% of all taxes), why not concentrate on making it equitable by having ALL Ameticans pay taxes. This includes the 50% who pay no taxes but still get all of the benefits (free education, good roads, free police and fire, a military to protect them, etc.). It is about time that all Americans pay to support our country. This may even give the free loaders a new perspective, as they continue to vote for whomever will give them the most handouts!
  • Norwood Powell commented on 4/18/2012
    An overhaul of the entire tax code would be welcome. No individual/family or business within incomes of 1 million or more should pays tax rate that is less than the average middle class family. If this means a flat tax, so be it
  • Parnell Yeatts commented on 4/18/2012
    An across the board flat tax would be fair to all and would eliminate so much government bureaucracy that it would require one small bureaucracy to be created. It would be the Dept of reintegration of useless Govt employees to productive jobs in the free market. DRUGEPJFM program.
  • Duront Walton commented on 4/18/2012
    The whole tax code is overdue for a re-write. It's not a matter of increasing taxes it is one of plain fairness to all citizens. Everyone should pay taxes - if Congress can not deal with the demands of special interest then eliminate all deductions and attach a new progressive tax rate.
  • David Lockwood commented on 4/18/2012
    You insult our intelligence by providing a link from "Heritage Foundry" in your question. It is as right-wing bias as anything could be. You and your Republican cohorts should be ashamed at what you have and continue to do to our tax system.Corporations need to actually pay taxes, and the 1% should pay a higher percentage on their unearned income. This nation is being taken over by corporations and the ultra rich. Continue supporting that and find yourself and your cohorts being voted out of office.
  • Nancy Karnath commented on 4/18/2012
    A flat tax is really the way to go -- then those that make $1M a year will pay the same percentage of their income that the guy who only makes $20K makes of his salary. And there should be NO hiding of accounts in foreign countries, etc for the rich. Bonuses are also to be taxed.
  • pottayil thomas commented on 4/18/2012
    I am for a flat tax with very low income excemption. Congress should not be able dole out tax benefits to their constituents.
  • fred brox commented on 4/18/2012
    The problem is not the tax rates. The problem is the tax laws and regulations. A simple system which is designed to collect taxes instead of modifying corporate and individual behavior OR rewarding special interests with tax benefits is what is needed. One page of tax law is all that we should have. Corrupt politicians need a system with a lot of variables so that they can sell influence. It is quite obvious why we have the system that we have. Tax benefits to help the poor is stupid. Let the social services system take care of the needs of the poor. The tax system is best used to collect taxes.
  • Robert Bestercy commented on 4/18/2012
    Representative Forbes, thanks for the great discussion. I like you believe we have a need for tax reform, but at the same time must reel in spending. Simple messaging is key - "revert to 2008 federal spending levels and you reduce the current federal budget proposals by XX%." "Build a tax structure so that all Americans contribute to sustain national programs, government operations and social safety nets". Anything more complex and the average American clicks off.
  • Harold Kornylak commented on 4/18/2012
    You have made my day, I am so encouraged to find a legislator who seems to have the right ideas about how to restore us to sanity and productivity, instead of punishing productivity and rewarding dysfunction. In response to the 'Buffet rule' it is typical that when something comes to attention our government proposes yet another bandaid. As yu observe, we need LESS rules, not MORE. If the system is broke, lets fix the underlying problem, not just another whitewash.
  • Steven Robinson commented on 4/18/2012
    The multiple choice question does not have a short answer, therefore I picked the "other" box. On taxes, we need to: 1) reduce taxes on businesses to stimulate job growth and risk taking; and 2) implement a simplified tax code that eliminates an individual's ability to avoid paying taxes on personal income. If someone has a job or other income, pay into the system. On entitlements, we need to squeeze everyone and all programs on a one-time basis as equally as possible. Reduce all benefits by 10% whether it be medicare, food stamps, unemployment, social security, etc... Changes have to happen on both sides of the equation and soon. I don't expect my politicians and elected officials to base an entire national election on whether to raise taxes or reduce taxes. The administration and congress should be addressing our financial security. Financial security = national security.
  • W W commented on 4/18/2012
    Our tax codes and politicians alike are all jokes. All of us working Americans know that it's the loop-holes that corporations and millionaires enjoy that most working stiffs can't afford. It's sad that for the sake of a specific party these politicains are willing to sell our country out for votes. I don't think asking everyone to pay their fair share is asking too much.
  • Alle Shepard commented on 4/18/2012
    To me its not income, taxes, but spending and using credit. Cut back the largest department, HHS. Pay down the debt of 15.6 Trillion dollars which requires more than a billion dollars per day, yes per day, in interest. Please drop the flat tax. Those with more land, more dependent on infrastructure and the government will pay the same percentage as those on welfare. America's first tax, after the whiskey rebellion, was import taxes. Up till the 1940's business pad the majority of taxes. Now it is us, the people. Well the working people, who pay the most in taxes. In my house we cut spending while looking for more work instead of living off credit until more work comes in.
  • S R commented on 4/18/2012
    I think that it is unfair that the middle class gets taxed more than the super rich. Let everyone pay the same tax rate and quit giving tax refunds to those that didn't earn it. There is no incentative for the poor to work harder if they are rewarded with receiving back every bit of taxes that they paid and then some. Enough is Enough...one rate for everyone and don't pay out refunds that are not earned!
  • Chuck Miller commented on 4/18/2012
    Personally, I am for The Fair Tax and elimination of the IRS. But realistically, previous Congresses and Presidents have spent money we did not have to put us in the terrible financial situation we find our selves in today, basically starting with the New Deal Democrats, but both parties have contributed. We have been far too generous to EVERYONE who puts out their hand and to many that didn't. Wars and conflicts have not been on the budget; we have allowed the government to steal from so-called trust funds, so that one arm of the government owes another. And, do we ever intend to repay the debt. No! We just print more money and monetize the debt through greater and greater inflation. And when inflation seems to be growing too fast, we restructure the index and remove the greatest offenders. What do they say now? Inflation is X%, not counting gasoline and food. Well, what part of the economy most affects us - gasoline and food. And, it's not counted in the cost of living index that affects many other situations, one being the adjustment to social security payments. Well, I could go on forever about the abuses that the presidents and Congress have imposed on our economy and blamed everyone but themselves, but that's all in the past. Your question is for now and the future. I think we must get our economy under control. We have to undo the sins of the past. And, that will take some tax increases, but it must be tied to budget cuts, and in the minimum, a balanced budget. But the balanced budget needs to have some debt repayment built in so we continually reduce the debt. The biggest part of the program is to reduce or eliminate programs where we do not have money to pay for them. Not easy, for sure, but it must be done. If not, we will inflate our currency so that it is worth nothing, and everyone will be dependent on the government for handouts, and the government will rule our lives even more than it does now. I am 74 and the cost of living on investments that are continually being reduced in buying power is very difficult. Years ago, I could not foresee that I would be relying more and more on the government for my livelihood, but that is reality. When I began my career in 1960, the large corporation I joined promised that we were "family" and that would endure for my life with them and into retirement with pension and insurance. But now government programs caused the corporations to modify or drop their plans. My health insurance was cancelled because "the government now has a plan" so the company walked away from its promises. Back then, I had a choice. I could work for that company that promised security for life but not as great a salary (after all, that security would cost) or I could take my engineering degree and hop from company to company, selling my talents to those who had latched on to the newest big contract (usually with the government). There I would get more money but not the same security. I chose the security route because of family considerations. But the security I chose with the private company has now been replaced with the government programs and, with it, government control over my life. And, to make it worse, government cannot balance their budgets (or even produce a budget), so those government programs which are nearly my sole lifeline are bankrupt. This is indeed a grave situation. Congress only wants to kick the can down the road. Well, the road is at an end, and the can is empty. Are there any patriots left? When will Congress and the President start to look out for the people?
  • Debbie Boan commented on 4/18/2012
    How can I even consider supporting a tax increase with all the cuts being made to the education system? I am a public school teacher and our budgets keep getting less and less funding. Taxes increase, the cost of products increase, yet funding for education keeps decreasing. It has been 6 years since the teachers in my district have seen a pay raise. Now we are being told you want us to pay more taxes so what little we have to live on now will be even less! How many people in the work force with bachelor and/or master degrees make less than $50 or $40 thousand a year? Just something to think about!
  • Christine Snyder commented on 4/18/2012
    I agree we have a SPENDING problem, not a TAXING problem. One of the first things I would cut would be our FOREIGN AID to countries that don't like us...we can not buy their goodwill & most of the money goes into their politicians pockets & never makes it into their infrastructure or to the people. Then we need to cut way back on "special interest" spending. The Welfare system should revert back to it's original intention, which was a "temporary safety net" to help people for say 2 yrs to give them time to go back to school, get trained in a new occupation and back on their feet. Instead of what it's become...a lifestyle for some who have no desire or initive to get a job & support themselves or their families....and pay TAXES like the rest of us. There are many more ways to trim our spending ....but that's a start. Our politicians in Washington need to work with the dollars currently coming in & work a budget just like we "regular" tax paying Americans do every day.
  • W McElhannon commented on 4/18/2012
    I suggest that for every $1 raised by new taxes, $3 should be cut from the budget. I think the balance would solve the issue of some always taxing more. We need to see a return on our investment, and our children need to see us doing what is right, if we expect them to do the same. Lower the corporate taxe rate to drawback business. (Start small and see what changes.)
  • John Craig commented on 4/18/2012
    I beleive every one should have to pay taxes including ellegal immigrants huge pro for the fair tax. Get rid of all the loop holes the tax code is way over complicated. If everyone had to pay let's just say 5% that would be fair if you make 100000. You would pay 5000. If you make 1000000. You would pay 50000. Should'nt it be this simple. Let me say this I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM PAYING TAXES IF OUR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WERE MANAGING IT PROPERLY! Why is it that everyone except the government understand that you can not spend more than you make it's very simple maybe the government should cut back on their benefits. I could go on and on but it's only common sense we need more of that in our government.
  • Dale Horeth commented on 4/19/2012
    I would only support an across-the-board tax increase once all of the tax loopholes have been removed, all people of all income levels are paying the same tax rate, and those in this country illegally have no money spent on them outside of the fees required to immediatley ship them home.
  • R ROWALD commented on 4/19/2012
  • Hartley Dewey commented on 4/19/2012
    I support the flat tax.
  • Charles Crookshanks commented on 4/19/2012
    I seriously believe we are quickly becoming a socialist state. We need much less government with much less restrictions and a fair tax program.
  • Rich Miller commented on 4/19/2012
    It's truly time to change our tax structure as part of a larger plan to begin reducing our federal debt. Lowering our marginal tax rates (both individual and corporate) while broadening the base and at the same time reducing our federal expenditures should certainly be a part of this plan. The best plan I've seen to accomplish this debt reduction is the Bowles-Simpson Commission plan published early in 2010. If you're not familiar with this plan, just google Bowles-Simpson Commission and read the tax portion starting on page 28 of the Commission document - or better yet, read the whole plan. Its only 67 pages, probably a record for a government document and easily readible. Unless we move forward by electing congressional leaders willing to stand up and reduce our federal debt, we will become another Greece, a second class country brought to it's knees by over burdening debt
  • Angela Rueger commented on 4/21/2012
    I support the flat tax. I think everyone should pay the same rate regardless of their income. Successful people should not be penalized for their ingenuity.
  • Rich Miller commented on 4/22/2012
    Let's lower all tax rates (both individual and corporate), get rid of all loopholes and broaden the tax base so we all have at least a little skin in the game, that is let's all provide some support for our country. Best plan I've seen is Bowles-Simpson tax plan on page 28 of the Bowles-Simpson Commission report so take a look. Better yet, read the whole plan. It's only 68 pages long (must be a record for a government document) and would be a worthwhile read for all Americans.
  • Carolyn Glassco commented on 4/24/2012
    Everyone should share in the payment of taxes. We are actually taxed numerous times on the same money (taxed on income, and on the income once again when it is used to procure a good or service, and taxed on the ownership of some goods). Enough is enough. Many ideas regarding a flat tax have been generated by the American People, but it does not seem that Congress has taken any action. Perhaps some management skills need to be applied now that the problem has been identified and solutions have been proposed by the American People. If our representatives are in the position for the sole purpose to represent the American People, those representatives need to take initiative to review the proposals and put an action plan in place, take the action, and then evaluate the outcome. It is very simple-----too much discussion has elapsed over this tax problem and many other problems that face the American Citizens; when is there going to be some action to bring about resolution? Our representatives are not only in position to identify problems, but also to resolve the problem in a manner that will benefit all, especially the largest class of Americans (the Middle Class).
  • Thomas Crockett commented on 4/25/2012
    The only "FAIR" tax is the flat tax. Everyone pays the same percentage. Want more, then make more. Stay in school and learn. Do away with welfare from the Federal Govt. Truly needy "not Lazy" will get help from family and charitable organizations. Even family members will not support their own who are worthless, or refuse to work or help themselves. Our present tax system is unfair, expensive, not enforced. A plain across the board could eliminate most of the problems. How anyone can say that our present system is fair when 50% of the population pay no taxes is beyond me.
  • Stephen Correia commented on 4/26/2012
    I believe it is the Federal Governments job to protect our borders and we have done a poor job of doing that. I also believe the states have the right to protect their own borders as it relates to illegal activities including immigration.
  • Joe D. commented on 4/26/2012
    Your question about Illegal immigration is stupid. States should not be "regulating" illegal immigration but they must absolutly be able to enforce existing illegal immigration laws. If people don't like it, change the law.
  • Richard Fraley commented on 4/26/2012
    Anyone in law enforcement should be able to ask if you are an U.S. Citizen. Are law enforcement officers only charged with enforcing certain laws ? I surely hope not.
  • Richard Fraley commented on 4/26/2012
    I think the congress is completely out of control. I would like to see a Constitutional Convention convened to limit terms served by members of both the house and senate. Also, I would like to see that they can pass no laws that doesn't include them also. Eliminate all present retirement plans, medical benefits and self installed perks that they have set up for themselves. They should retire under Social Security like all citizens and also pay for medical insurance out of their pay, which generally is well above the pay of the average citizen. They are public servants, installed to serve the people, not to enhance their personal wealth. Our country is in debt, because they spent the money and what really galls me, is that they gave themselves a PAY RAISE, for failure.
  • a b commented on 4/26/2012
    On Illegals...jobs are down, stress is high, but you don't see much in the news of illegals murdering people and robbing them at gunpoint, or stirring up quiet neighborhoods.....and I am not discriminating against anybody....but illegals are not the ones in the news......if it wasn't for illegals, a lot of manual labor would not get done. Say whatever you want...our forefathers were all illegals back in the day.....enough already !!!! People come to this country because it is supposed to be the land of opportunity....the only opportunity you get sometimes is doors slammed in your face !!!! People in our country are homeless, hungry and jobless......get the priorities in order. On taxes.....they should all just be done away with......I know that it is impossible to do, but some taxes are unfair. Stop increasing the meal tax; it's hard enough for people to just find food in the first place. Stop the personal property taxes; we already paid for it once. On cutting budgets...taking it out of the schools and the veterans and the elderly is not the answer. Cut out things like extra committes to evaluate something that is already known how to fix. Cut out putting property tax stickers on your windshield in all localities.....bring customer service techs back to our country; I don't want to talk to someone in a foreign country when I call to talk about my store account...in other words stop teh out-sourcing....give our kids jobs. Cheap labor is not always cheaper.
  • Stan Bennett commented on 4/26/2012
    Why does the Republican controlled house not pass a law placing Social Security back into "lock box" status and out of the Treasury as it was before 1966 when the Dems took it out? No house or senate member could ever again use it as a slush fund. What representative is going to vote against it?
  • Jeff Jessee commented on 4/26/2012
    Yes, Arizona should have the right and authority to protect it's borders. Every State has it's own leadership to govern. Freedom is not free and must be earned every day. The Federal Government and State Governments should work together, however, the State should have the full authority to govern on it's own accord. Our border patrol and law enforcement officials need the tools and support to do their jobs daily. We must protect our Great Nation from foreign and domestic enemies. When a police officer stops a driver they ask for drivers license and registration. This ensure the vehicle is properly registered and the driver has the proper license to drive. Driving is a privilege not a right. We must support and protect the laws in place. Checking individuals for proper identification is good common practice.
  • Wilson Garland commented on 4/26/2012
    Stop putting words into our poll inputs! I support States helping with illegal immigration and do not feel that the Federal Government has failed with a Democrat President and not with a Republican President. Why didn't you feel that way when Bush was President?
  • Carmen Clifford commented on 4/26/2012
    Every state has its unique immigration problems depending on their geography and socio-economic environment. Certain types of industry, access to government funded services (welfare), the presence of an illegal community in the area as a source of support to newcomers and the lack of law enforcement, make some states more attractive to illegal aliens. I suppose that if a criminal knew of a state in which he could roam around without much of a chance at being discovered or arrested, he would probably want to move there. I imagine states that share a border with Mexico have a much more serious problem than states further away. So, each state should have the ability to implement innovative measures tailored to their very specific needs and issues. Having a "one size fits all" immigration enforcement policy has not and will never work because of the diversity of issues at hand.
  • Arthur Moss commented on 4/26/2012
    Since theree is almost nothing that one can do without an official ID, and Congress did pass a True ID law a few years ago, Arizona is only applying the federal law. Personally,, I have a mini copy of my military DD214, in my wallet. A recent Supreme Court ruling says you will be subject to a full strip search after any arrest, when admitted to any confinement.
  • Bruce Sims commented on 4/26/2012
    I am sure that the REAL solution would be a "FLAT" CONSUMPTION tax!! EVERYONE pays taxces on everthing purchased! (the rate from 10 to 17% ) The rich do not need to pay more tax, they make more jobs here and if they pay more tax they leave the country or...they find a way to get a loophole to not pay the taxes! The taxes paid bu everyone would be greater if allllll paid it on consumption! The "EXAMPLE" is Bermuda! they have that kind of system and people like it! They get their whole check, there is NO income tax, and NO federal tax and there is a percentage based "CONSUMPTION tax!! ONLY paid on comsumption! IT does work because the pot is for all 300 plus million to pay. Even a child who buys candy etc GET IT!!! It is a lot better than collecting, or somethimes not collecting taxes from maybe HALF (but I doubt that) the tax paying public! NO..deductions, nothing, just a flat consumption tax!! STUDY this out and see!!
  • Steven Smith commented on 4/27/2012
    If only it were that simple. The Constitution delegates that authority to the Fed however, no one, not even Arizona, was seeking to usurp the Fed. Arizona, as well as Texas, New Mexico and several other border states experience the challenges of illegal aliens more than others. (California has given up on immigration laws so they don't really count here). Accordingly, the crime, violence, costs, is impacted significantly more on them than the good folks in Kansas, Indiana, or Minnesota. All Arizona ever wanted was for the Fed to do their job and secure the border. When the Feds failed, and did so in fashion that appeared to be deliberate, Arizona was faced with no alternative but to seek to protect her citizens. I hope the Commonwealth will equally value my security. The challenge of immigration control, actually invasion at this point, is a joint effort between the Fed and the state - neither one being able to succeed completely without the other. Unless we agree on this, the value of being part of a united federation is questionable. So, the answer to the question, as asked, is both yes and no.
  • Larry Trotter commented on 4/30/2012
    The States should file suit aganist the Federal Government to force the Federal Government to do its duties. The responsibility lies with the Federal Government. Once the States win, which I think they would, and the Federal Government does NOT perform its duties, which it has not, then the States should enforce the Federal Laws.
  • Jody Sykes commented on 5/3/2012
    The Supreme Court ruling Citizen's United vs (FEC) Federal Electoral Commission,because corporations are not People and should not have constitutional rights as the People.,that is the governance of corporatism and fascism,which goes hand in hand. Today lobbyist's contribution dollars speak louder than the American constituent voters to our politicians,thus corrupting the diplomacy of the democracy process,that the Founding Fathers envisioned for this country was a government for and by the People. As a Libertarian,we will stand by and before the Constitution,Declaration Of Independence and the Bill Of Rights even when our sworn in office elected officials to uphold these binding legal documents have further desecrated and undermined it. The People will have the last so in these matters.
  • Nancy Ivy commented on 5/21/2012
    I support the "Fair Tax" and ditching the IRS. See http://www.fairtax.org
  • Willard Roberts commented on 9/20/2012
    I support the flat tax, let all Americans have a hand in the game, if you are on welfare, pay your taxes, if you make millions, pay your taxes. Dump the IRS, SMALLER GOVERNMENT.
  • john barnes commented on 1/26/2015
    Before we raise taxes, we need to curb the spending patterns that our government has adopted...I do not believe raising taxes will correct the issues we have today, we have created loopholes in every tax law to date, www.tinnituhearingmiracle.com poor, middle, upper class or the wealthly, i do believe we should all pay our fair share, fix the laws we have today before we create new.
  • Chester Bobo commented on 9/13/2015
    I favor elimination of taxes on businesses, and only tax all individual income at he rate of 10%, with no exemptions, no deductions, no credits, no exceptions - ten percent across-the-board, for everyone who receives income from any source.
  • Chester Bobo commented on 9/13/2015
    Eliminate all taxes except personal income taxes. Tax each individual 10% on all income from all sources. Disallow all exemptions, deductions, credits, and loopholes.
  • Chester Bobo commented on 9/13/2015
    Ten per cent income tax across-the-board.
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