Every Republican wants to cut tax rates. Some, like Marco Rubio, by a little; some, like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, by a lot. The general theme on the GOP side is lower tax rates, fewer loopholes and simplicity.
Democrats favor the opposite. Bernie Sanders, the socialist Vermont senator who is drawing throngs of fans everywhere he goes, wants tax rates back up to 70% or more. This sock-it-to-the-rich line is a crowd-pleaser, especially with young voters, and draws thunderous applause.
Hillary Clinton is right behind him with her proposed 44% tax on capital gains investment income. The rhetoric is pure envy: The rich have so much, so the rest of us should feel entitled to a bigger slice of their income. Historically, raising income tax rates on the rich hasn’t done much to raise revenues or help the poor.
Sanders thinks he can reduce the gap between rich and poor by raising tax rates to 70%. But when rates were that high in the 1970s, the government got 19% of its revenue from the rich. With today’s lower rate of about 40%, the government gets nearly twice as much, or about 36% of all income taxes, from the top 1%.
Obama raised tax rates on the rich — on capital gains, dividends, estates and income — yet income inequality has risen every year he’s been president.
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Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore