Saying the current federal tax code discourages entrepreneurship, personal savings and middle-class investment, while killing job creation and forcing American jobs overseas, Republican congressional challenger Jon Runyan (NJ-3) today outlined his eight-point plan to cut taxes on individuals and businesses, calling it the best way to improve the economy, create jobs and restore long-term prosperity to the country.
While being highly critical of the Obama-Pelosi-Adler spending spree taking place today, Runyan also criticized former President George W. Bush for not matching his 2001 and 2003 tax cuts with corresponding cuts in federal spending, saying the failure to do so was fiscally irresponsible and started the country down the path to budget deficits.
"The current economic crisis we find ourselves in today was a bipartisan creation and it will require a bipartisan solution," said Runyan, who recently proposed a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and a "Red Ink Task Force" aimed at reviewing all federal spending and recommending cuts to the President and Congress that would have to be voted on prior to the 2012 elections. "I firmly believe that the only way to improve our economy and create jobs is to cut taxes and reduce federal spending. In Congress, I will seek bipartisan support for these tax cuts while pledging to match each cut with corresponding reductions in federal spending and eliminate deficits."
Runyan also repeated his opposition to the Value-Added-Tax (VAT) floated earlier this year by representatives of the Obama Administration, saying: "The last thing we need in this economy is a European-style Value-Added-Tax and again I urge Congressman Adler to join me in opposing this terrible idea floated by White House Economic Adviser Paul Volcker."
1. Cut Tax Rates Across the Board by 15%
"Tax cuts like those implemented by President Kennedy in the 1960's and President Reagan in the 1980's actually increased federal revenue and helped spur economic growth," said Runyan, citing figures from a 1997 Congressional Joint Economic Committee Report chaired by former Congressman Jim Saxton found at www.house.gov/jec/growth/longterm.htm as well as various reports from the Heritage Foundation. "We must follow a similar course today. Cutting marginal tax rates across the board by 15% will increase economic growth, create jobs, and encourage investment, savings and entrepreneurship."
2. Reduce the Corporate Tax Rate to 25%
"The top corporate tax bracket should be completely lowered and a 25% flat tax implemented to help American companies better compete with other developed countries around the world when it comes to job creation and economic growth," said Runyan, who said 26% is roughly the average corporate tax rate for other developed countries, with Ireland having the lowest at 12.5% according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation. "Lower taxes will lead to higher wages for American workers, and keep jobs in America instead of having them head overseas seeking a more favorable business climate."
3. Eliminate the Double Tax on Social Security Benefits
"It defies logic that the federal government should double-tax seniors on social security benefits," said Runyan. "Taxing our seniors on a previously earned benefit that already subject to tax is only something government could conclude was fair. This tax is hurting middle-income seniors who are already struggling with out-of-control property taxes -- especially here in New Jersey -- as well as prescription drug costs and rising energy costs that will only go higher thanks to awful cap-and-trade legislation."
4. Increase the Child Tax Credit by 25%
"While the cost raising children in today's society is staggering, there is nothing more rewarding in my opinion," said Runyan. "Providing parents of school-age children with additional tax relief was a good idea when it was first implemented, and I would like to see the amount of the credit increased from $1,000 per child to $1,250 per child."
5. A Moratorium on Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
"With so many Americans struggling to find work and unemployment benefits sometimes the only way of keeping their head above water, it's flat out wrong for the government to pick their pockets by taxing that benefit in the midst of this economic crisis," said Runyan. "I would temporarily eliminate all income taxes on these benefits until unemployment falls back below 7% and the immediate crisis has eased."
6. Cut Capital Gains & Dividends Taxes in Half to Encourage Saving, Investing
"By slashing the tax on capital gains and dividends -- by at least half -- we will create a whole new investor class, including encouraging young people, lower income earners and seniors on a fixed income to invest again or for the first time," said Runyan, who cited an article at www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11098797/ that said the savings rate in America is at its lowest point since 1933. "Our tax policy almost forces people to spend and consume when our focus should be on savings and investment. By reducing taxes on investments and savings we can turn this disastrous trend around."
7. Ease Restrictions on 401k & IRA Investments
"We should ease restrictions on how much taxpayers can contribute to their employer-sponsored 401(k)-type plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), thereby incentivizing investment," said Runyan, who signaled a willingness to work with other members of Congress, investment experts and business leaders to determine where the new limits should be set. "The Congress should seek to institute policies that encourage fiscal responsibility and long-term planning and easing these contribution restrictions will help do that."
8. Permanently Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax & The Death Tax
"The current "patch' passed by Congress on an annual basis to increase the AMT minimum threshold is typical of the nonsensical actions taken by Congress every year," said Runyan. "Instead of permanently solving something they concede is a problem, they implement a temporary, annual fix -- which is completely ridiculous. As for the death tax, the one-year hiatus we are enjoying today should be made permanent. Preventing someone from passing on their hard-earned money to future generations of their family is a disgrace and disproportionately affects people like small business owners and family farmers."
"John Adler is a career politician who has been raising taxes on people since he was a Cherry Hill Councilman in the late 1980's. As a State Senator in Trenton he rubber-stamped irresponsible budgets from Jim McGreevey and Jon Corzine that pushed New Jersey to the brink of bankruptcy and made us the highest taxed state in the nation," said Runyan, citing figures from the non-partisan Tax Foundation. "Now he's in Washington voting for $1 trillion stimulus bill that has failed to fix our economy, while causing deficits to explode, and claiming to be a moderate while backing Nancy Pelosi's reckless agenda more than 90% of the time." (Source: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/a000364/)
"At the end of the day, this campaign comes down to a simple choice," said Runyan. "If people want higher taxes, more spending and bigger government, then vote for career politician John Adler. If they want lower taxes, less spending and a smaller government, then vote for me and let's move our country in a different direction starting next January."