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Brad Ellsworth on Tax Reform

Democrat


Take away some of the hundreds of tax breaks & exemptions

Viewers learned that Ellsworth and his wife do their own taxes, but that the Democrat believes the tax code needs to be simpler. He said after the debate that Congress needs to consider taking away some of the hundreds of tax breaks, exemptions and other provisions that force small business owners to hire accountants to determine what they owe the government.

Ellsworth said he'd met with advocates for the FairTax, a proposal to essentially wipe out all existing federal taxes and replace them with a 23% sales tax. Individuals and businesses need "to know what to expect for years" from their tax bills, Ellsworth said.

Coats said he's open to the FairTax--but as just one idea among many to explore for making the tax code easier to understand. The tax system needs to be "fairer, flatter, simpler, and there a number of proposals out there that are sensible to take a look at." But Coats said he could not support a value-added tax.

Source: Louisville Courier-Transcript on 2010 Indiana Senate debate Oct 22, 2010

Extend Bush tax cuts for all recipients

President Obama has pushed for an extension of the Bush tax cuts for those making below $200,000. With some exceptions, this position has been echoed by Democrats on the Hill, who argue that the budget would take a major blow if the tax cuts for the wealthy are extended. On the campaign trail, it appears, the argument is a bit harder to make. Rep. Brad Ellsworth, who is running for Sen. Evan Bayh's soon to be vacated seat, has said he would support extending the entire package of Bush tax cuts.
Source: Huffington Post, "Wants Bush Tax Cuts Extended For Wealthy" Aug 19, 2010

Voted YES on extending AMT exemptions to avoid hitting middle-income.

Congressional Summary:Amends the Internal Revenue Code to:
  1. increase and extend through 2008 the alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amounts;
  2. extend through 2008 the offset of personal tax credits against AMT tax liabilities; Reference: Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act; Bill H.R.6275 ; vote number 2008-455 on Jun 25, 2008

    Voted YES on paying for AMT relief by closing offshore business loopholes.

    H.R.4351: To provide individuals temporary relief from the alternative minimum tax (AMT), via an offset of nonrefundable personal tax credits. [The AMT was originally intended to apply only to people with very high incomes, to ensure that they paid a fair amount of income tax. As inflation occurred, more people became subject to the AMT, and now it applies to people at upper-middle-class income levels as well. Both sides agree that the AMT should be changed to apply only to the wealthy; at issue in this bill is whether the cost of that change should be offset with a tax increase elsewhere or with no offset at all. -- ed.]

    Proponents support voting YES because:

    Rep. RANGEL: We have the opportunity to provide relief to upward of some 25 million people from being hit by a $50 billion tax increase, which it was never thought could happen to these people. Almost apart from this, we have an opportunity to close a very unfair tax provision, that certainly no one has come to me to defend, which prevents a handful of people from having unlimited funds being shipped overseas under deferred compensation and escaping liability. Nobody, liberal or conservative, believes that these AMT taxpayers should be hit by a tax that we didn't intend. But also, no one has the guts to defend the offshore deferred compensation. So what is the problem?

    Opponents recommend voting NO because:

    Rep. McCRERY: This is a bill that would patch the AMT, and then increase other taxes for the patch costs. Republicans are for patching the AMT. Where we differ is over the question of whether we need to pay for the patch by raising other taxes. The President's budget includes a 1-year patch on the AMT without a pay-for. That is what the Senate passed by a rather large vote very recently, 88-5. The President has said he won't sign the bill that is before us today. Republicans have argued against applying PAYGO to the AMT patch. In many ways PAYGO has shown itself to be a farce.

    Reference: AMT Relief Act; Bill HR4351 ; vote number 2007-1153 on Dec 12, 2007

    50-25-25 budget formula for debt-tax cuts-spending.

    Ellsworth adopted the Blue Dog Coalition press release:

    The 33 member Blue Dog Coalition applauds Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) for his commitment to fiscal responsibility. In a floor speech today, Senator Lieberman called for a budget framework that would devote half of the budget surplus to debt reduction, a quarter of the remaining funds to tax cuts, the final quarter to targeted spending increases in America’s priority programs. Senator Lieberman touted a mantra long held by the Blue Dogs that “our top priority must remain debt reduction.”

    Senator Lieberman’s position closely reflects the “50-25-25” equation for responsible budgeting long advocated by the Blue Dog Coalition. The Blue Dogs’ formula would extract the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds from the projected budget surplus and use half of the remaining funds to pay down the national debt. After committing 50 percent to debt reduction, 25 percent would be allocated to tax cuts and the remaining 25 percent would fund increases in priority programs, such as education, agriculture, defense, and health care. “The 50-25-25 budget framework is a common sense, fiscally conservative approach that will provide for a healthy economy, lower taxes, and reduction of our national debt. I am pleased that Senator Lieberman stressed the need for fiscal discipline,” said Blue Dog Budget Task Force Co-Chairman, Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS).

    “Senator Lieberman got it exactly right,” said Blue Dog Co-Chairman Rep. Jim Turner (D-TX). “We need a budget that meets our commitments and lives up to our responsibilities. Most importantly, we need a budget that adds up. The 50-25-25 framework is a smart, conservative, approach that prioritizes paying down the debt and still leaves room for real tax relief.”

    Source: Blue Dog Coalition press release 01-BDC3 on Feb 8, 2001

    Taxpayer Protection Pledge: no new taxes.

    Ellsworth signed Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge"

    Politicians often run for office saying they won't raise taxes, but then quickly turn their backs on the taxpayer. The idea of the Pledge is simple enough: Make them put their no-new-taxes rhetoric in writing.

    In the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, candidates and incumbents solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases. While ATR has the role of promoting and monitoring the Pledge, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is actually made to a candidate's constituents, who are entitled to know where candidates stand before sending them to the capitol. Since the Pledge is a prerequisite for many voters, it is considered binding as long as an individual holds the office for which he or she signed the Pledge.

    Since its rollout with the endorsement of President Reagan in 1986, the pledge has become de rigeur for Republicans seeking office, and is a necessity for Democrats running in Republican districts.

    Source: Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" 10-ATR on Aug 12, 2010

    Other candidates on Tax Reform: Brad Ellsworth on other issues:
    IN Gubernatorial:
    Mitch Daniels
    IN Senatorial:
    Daniel Coats
    Richard Lugar

    Retiring as of Jan. 2011:
    CT:Dodd(D)
    DE:Kaufman(D)
    FL:Martinez(R)
    FL:LeMieux(R)
    IL:Burris(D)
    IN:Bayh(D)
    KS:Brownback(R)
    KY:Bunning(R)
    MO:Bond(R)
    ND:Dorgan(D)
    NH:Gregg(R)
    OH:Voinovich(R)
    PA:Specter(R)
    UT:Bennett(R)
    WV:Goodwin(D)

    Unseated as of Jan. 2011:
    AR:Lincoln(D)
    UT:Bennett(R)
    WI:Feingold(D)


    Newly elected, Nov. 2010:
    AR:Boozman(R)
    CT:Blumenthal(D)
    CO:Bennet(D)
    DE:Coons(D)
    FL:Rubio(R)
    IL:Kirk(R)
    IN:Coats(R)
    KS:Moran(R)
    KY:Paul(R)
    MO:Blunt(R)
    ND:Hoeven(R)
    NH:Ayotte(R)
    NY2:Gillibrand(D)
    OH:Portman(R)
    PA:Toomey(R)
    UT:Lee(R)
    WI:Johnson(R)
    WV:Manchin(D)


    Re-elected, Nov. 2010:
    AK:Murkowski(I)
    AL:Shelby(R)
    AZ:McCain(R)
    CA:Boxer(D)
    GA:Isakson(R)
    HI:Inouye(D)
    IA:Grassley(R)
    ID:Crapo(R)
    LA:Vitter(R)
    MD:Mikulski(D)
    NC:Burr(R)
    NV:Reid(D)
    NY6:Schumer(D)
    OK:Coburn(R)
    OR:Wyden(D)
    SC:DeMint(R)
    SD:Thune(R)
    VT:Leahy(D)
    WA:Murray(D)
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    Page last updated: Nov 26, 2010