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Zell Miller on Tax Reform


Once, Democrats believed in cutting taxes

There was a time when the leaders of the Democratic party understood both the policy and political value of cutting taxes. The Kennedy-Johnson tax bill in 1964 cut all tax brackets, including at the top. I know from personal experience that you can be a Democrat and have a solid Democratic agenda while cutting taxes and holding the line on spending.
Source: A National Party No More, by Zell Miller, p. 16 Oct 1, 2003

Supports Bush’s $1.3 trillion tax cut

Miller will co-sponsor President Bush’s 10-year, $1.3 trillion tax cut. Miller’s support for Bush’s tax cut is not shared by many Democrats on Capitol Hill. Democrats agree Congress should pass a tax cut, but that it needs to be smaller. Bush’s plan, they say, would eat up all of the surplus and then some.

This isn’t the first time Miller has stepped out front on an issue. Miller was the first Democrat to put out a statement saying he would vote for John Ashcroft for attorney general.

Source: Patty Davis, CNN.com Jan 21, 2001

Was a tax-cutting governor; will be a tax-cutting senator

Q: What about tax cuts?

A: I was a tax-cutting governor and I’ll be a tax-cutting senator. As governor, I cut the income tax three times and abolished the sales tax on groceries. That’s $1 billion in tax relief for Georgia families. I support eliminating the marriage penalty and the estate tax. Both taxes are bad tax policy and go against our values. I also think the best tax cut we could give to our children is to use the budget surplus to pay down the national debt.

Source: The Macon (GA) Telegraph Oct 30, 2000

Eliminate the marriage penalty

We must make sure that middle-class families prosper from our strong economy. That is why I support repealing the marriage penalty tax --- couples should not be penalized financially for getting married. I am also supporting measures to make it easier for families to send their children to college, including co-sponsoring a bill to allow families to deduct up to $12,000 a year in college tuition costs.
Source: [X-ref Education] The Macon (GA) Telegraph Oct 30, 2000

Tax cuts of $334M in 1999

This budget reflects $334 million in tax cuts: $129 million from removing the final cent of state sales tax from groceries, and $205 million from the income tax cut proposed by the Democratic leadership. This tax cut will touch every Georgia citizen who is represented on a personal income tax form -- an estimated 5.2 million people. This is a 15 percent income tax cut.
Source: FY 1999 Budget Address, Georgia Jan 13, 1998

Voted YES on $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years.

H.R. 2 Conference Report; Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would make available $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years. It would provide $20 billion in state aid that consists of $10 billion for Medicaid and $10 billion to be used at states' judgment. The agreement contains a new top tax rate of 15 percent on capital gains and dividends through 2007 (5 percent for lower-income taxpayers in 2007 and no tax in 2008). Income tax cuts enacted in 2001 and planned to take effect in 2006 would be accelerated. The child tax credit would be raised to $1,000 through 2004. The standard deduction for married couples would be double that for a single filer through 2004. Tax breaks for businesses would include expanding the deduction that small businesses could take on investments to $100,000 through 2005.
Bill HR.2 ; vote number 2003-196 on May 23, 2003

Voted YES on cutting taxes by $1.35 trillion over 11 years.

Vote to pass a bill that would reduce all income tax rates and make other tax cuts totaling $1.35 trillion over 11 years. The bill would increase the standard deduction for married couples subject to the 15% bracket to double that of singles by 2005
Bill HR 1836 ; vote number 2001-165 on May 23, 2001

Voted NO on reducing marriage penalty instead of cutting top tax rates.

Vote to expand the standard deduction and 15% income tax bracket for couples. The elimination of the "marriage penalty" tax would be offset by reducing the marginal tax rate reductions for the top two rate bracket
Bill HR 1836 ; vote number 2001-112 on May 17, 2001

Voted NO on increasing tax deductions for college tuition.

Vote to increase the tax deduction for college tuition costs from $5,000 to $12,000 and increase the tax credit on student loan interest from $500 to $1,000. The expense would be offset by limiting the cut in the top estate tax rate to 53%.
Bill HR 1836 ; vote number 2001-114 on May 17, 2001

Abolish IRS--replace income tax with national sales tax.

Miller sponsored the Fair Tax Act to abolish the IRS

A bill to promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national sales tax to be administered primarily by the States. The Fair Tax Act of 2003 amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal subtitle A (Income Taxes), B (Estate and Gift Taxes), and C (Employment Taxes) of the Internal Revenue Code. Imposes a tax on the use or consumption of taxable property or services. Sets the tax rate at 23 percent for the calendar year 2005. Sets the rate, for years after 2005, at the combined sum of the general revenue rate (14.91 percent), the old-age survivors and disability rate, and the hospital insurance rate. Senate bill S.1493 is identical to House bill HR.25.

Source: Bill sponsored by 2 Senators and 55 Reps 03-S1493 on Jul 30, 2003

Rated 64% by NTU, indicating "Satisfactory" on tax votes.

Miller scores 64% by NTU on tax-lowering policies

Every year National Taxpayers Union (NTU) rates U.S. Representatives and Senators on their actual votes—every vote that significantly affects taxes, spending, debt, and regulatory burdens on consumers and taxpayers. NTU assigned weights to the votes, reflecting the importance of each vote’s effect. NTU has no partisan axe to grind. All Members of Congress are treated the same regardless of political affiliation. Our only constituency is the overburdened American taxpayer. Grades are given impartially, based on the Taxpayer Score. The Taxpayer Score measures the strength of support for reducing spending and regulation and opposing higher taxes. In general, a higher score is better because it means a Member of Congress voted to lessen or limit the burden on taxpayers. The Taxpayer Score can range between zero and 100. We do not expect anyone to score a 100, nor has any legislator ever scored a perfect 100 in the multi-year history of the comprehensive NTU scoring system. A high score does not mean that the Member of Congress was opposed to all spending or all programs. High-scoring Members have indicated that they would vote for many programs if the amount of spending were lower. A Member who wants to increase spending on some programs can achieve a high score if he or she votes for offsetting cuts in other programs. A zero score would indicate that the Member of Congress approved every spending proposal and opposed every pro-taxpayer reform.

Source: NTU website 03n-NTU on Dec 31, 2003

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