Harry S Truman on Tax Reform



Taxation should be for revenue, not redistribution

"Taxation, in my opinion, should be used for revenue purposes only. While I fought for a more equal distribution of the nation's prosperity among all its citizens, I never advocated taxing the rich to pay the poor. The rate of taxation, to be fair, must be based upon ability to pay. Every social reform which I sponsored was presented in the form of specific legislation, and never in the guise of taxation."

"The danger to democracy comes not from the masses but from the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few--and the income tax is the best remedy for that."

Source: The Wit & Wisdom of Harry Truman, by Ralph Keyes, p. 33 , Oct 12, 1999

Establish a per-person cost-of-living tax credit

The low-income group particularly is being pressed very hard by the high cost of living. To this group a tax adjustment would result in a saving that could be used to buy the necessities of life.

I recommend therefore that, effective January 1, 1948, a cost of living tax credit be extended to our people consisting of a credit of $40 to each individual taxpayer and an additional credit of $40 for each dependent. Thus the income tax of a man with a wife and two children would be reduced $160. The credit would be extended to all taxpayers, but it would be particularly helpful to those in the low-income group.

It is estimated that such a tax credit would reduce Federal revenue by $3.2 billion. This reduction should be made up by increasing the tax on corporate profits in an amount that will produce this sum--with appropriate adjustments for small corporations.

This is the proper method of tax relief at this time. It gives relief to those who need it most without cutting total tax revenue

Source: Pres. Truman's 1948 State of the Union message to Congress , Jan 7, 1948

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Other past presidents on Tax Reform: Harry S Truman on other issues:
Former Presidents:
Barack Obama(D,2009-2017)
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton(D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson(D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower(R,1953-1961)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Past Vice Presidents:
V.P.Joseph Biden
V.P.Dick Cheney
V.P.Al Gore
V.P.Dan Quayle
Sen.Bob Dole

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Page last updated: Feb 22, 2022