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No Credibility On "Loopholes"

December 05, 2012 9:26 am ET
Republican leaders in Congress are demanding lower tax rates for the wealthy, claiming they want to reform "deductions and loopholes" instead -- without specifying which ones. But the math shows that not only does the GOP plan not add up, it also risks a big falloff in charitable giving. Undermine their credibility by describing the most outrageous loopholes they won’t touch.

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KEY MESSAGES

Serious about closing tax loopholes? Put the worst ones on the table.

Republicans have always cared more about protecting the wealthy than cutting the debt.


TAX LOOPHOLES & SOLUTIONS


Start With These 4

1.     Cleaning Up The Tax Code Starts With Ending The Bush Tax Cuts For The Richest 2%

If we want a cleaner, simpler, and more efficient tax code, start by ending the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2%. How much simpler and cleaner can you get than raising rates? It's also simple math -- you can't have a realistic tax plan with numbers that work without raising rates.

2.     Hedge Fund Managers Loophole

Should a hedge fund manager get a special break for his billions so he pays a lower rate than his janitor? We need to close the "carried interest" loophole that lets this happen.

3.     Wall Street Speculation Tax

Wall Street should help pay to fix the financial mess they created. Put a tiny, highly popular tax on Wall Street gambling to raise that money and discourage reckless financial speculation at the same time.

4.     Reward Work More Than Wealth

The reason Mitt Romney paid only a 10% federal income tax rate last year -- lower than a middle class family -- is because the money he makes off his fortune is taxed at the bottom dollar capital gains & dividends rates.

Here Are 7 More!

1.     Big Oil Subsidies

Big Oil is still raking in billions in taxpayer handouts -- while making record profits they use to kill off their clean energy competitors and keep America hooked on oil. Time to stop that.

2.     Estate Tax On Inherited Wealth

The only people who'd pay the inheritance tax are a tiny number of the children of wealthiest Americans who live off their parents' wealth, like Paris Hilton. Regular people shouldn't have to bear the burden of paying for the current Bush-era tax breaks for these multi-millionaires.
 
3.     "Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act"

Just like the title of this bill says, we need to quit letting tax-dodgers abuse offshore tax havens and loopholes just to avoid paying their fair share to America. Or we can keep rewarding them for sending U.S. profits and American jobs to foreign countries. 
 
4.     CEO Pay Tax Write-Off Loophole

CEO pay has skyrocketed in recent years, but have CEOs actually become better at their jobs? Should they get paid more, the more taxes they dodge? Just one loophole lets corporations get a full tax deduction for "performance-based" pay for their executives -- costing taxpayers billions every year.
 
5.     Facebook Loophole

Facebook executives gave expensive Facebook stock to their employees as if it was worth only pennies per share -- then got to fully deduct that "generosity" as a business expense, even though doing it didn't actually cost them anything.
 
6.     Tax Write-Off For Corporate Misconduct

Corporations that get sued for their wrongdoing -- like BP causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history -- get to deduct the punitive damages their victims win from them in court as an "ordinary" business expense. There's a plan to rein in this corporate tax loophole and protect taxpayers from having to foot the bill.
 
7.     Yacht Deduction

The wealthy can actually claim the mortgage interest tax deduction, meant to help middle class families, for their yachts -- the ones like Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's $200 million yacht with an indoor pool, basketball court, and its own submarine. This one's a no-brainer!
 
Wait, Wait, One More!
 
8.     "Deferral" Just Means Rewarding Corporations For Offshoring Jobs

Multinational corporations get to "defer" paying U.S. taxes on their offshore profits until that money is brought back home. We should be rewarding them for putting Americans back to work, not for abusing the "deferral" loophole to invest in other countries instead of ours.

But instead of closing this loophole, Republicans in Congress and their wealthy corporate CEO donors are quietly lobbying to never have to pay any U.S. income taxes on their offshore profits. Let's remember what happened the last time they got something like it -- the disastrous "corporate tax holiday."

 
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Posted in - Budget - Taxes - Economy - Jobs

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