Will the candidates' economic plans do the job?
TAX HIKES--PERSONAL TAXES: BUSH
No personal tax hikes proposed. CLINTON
Would boost the maximum rate on joint incomes above $200,000 and single incomes above $150,000 to 36 percent.
Increases would affect 850,000 people who filed 1990 returns with adjusted gross income of over $200,000. This group reported taxable income of $373 billion and paid $106 billion in taxes. Raising their taxes by 16.13 percent increases their total by $18.65 billion, an average of $22,000 on an income of $439,000. The IRS does not know how many single filers made between $150,000 and $200,000.
Would put a 10% surcharge on incomes above $1 million.
The millionaires' surcharge would affect 63,642 individuals with surtaxable income of $94.6 billion.
Clinton estimates these increases will raise $29 billion per year.
The estimated $18.65 billion raised from increasing taxes on family incomes over $200,000 and the estimated $9.46 billion raised from the millionaire surtax add up to $28.11 billion. PEROT
Would increase the marginal tax rate from 31 to potentially as high as 35 percent for single filers making over $55,550, or $89,250 for joint returns.
Would raise taxes for approximately 7,116,827 people, based on 1989 tax returns. (The numbers would be higher today due to inflation.) Based on 1992 taxes, a single person with taxable income of $55,550 would pay an extra $146. A couple, filing jointly, with taxable income of $89,250 would pay an extra $110.
Would eliminate the mortgage deductions for second homes and would cap all mortgage deductions to loans of $250,000.
It is uncertain how many people would be affected by Perot's mortgage proposal. Presumably, the tax would only apply to new mortgages. Thus, on a $400,000 mortgage - not unusual for California - $265,440 of interest would not be deductible. But many people would be affected by the second-home proposal. According to a July 1990 study, there were 5.2 million second homes, the bulk of them used seasonally.
Would have all retirees "who can afford it" pay taxes on 85 percent of their Social Security benefits instead of the 50 percent currently paid by those who make $25,000 per year as individuals or $32,000 filing jointly.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) estimates 1 million additional retired people would begin paying taxes on their Social Security benefits. AARP estimates the average tax would climb by $300 per year, depending on how much each filer exceeds the income threshold.
Would increase the gasoline tax by 50 cents a gallon over the next five years.
Would affect nearly everyone. Every penny increase in the gasoline tax raises about $1 billion, based on Americans consuming about 134 billion gallons of fuel. Over five years this could add up to $50 billion. TAX HIKES--BUSINESS TAXES: BUSH
No business tax hikes proposed. CLINTON
Would mandate all employers provide a 12 week family-leave period.
The family-leave provision is controversial; some business groups claim it will raise their costs substantially. However, there are no firm numbers on how much this provision would cost.
Wants IRS to crack down on the US subsidiaries of foreign companies. Plans to raise $45 billion over four years.
Most tax analysts believe Clinton's revenue estimates are too high. If the companies paid at the same rate as US companies, the US could get about $16 billion over four years. PEROT
Would eliminate tax breaks such as those for alcohol fuel or iron-ore shipping companies.
Would affect a lot of farmers in states such as Illinois and Ohio, where gasohol is widely used. The US consumed 7.492 billion gallons of the fuel - taxed at 8.6 cents per gallon compared to 14 cents per gallon for gasoline.
Would cut the deduction for business meals and entertainment from 80 percent to 50 percent.
During 1985's tax debate, Chase Econometrics said business lunches came to $30 billion, or 20 percent of restaurant sales. Assuming this still holds, the net gain to the Treasury would be $9 billion. However, the deduction is popular in Congress. TAX CUTS--PERSONAL TAXES: BUSH
If Congress enacts all of his proposed $300 billion in spending cuts, Bush will give all taxpayers a 1 percent tax reduction, lowering the minimum rate to 30 percent.
Would produce a tax reduction on all 93.1 million filers with income. The bulk of the savings would go to the wealthiest who pay the highest taxes. Thus, an individual with taxable income of $1 million would save $11,223. A married couple earning $35,000 per year would save $247.
Would reduce the capital-gains rate from 28 percent to 15.4 percent. According to some estimates, this would result in a small net inflow to the Treasury.
Savings for fairly well-to-do and middle-income people could be substantial. For example, if an individual sells $350,000 worth of stock at a $100,000 profit, the tax saving would be $12,600.
Bush's tax cuts would cost $132 billion, including the cut in the capital-gains rate. CLINTON
Would initiate a 10 percent reduction in the tax rate on the first $35,000 of income. This would reduce the rate from 15 percent to 13.5 percent. There is an alternative for families with children: a tax credit of $300 per child. The total cost is estimated by Clinton's economists at $50 billion over four years.
This would cut taxes on roughly all 93.1 million filers who had taxable income in 1990. This is actually a relatively small tax break. Using the 1992 tax tables, a married couple with no children and $35,000 in income, filing with standard deductions, would pay $3,709 in taxes. The actual tax savings would be $371. A couple with two children, however, would fare better. Assuming the same income, they would normally pay $3,019 in taxes. With the tax credits, they would save $600 on that tax bill.
Would target a 50 percent reduction in the capital-gains tax to individuals who invest in new businesses held for at least five years. He estimates this will cost $200 million per year.
It's hard to estimate how many people would take advantage of this tax break. PEROT
No personal tax cuts proposed. TAX CUTS--BUSINESS TAXES: BUSH
Would propose a 50 percent reduction in the capital-gains tax rate for businesses.
The Commerce Department estimates the US will spend $551 billion on plant and equipment this year and $72 billion on research and development. Thus, the Bush plan would save corporate America $82.65 billion on its tax bill for building new factories and $14 billion for research efforts. It would cost the Treasury $100 billion.
Would give a 20 percent refundable tax credit to any business with 500 or fewer employees who provide a worker with some form of emergency or family leave.
Supports a 15 percent investment tax allowance for business to buy equipment and upgrade plants. Also proposed making permanent the 20 percent research and development tax credit, which expired July 1. CLINTON
Would target a 50 percent reduction in the capital-gains rate for investment in new businesses held for five years.
The Commerce Department reports 630,000 new businesses were started last year. In five years, some will still be in business, but it's hard to tell how many and what this proposal will ultimately cost. PEROT
Believes in a tax break for R&D and some form of stair-stepped capital-gains tax.