TREVOR's PLAN - Fighting for Social Security - Get the facts
A Plan for West Michigan by Democrat Trevor Thomas
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As a member of the “debt generation” - the generation that will be responsible for dealing with the debt our country has built up - I take the national debt very seriously. Addressing the national debt and budget deficit requires a sensible combination of cuts, reforms and revenues, and my plan includes specific ways to achieve this - from cutting government spending that we can no longer afford to pay for, to increasing revenues through a more straightforward tax code, to reforming the way that the government operates. We can’t afford to keep kicking the can down the road - this is a matter that affects every American’s pocketbooks, but it also a matter of national security. The next Congress will have to make tough choices - we won’t get there by sticking to rigid ideology or by continuing to pursue the same old party politics that got us here.
I will fight for the middle class and hold the line on middle class taxes. But for folks at the very top who make over $250,000 a year, it's time to go back to the top rate they paid under Bill Clinton. Right now there are sets of rules in America for paying taxes: one for the majority of us who play by the rules and pay our taxes at the stated income tax rates, and another for those who can afford to pay for advice on how to take advantage of special lower rates and loopholes. The result: Mitt Romney pays taxes at the 15 percent capital gains rate on his millions of dollars from investments, even though a family making $68,000 a year pays a top marginal rate of 25 percent; Warren Buffet has a lower tax rate than his secretary. I support a simplified system so that everyone gets the same treatment, and there aren’t ways for some taxpayers to manipulate what they pay to the government. I will support a unified rate structure, so that there are no special rates for certain types of gains or income. This would allow for lower rates across the board, and would eliminate the ability of some individuals to avoid the rates that most people pay. This approach would incorporate Senator Levin’s plan to eliminate the “carried interest” loophole that allows private equity managers like Mitt Romney to avoid paying regular income taxes.
Corporate taxes are filled with loopholes that cost us, as a nation, nearly $1 trillion. This is funding that could be well spent to pay down our deficit. I believe we should decrease the corporate tax rate while eliminating loopholes. A prime example is the stock option loophole which allows companies to compensate their executives with stock options, report that as an expense to shareholders, and take a much higher tax deduction. For example, Facebook has benefited from a tax cut of $3 billion through this loophole alone. Similarly, I would work to eliminate the availability of the tax dodge used by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin to renounce his American citizenship and avoid paying millions of dollars of taxes as Facebook goes public. I would also support eliminating a loophole which allows some shareholders of “S-Corporations” to get out of paying the Medicare payroll tax on their own earnings. I also support Sen. Levin’s recently introduced bill “CUT Loopholes Act” which would end off shore tax dodges and close corporate tax loopholes, cutting more than $155 billion combined from our deficit in the next 10 years.
Too often, individuals, small business owners, and entrepreneurs starting a new business miss out on significant tax credits and other governmental resources available to them, simply because they don’t know they exist. For example, last year only 360,000 of approximately 3 million eligible small businesses took advantage of a tax credit under the Affordable Care Act that would make health care plans more affordable for businesses with 25 employees or less. I believe that West Michigan businesses should be aware of these incentives and the benefits they may provide. My Congressional office will focus on making these programs straightforward and accessible for small businesses here in our community.
"I've supported Trevor from the very beginning because I know from personal experience that he has the energy and drive to beat a Tea Party freshman and represent the 3rd District."
- Jennifer Granholm