Baldwin, Vukmir, Nicholson take positions on taxes
With President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress pushing for an overhaul of taxes, the candidates in next year’s U.S. Senate race are staking their positions on a critical issue that affects businesses and individuals across the state.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has voiced her strong opposition to the GOP plan.
The two candidates running for the GOP nomination, state Sen. Leah Vukmir of Brookfield and Delafield businessman Kevin Nicholson, are supportive of the tax outline.
Of course, there is a political dimension to the tax fight. Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, has jumped into the fray with a seven-figure TV ad buy calling on Baldwin to support tax reform.
The GOP plan, introduced last month, would allow for up to $1.5 trillion in tax cuts, slash the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% and shrink the current seven individual tax brackets to three.
The plan nearly doubles the standard deduction for individuals and married couples and calls for ending the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax.
Last week, Baldwin said the GOP plan “rewards wealth” and “favors those at the top.” Along with U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), she reintroduced a proposal to raise incomes for low- and middle-income families by expanding earned income tax credits and strengthening child tax credits.
In a statement, Baldwin said: “I think Wisconsin families need a tax break and that’s what I’m working for. But the current proposal gives 80% of the tax breaks to the wealthiest 1% while big corporations also get a tax break. I just do not think that’s right.”
Vukmir has come out strongly for the GOP proposal.
“I stand with President Trump as he works to cut taxes, streamline our tax code and make America open for business,” she said in a statement. “We’ve done this in Wisconsin, and we have seen how companies want to bring jobs where there is a low tax burden. Trump’s plan will spark new economic growth and expand the tax base, which we can use to cut the deficit and pay down our debt.”
Nicholson also voiced support for a tax overhaul.
“President Trump is absolutely right to be targeting our tax code. America’s tax system is too complex and too costly because career politicians let the lobbyists write the tax code to benefit the special interests,” he said in a statement. “It is in desperate need of an overhaul that spurs growth.
“Congress needs to finish the job that President Trump started by passing a final version of tax reform that makes our system simpler and fairer, grows the economy, delivers relief for all taxpayers, and doesn’t add to the debt.”