Bald­win, Vuk­mir, Ni­chol­son take po­si­tions on taxes

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - NEWS - BILL GLAUBER

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.”

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