Republicans add another tax plan to the mix

@CNNMoney March 21, 2012: 5:12 AM ET
House Republicans add another tax plan to the already crowded mix of proposals.

House Republicans add another tax plan to the already crowded mix of proposals.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Everyone has a tax plan. President Obama has one. So do Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich.

And on Tuesday, House Republicans added yet another proposal to the mix.

The plan, designed by Reps. Dave Camp and Paul Ryan, mostly builds on their budget from last year, but it joins an already crowded field of election year proposals from Republicans clamoring to capture the Grand Old Party's imagination.

In broad strokes, the Republican plans aren't that different. They would all lower taxes. But each plan has a different prescription for getting there.

The current code includes six brackets for income tax rates. Ryan and Camp want to cut that number to two: 10% and 25%.

Tax plan: Lower rates, fewer brackets

That sounds a lot like the plan from Santorum, which calls for two rates of 10% and 28%.

Meanwhile, Romney would keep six brackets, while cutting 20% from each, so that the top rate of 35%, for example, would fall to 28%.

Newt Gingrich wants to keep the current system in place, while adding an optional 15% flat tax.

Ron Paul wants to entirely eliminate income tax.

On corporate taxes, the five plans contain four different proposals. The United States currently charges a rate of 35%, one of the highest in the world. Romney and the House plan would cut that down to 25%.

Obama: Slash corporate tax breaks and rates

Paul prefers a 15% rate, and Gingrich wants 12.5%, one of the lowest in the world. Santorum would institute a 17.5% rate, except for manufacturers, which would pay nothing.

And for corporate profits earned overseas, House Republicans want a switch to a territorial system of taxation, meaning that U.S. multinational companies would only owe tax on foreign-made profits to the government of the country in which the profits were made.

That's what Romney and Gingrich want, too.

Santorum suggests companies should be able to bring overseas cash back to the states at a tax rate of 5.25%, unless the income is used for manufacturing plants or equipment, in which case it would not be taxed.

There are a few areas where each of the Republican plans agrees.

All propose eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, a provision originally intended to ensure that the very wealthy pay taxes. But the AMT is scheduled to bring in trillions of dollars in revenue over the coming years because it would capture more and more taxpayers who are not wealthy.

All of the Republican plans are very different from Obama's.

The president wants to hike taxes on the rich, including a proposed "Buffett Rule" to ensure millionaires pay at least 30% of their income in federal tax. He would cut the corporate rate to 28%, and keep other provisions passed during his first term in the code.

Each plan -- whether from Obama or Republicans -- is likely to run up against a stark reality: They will not become law, at least not anytime soon. House Republicans will pass their budget, but it will die in the Senate. And the plans favored by 2012 Republican candidates are not likely to survive should Democrats retain control of the Senate next year, or capture the House.

For the moment, both parties are waiting to see how the election plays out. As a consequence, no real reform is likely to pass both houses of Congress -- no matter whose plan it is -- until voters provide some clarity. To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.80%3.88%
15 yr fixed3.20%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.84%3.88%
30 yr refi3.82%3.93%
15 yr refi3.20%3.23%
Rate data provided
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Economic Calendar
Latest ReportNext Update
Home pricesAug 28
Consumer confidenceAug 28
GDPAug 29
Manufacturing (ISM)Sept 4
JobsSept 7
Inflation (CPI)Sept 14
Retail sales Sept 14
  • -->

    Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.