TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, July 26, 2007

John Edwards Releases Tax Plan: Raise Capital Gains Tax from 15% to 28%, Provide Tax Cuts for Middle & Lower Classes

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards today released his tax plan (Form 1), which will:

  1. Create three new tax breaks to honor and strengthen three pillars of America's middle class: savings, work, and families
  2. Require a fair contribution from the wealth of high-income Americans, reversing the shift of the tax code onto middle class wages
  3. End special tax breaks for insiders

From the press release:

Edwards will help regular families save and get ahead by:

  • Creating a Get Ahead Credit, which will expand the Savers Credit to match savings up to $500 a year, providing as much as an additional dollar for every dollar of savings.
  • Boosting low-income families' savings with work bonds, which will supplement the Earned Income Tax Credit to match the savings of low-income workers up to $500 per year.
  • Exempting from taxes each family's first $250 in interest, capital gains, and dividends.
  • Allowing families to deposit part or all of their child tax credit into a tax-free savings account.
  • Expanding the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to pay up to 50 percent of child care expenses up to $5,000 and make it partially refundable to benefit low-income working families.
  • Tripling the EITC for 4 million adults without children and cutting the marriage penalty for 3 million families.

In the past six years, President Bush has cut taxes on capital gains and dividends and started to eliminate taxes on inheritances completely. As a result of his regressive tax policies, the federal tax burden has been pushed onto the backs of working Americans. As president, Edwards will reverse President Bush's "War on Work" by:

  • Raising the top tax rate on long-term capital gains to 28%, the same rate signed into law by President Reagan. The 28% rate will ensure that high-income investors will pay taxes on their investment income at a similar rate to what regular families pay on their earned income.
  • Repealing the Bush tax cuts for the most fortunate families, who make more than $200,000 a year.
  • Ending the abuse of foreign tax havens.
  • Closing the hedge fund and private equity loopholes.
  • Capping executive pensions.

For more details, see the fact sheet.  Press coverage:

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The only candidate actually interested in the rest of us has no chance of getting elected. Sigh.

Posted by: AM | Jul 26, 2007 1:19:29 PM

Great tax plan. It will propel the economy back to the heyday of prosperity under Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: Jake | Jul 26, 2007 6:51:08 PM

Economic stats are distorted, because they don't measure the distribution of wealth. What's the point of being the "richest" country in the world if all the money is in the hands of a tiny tiny minority?

I prefer the GINI statistic.

Posted by: AM | Jul 26, 2007 7:46:09 PM

I guess we do not need to wonder about whether Edwards has any competent economists working for him.

Posted by: drtaxsacto | Jul 26, 2007 10:57:40 PM

Hopefully his tax people won't move over to Hillary's camp after he goes away

Posted by: ballrdboy | Jul 27, 2007 11:41:14 AM

Just FYI, this guy will be our next president. I dont have an opinion of him yet, and am trying to learn where he stands on issues important to me (I was wishing he supported fair tax).

Posted by: Ryan Hanlon | Dec 19, 2007 5:42:50 AM