Growing Number of GOP Leaders Increasingly Support Income Tax Cuts

Forget raising the minimum wage. Throughout the GOP, a growing number of leaders now support cutting income taxes for all Americans, a move they believe would stimulate economic growth and expand opportunity.

According to a July 24 article, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican presidential candidate, unveiled his plan to cut the federal income tax if he were to be elected to the Oval Office.

“Hilary Clinton believes that the way to do it is…more paid sick leave and a higher minimum wage,” Christie said at the Jersey Grille in Davenport, IA. “Well you know, paid sick leave isn’t going to create a job. Higher minimum wage is not going to create a new job, it’s in fact going to cost jobs.”

Cutting the income tax, on the other hand, will create more jobs and more opportunities for all Americans, Christie said.

Today, the maximum income tax rate hovers at around 35%. Under Christie’s proposed cuts, the maximum income tax — which applies to single filers with incomes exceeding $400,000 or $450,000 for married couples — would fall from 39% to 28%.

Christie also said he supports reducing the number of income tax brackets from seven to three. The lowest rate would be 8%, down from its current 10%, with another rate “in the middle.”

To make up for the budgetary loss of these income tax cuts, Christie proposed doing away with all tax deductions except for home mortgage interest and charitable contribution deductions.

The New Jersey governor isn’t the only GOP member looking to cut the income tax rate. In Maine, a Republican-sponsored referendum that would eliminate the state income tax is beginning to gain momentum.

For Maine residents, who currently pay the 12th-highest state income taxes in the nation, this tax cut would be an undeniable financial benefit.

“Maine families should have the right to keep more of what they earn,” Rick Bennett, Chairman of the Maine Republican State Committee, said in a statement. “Maine’s oppressive income tax discourages investment, stifles opportunity and kills jobs.”

What the Maine Republican Party has failed to clarify is how the state will offset the loss of nearly half the state’s revenue, whether it’s through eliminating government services or raising other taxes.

Given many GOP leaders’ support for income tax cuts — and given many Democratic leaders’ advocacy for a raised minimum wage — it’s clear the two parties have very different ideas on how to give Americans more financial opportunity.

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