Paul Ryan on Taxes

Last Updated : Aug 29, 2012

Summary

Congressman Ryan is a strong supporter of lower taxes to foster economic growth and increase government revenue. He has been a strong advocate for making the Bush Tax cuts permanent and ending the AMT and the death tax. He has proposed a number of reforms to the tax system ranging from closing loopholes and lowering rates to complete overhauls of US tax system.

Revenue and Tax Rates

In 2004, Congressman Ryan noted a CBO report that 2004 receipts exceeded 2003 receipts. He noted that this increased revenue was the result of a stronger economy and that stronger economy was the result of the lower tax rates. In this manner, lower tax rates can lead to higher tax revenues.

The Bush Tax Cuts

In addition to voting in favor of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, Congressman Ryan has supported extending these tax cuts whenever they come for a vote and argued for making them permanent. He notes that while extending the tax cuts is a good thing, extending them merely extends the uncertainty within the economy.

The Buffett Rule

Congressman Ryan opposes increasing the tax rates on the higher earners, also known as the Buffet Rule. He states that the problem is that the rule would not just raise taxes on “wealthy Americans,” but would raise taxes on small business owners and investments. He asserts that over a ten year period, the rule would only reduce our nation’s projected deficit by less than one percent (0.7%).

The AMT and the Death Tax

In addition to lowering tax rates, Congressman Ryan supports the elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and the Death Tax. He has voted in favor of legislation to accomplish this task, and co-sponsored legislation with the same goal.

Tax Reform

In arguing for tax reform, Congressman Ryan has asserted that our tax code has become an antiquated and complex maze that stifles economic growth and job creation. He stated that the tax code is littered with special-interest loopholes that prioritize the politically connected at the expense of hardworking American taxpayers. and that these special interest carve outs not only disproportionately benefit the well off, but they also narrow the tax base and lead to higher marginal tax rates to make up the lost revenue.

In 2007, Congressman Ryan introduced the Taxpayer Choice Act. This legislation would allow people to chose to enter a new tax structure with a simpler standard of tax rates. In this system, anyone earning less than $50,000 or any couple earning less than $100,000 would pay 10% on that money. Any income above these amounts would be taxed at 25%. This legislation would also make the capital gains rates and dividends tax rates in the Bush Tax Cuts permanent.

The Path to Prosperity

In 2010 through 2012, Congressman Ryan promoted a plan for the economy that included the same income tax reforms he called for in the Taxpayer Choice Act. This plan is called the "Path to Prosperity" or the Paul Ryan Plan. In addition to these income tax reforms, the plan calls for changes to the business tax structure. These changes included a consumption tax of 8.5% is imposed on the sale of goods and services in the United States by a business entity and a tax of 8.5% of the gross profits of the business entity for the taxable year.

 

Lower Rates Produce Higher Revenue

In July of 2004, Congressman Ryan released a press statement noting a recent CBO report which indicated that lower tax rates produced higher tax revenues.

 

Tax Relief Extension and Reconciliation Act

In December of 2005, Congressman Ryan released a press statement noting his support for the Tax Relief Extension and Reconciliation Act. This legislation was an extension of several provisions known as the Bush Tax Cuts.

 

Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act

In May of 2006, Congressman Ryan's office released a press statement noting his support for the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act. This legislation was another portion of extending the Bush Tax Cuts.

 

Taxpayer Choice Act

In October of 2007, Congressman Ryan introduced legislation to allow a person to pay under the existing code or pay a flat rate of 10% or 25% depending upon their income.

 

Temporary Taxpayer Relief Act

In November of 2007, Congressman Ryan spoke on the House floor about the Temporary Taxpayer Relief Act of 2007. He asserts during that speech that the US government does not have a revenue problem, but rather has a spending problem. The legislation would have allowed the AMT to remain at current levels instead of being adjusted for inflation.

 

Response to Tax Deal

In December of 2010, Congressman Ryan released a press statement noting his support for a tax deal reached between Republicans and the Obama administration to extend all the Bush era tax cuts.

 

Tax Relief, Unemployment, and Job Creation Act of 2010

In December of 2010, Congressman Ryan stated on the House floor that only in Washington is not raising taxes considered a tax cut. 

 

Pathway to Job Creation Through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act

In August of 2012, Congressman Ryan issued a press statement noting his support for legislation called the Pathway to Job Creation Through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act. He also spoke on the House floor in support of the legislation.

 

 

Official Website Statements

 

Campaign Website Statements

 

Voting Record

Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008

The Alternative Minimum Tax was created to tax wealthy individuals who were exploiting loopholes to avoid paying taxes. It was not indexed to inflation and now affects many more families than it was intended. Congress regularly applies "fixes" to the law in the form of yearly adjustments. Sometimes they attempt to repeal it completely. In 2008, the house voted on the Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008. The bill was had the objectives of increasing and extending through 2008 the alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amounts, and extending through 2008 the offset of certain nonrefundable personal tax credits against regular and AMT tax liability. This change would have brought in less revenue and that was to be offset by lowering the tax deductions for oil companies. The bill was supported by most Democrats and opposed by most Republicans. While it passed the house, it never came up for a vote in the Senate. Paul Ryan voted against the Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008.

Paul Ryan voted against the Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008.

AMT Relief Act of 2007

The AMT Relief Act of 2007 sought to apply a fix to the AMT, and offset those costs by taxing gross income from overseas companies. Most Democrats supported the legislation and most Republicans opposed it and the bill passed the house, but was not brought up for a vote in the Senate. Paul Ryan voted against the AMT Relief Act of 2007.

Paul Ryan voted against the AMT Relief Act of 2007.

Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2007

In 2007, congress passed legislation to apply a temporary fix. Most Democrats supported the legislation and all Republicans opposed it on the grounds that it violated PAYGO. Paul Ryan voted against the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2007.

Paul Ryan voted against the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2007.

Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006

The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 was passed into law in 2006 and contained a wide array of tax cut extensions for everything from making improvements to your house, to state and local sales tax exemptions, and to make improvements to DC. It also contained a provision for health savings accounts. The bill got wide support and passed the house with about 25% of Democrats opposing it. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006.

Pension Protection Act of 2006

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 addressed regulations governing employer-sponsored pensions and acted to make the portions of the 2001 act which allowed higher contributions to IRAs. with the support of both parties. The bill got wide support from both parties and passed 279-131. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005

The Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 extended previously lowered dividend income and capital gains through 2010, and made an increase to the AMT exemption. It also eliminated income restrictions on high-income taxpayers for converting traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to Roth IRAs. Most Republicans supported the legislation and about 1/3 of teh Democrats supported it. The bill passed in a 234-197 vote with the support of both parties. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004

The Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 extended the 10 percent bracket on income tax created in the 2001 legislation, doubled the child tax credit, extended the previous AMT exemption and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. The legislation was widely supported and passed 339-65. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004.

American Jobs Creation Act of 2004

The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 allowed individuals to claim a deduction for state and local sales taxes paid, in lieu of deducting state income taxes. It also increased tax credits for business investment abroad, and temporarily increased the expensing provisions for corporations. The bill passed 251-178 with the support and opposition of both parties. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.

A bill to end the marriage penalty

In 2004, the house voted on a bill to fix the marriage penalty tax. The bill increased the standard deduction for married taxpayers and increased the deducitons for the 15 percent bracket. The bill got wide support in the vote and passed with only 1/3 of the Democrats opposing it. The bill was not brought up for a vote in the Senate. Paul Ryan voted in favor of ending the marriage penalty.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of ending the marriage penalty.

Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003

In the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief reconciliation Act of 2003 tax rates on realized capital gains received by individual shareholders were reduced from 10 percent (for taxpayers in tax brackets where the ordinary income tax rate was 15 percent or below) and 20 percent (for all other brackets) to 5 percent and 15 percent, respectively, through 2007 and to 0 and 15 percent in 2008. It also adjusted the AMT exemption limit, expanded the child tax credit, and accelerated some of the earlier aspects of the previous laws. The bill was supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats, and passed in a 222-203 vote. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002

The main provision of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 was to create a bonus depreciation. This bonus depreciation allowed firms to claim extra deductions for depreciation of a long-term physical capital investment during the early years. This reduces corporate profits and therefore taxes. The act was supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats 85-9. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002.

Death Tax Elimination Act of 2001

In 2001, the house voted on legislation to end the "Death Tax", otherwise known as the Estate Tax, which applies a tax to estates large than a given amount. The bill passed the house with the support of almost all Republicans and about 1/4 of the Democrats. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Death Tax Elimination Act of 2001.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Death Tax Elimination Act of 2001.

Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001

The first piece of legislation was passed in 2001 as the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 The act was especially sweeping. Its two most prominent changes were a phased-in reduction in income tax rates and a reduction and eventual repeal (at the beginning of 2010) of the estate tax. It also provided a wide range of tax breaks for education, families with children, married couples, and contributions to certain kinds of savings accounts. While all republicans voted in favor of this legislation, most democrats opposed it. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the EGTRRA of 2001.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the EGTRRA of 2001.

Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000

In 2000, the house voted on a bill to fix the marriage penalty tax. The bill increased the standard deduction for married taxpayers and increased the deducitons for the 15 percent bracket. The bill got wide support in the vote and passed with only 1/3 of the Democrats opposing it. The bill was vetoed by the President.

Death Tax Elimination Act of 2000

The house also attempted to pass a repeal of the Death Tax in 2000. This time, the bill was supported by almost all Republicans and by about 1/4 of the Democrats. The bill was vetoed by the President. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Death Tax Elimination Act of 2000.

Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Death Tax Elimination Act of 2000.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 470; Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Makes permanent the reductions in the dividend and capital gain tax enacted by the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) reduce individual and corporate income tax rates; (2) repeal the alternative minimum tax for individual taxpayers; (3) allow inflation adjustments to the basis of capital assets in determining gain or loss; (4) reduce the capital gains tax rate for corporations; (5) repeal limitations on the expensing allowance for depreciable business assets; (6) make permanent the tax credit for increasing research activities; (7) extend the carryback period for net operating losses to seven years; (8) increase the child tax credit; (9) exclude from gross income in 2009 distributions from an individual retirement plan (IRA) and exempt IRAs from mandatory distribution requirements after 2009; and (10) increase the tax deductions for tuition and related expenses and for the interest on qualified education loans.Makes 1% across-the-board rescissions in non-defense discretionary spending for FY2009.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 2380; Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

To make the repeal of the estate tax permanent.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 2734; Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

To make the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and certain other tax benefits permanent law.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 3818; Taxpayer Choice Act of 2007 - Prime Sponsor

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the alternative minimum tax on individuals and replace it with an alternative tax individuals may choose.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 5109; Economic Growth Act of 2008 - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) repeal the dollar and other limitations on the expensing allowance of depreciable business assets; (2) reduce to 25% the maximum corporate income tax rate; (3) provide for an inflation adjustment to the basis of certain capital assets for purposes of determining gain or loss; and (4) reduce from 35 to 15% the alternative capital gains tax rate for corporations.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 5908; Zero percent tax rate for the net capital gains - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to establish, on a permanent basis, a zero percent tax rate for the net capital gains of individuals and corporations for purposes of the regular and alternative minimum tax. Eliminates the terminating date in the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (i.e., December 31, 2008) for provisions that reduce the capital gains tax rate for individuals.

Session-109; Bill Number-H R 2121; Generate Retirement Ownership Through Long-Term Holding Act of 2005 - Prime Sponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide that no gain shall be recognized on the receipt of a capital gain dividend distributed by a regulated investment company if such dividend is automatically reinvested in additional shares of the company pursuant to a dividend reinvestment plan.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 3463; Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Makes permanent the provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) that repeal the estate and generation skipping transfer taxes and that make reductions in the gift tax.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 782; Taxpayer Choice Act of 2009 - Prime Sponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) repeal the alternative minimum tax on individual taxpayers after 2008; and (2) allow taxpayers to elect an alternative income tax system. Makes permanent the capital gains and dividends rate reductions enacted by the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 3429; Generate Retirement Ownership Through Long-Term Holding Act of 2009 - Prime Sponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide that no gain shall be recognized on the receipt of a capital gain dividend distributed by a regulated investment company if such dividend is automatically reinvested in additional shares of the company pursuant to a dividend reinvestment plan.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 2312; To make permanent the individual income tax rates for capital gains and dividends. - Cosponsor

Repeals the termination date in the Jobs Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 for provisions reducing individual tax rates on capital gains and dividend income.

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