Jim DeMint on Taxes

Last Updated : Dec 15, 2010

Summary

Senator DeMint's believes that reducing government spending, balancing the budget, and lowering taxes are what drives the economy. He ties the idea of lowered taxes closely to those of freedom and foundation of America. In 2005, Senator DeMint supported a simplification of the tax code which would have eliminated the income tax and replaced it with an 8.5% sales tax. He states that lowered taxes, a simplified tax code, and a balanced budget are some of the principles of conservatism.

Senator DeMint has been a leading advocate for the reduction of spending and specifically the reduction in pork barrel spending. He has tied the issue of spending to earmarks and has become a strong supporter of earmark reform and a possible earmark ban for one year. He noted that the current earmark system favors the seniority of the person requesting the earmark over it's merit. He has tied the use of earmarks to the creation of an overspending atmosphere and the creation of corruption. Senator DeMint has supported legislation to create a balanced budget amendment, and has stated that the level of debt accrued by the US could be fatal.

Senator DeMint supports the permanent removal of the death tax, saying that it destroys family farms and small businesses. He also supports the permanent removal of the AMT.

Senator DeMint is a strong proponent of making the Bush tax cuts permanent. He argues that the lowered rates brings in more revenue, and aids in the creation of jobs. In addition to keeping the lowered income tax rates, Senator DeMint has introduced legislation to keep the lowered capital gains tax rates and dividends rates. He argues that a steady environment of lowered tax rates creates an economic climate that will help the US compete in the future.

 

Press Release - Tax Reform

In January of 2005, Senator DeMint issued a press statement noting his support for a tax reform commission to address possible simplification of the US tax code.

 

Press Release - Tax Reform Plan

In October of 2005, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for recent legislation that replaced the income tax with an 8.5% sales tax, replaced the corporate tax with an 8.5% business transfer tax, and retained protections for those in poverty.

 

Press Statement - Pork Legislation Reduction

In February of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for the Pork Barrel Reduction Act. 

 

Press Statement - Earmark Legality

In March of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting a recent CRS report that claimed that 95% of earmarks were slipped into legislation in committee and not during in a manner that requires the administration to abide by the earmarks. He calls on President Bush to ignore those earmarks.

 

Press Statement - Balanced Budget

In January of 2007, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for recent statements made by President Bush calling for a balanced budget in 5 years.

 

The AMT 

In 2007, Senator DeMint appeared on CNBC's squawk box and spoke about his opposition to the AMT and his desire to see it permanently ended.

 

Press Statement - The President and Earmarks

In January of 2008, Senator DeMint released two press statements which were critical of the continuing practice of secret earmarks and the lack of action by President Bush to stop these earmarks, and noted that an executive order was all that was necessary to stop earmarks.

 

Continuing the Bush Tax Cuts

In March of 2007, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting that he opposed any effort to repeal the Bush tax cuts. He referred to the possibility of raising those rates as the largest tax hike in American history.

In May of 2007, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opposition to the budget being proposed and his opposition to removing the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts.

Speaking on the Senate Floor about the ending of the Bush Tax Cuts.

In September of 2010, Senator DeMint appeared on Kudlow and spoke about the need to expand the Bush tax cuts. He stated that raising taxes on anyone during a recession was bad for the economy. He spoke about the need for continuity to create a good environment for the economy.

In June of 2010, Senator DeMint issued a press statement noting an amendment that he had recently attempted to pass which would have continued the Bush tax cuts.

In June of 2010, Senator DeMint appeared on Fox Business and spoke about the need to extend the Bush tax cuts. He spoke about his recent legislation to save the capital gains rates and dividends rate.

 

The Conservative Agenda

In January of 2008, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting a need for what he called the conservative agenda. He outlined that agenda as the following items:

 

Earmark Bans and Balanced Budgets

In February of 2008, Senator DeMint attempted to force a one year ban on earmarks. He revealed in a press statement that he intended to place an amendment in the budget to force a vote on such legislation.

 

Press Statement - Debt Could Kill Economy

In January of 2010, Senator DeMint released a press statement warning that the high level of US debt could cripple the US's economic future.

 

Press Statement - Balanced Budget and Earmarks

In February of 2010, Senator DeMint released a statement noting his support for a balanced budget amendment and a moratorium on earmarks.

  

Capital Gains and the Dividends

In June of 2010, Senator DeMint attempted to add a provision to legislation to keep the capital gains tax and the dividends tax rate at 15%. The capital gains tax would go to 20% at the end of the year, and the dividends rate would go to almost 40%.

 

The Death Tax

In June of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting a recent vote in favor of a measure to remove the death tax permanently.

In July of 2010, Senator DeMint issued a press statement noting his support to permanently repeal the estate tax and an amendment that he was putting forth to accomplish this goal.

That same month, Senator DeMint used one of his weekly web statements to talk about the estate tax and his desire to permanently end it. He speaks about the increase in the estate tax when the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2010.

 

Senator DeMint appeared on the Kudlow report that same month and spoke about an amendment he was offering to permanently end the death tax. He referred to the tax as immoral.

 

Campaign Video (2010)

In a July 2010 campaign video, Senator DeMint speaks about earmarks and their role in spending and ethical problems that exist in the political arena.

 

Campaign Video (2008)

In 2008 Senator DeMint posted a video where he talks about the need to make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent and his desire to get rid of the death tax.

 

Official Website Statements

 

 

Voting Record

Continue Bush Tax Cuts for all Except top Earners

On July 25, 2012 the Senate voted on legislation to extend all of the Bush tax cuts with the exception of those earning more than $200,000 or couples earning more than $250,000. The measure passed 51-48 along mostly party lines. It was largely symbolic as tax bills are not legal unless they originate in the House. Jim DeMint voted against extending the Bush Tax Cuts for all except the highest earners.

Jim DeMint voted against extending the Bush Tax Cuts for all except the highest earners.

Continue All Bush Tax Cuts

On July 25, 2012 the Senate voted on an amendment to legislation to extend all of the Bush tax cuts. The measure failed 45-54 along mostly party lines. It was largely symbolic as tax bills are not legal unless they originate in the House. Jim DeMint voted in favor of extending all Bush Tax cuts.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of extending all Bush Tax cuts.

The Alternative Minimum Tax

The alternative minimum tax was created to ensure that a few of the richest Americans did not exploit loopholes to avoid paying any taxes. It was never intended to be a method of taxing the general population. Unfortunately, the amount that a person earns before the tax goes into effect was not indexed to inflation. Therefore, each year Congress must enact a "fix" to adjust the amount. Occasionally, a larger increase is proposed than inflation adjustment. Income from the tax was accounted for in the 2009 budget. According to the rules of PAYGO (Pay As You Go), a decrease in the amount of money taken in must be offset by a reduction in spending. This amendment sought to exempt the AMT from that rule, to more accurately reflect the purpose of the tax. The amendment failed with most Republicans supporting it and most Democrats opposing it in a 47-51 vote. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the amendment to exempt the AMT from PAYGO rules.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the amendment to exempt the AMT from PAYGO rules.

The Estate Tax

The estate tax is a tax levied on the assets or estates of wealthy individuals when they pass away. The tax collects a percentage of the estates which are valued above a given amount. This amendment sought to raise the value of the estates affected from $1 Million to $5 Million, and to lower the maximum rate at which the estate can be taxed from 45% to 35%. The argument for the change was that many small farms now fell under this tax. The opposition stated that not enough revenue would be collected is the amount was raised, as the tax would affect only 0.2% of estates instead of 0.5% under the current limits. The amendment failed in a 50-50 vote with most Republicans supporting the amendment and most Democrats opposing it. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of the estates affected to $5 Million and to lower the maximum rate to 35%.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of the estates affected to $5 Million and to lower the maximum rate to 35%.

The Estate Tax

In 2007, an amendment was proposed which would have raised the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%. This amendment would have also made the 2006 extended rates for capital gains and dividends permanent. The amendment was supported by most Republicans and opposed by most Democrats and failed in a 47-51 vote. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%.

Full Repeal of AMT

In 2007, congress made and attempt to repeal the alternative minimum tax (AMT) completely. The legislation was defeated in a 44-53 vote with most Republicans supporting the legislation and most Democrats opposing it. Jim DeMint voted to repeal the AMT.

Jim DeMint voted to repeal the AMT.

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 93-5. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act

In 2006, the senate voted on theEstate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act. This bill would have increased the estate tax exclusion to $5,000,000, effective 2015, and repealed the sunset provision for the estate and generation-skipping taxes. It would also have lowered the estate tax rate to equal the current long-term capital gains tax rate for taxable estates up to $25 million and repealed the estate tax deduction paid to states. The bill failed to pass in a 56-42 vote. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act.

Death Tax Repeal Permanancy Act

In 2006, the Senate voted on legislation that would have permanantly repealed the "Death" or Estate Tax. The legislation was rejected on a 57-41 vote. Most Republicans supported the legislation and most Democrats opposed it. Jim DeMint voted in favor of ending the Death Tax.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of ending the Death Tax.

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 66-31 vote. with the support of both parties. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-112; Bill Number-S 13; Fair Tax Act of 2011 - Cosponsor

Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax. Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23% in 2013, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes, and for state government functions. Prohibits the funding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after FY2015. Establishes in the Department of the Treasury: (1) an Excise Tax Bureau to administer excise taxes not administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and (2) a Sales Tax Bureau to administer the national sales tax. Terminates the sales tax imposed by this Act if the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (authorizing an income tax) is not repealed within seven years after the enactment of this Act.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 567; A bill to repeal the sunset on the reduction of capital gains rates for individuals and on the taxation of dividends of individuals at capital gains rates - 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.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 502; Capital Gains Rates - Cosponsor

A bill to repeal the sunset on the reduction of capital gains rates for individuals and on the taxation of dividends of individuals at capital gains rates.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 14; Invest in America Act - Cosponsor

A bill to repeal the sunset on certain tax rates and other incentives and to repeal the individual alternative minimum tax, and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 988; Jobs Protection and Estate Tax Reform Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to accelerate the repeal of the tax on estates and generation-skipping transfers to January 1, 2005, and to make such repeal permanent.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 7; Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

Makes permanent: (1) reductions in individual income tax rates enacted by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA); (2) reductions in individual capital gains and dividends tax rates enacted by the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003; and (3) the repeal of the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes and reductions of the gift tax enacted by EGTRAA.

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