Political Update: Taxes and the Candidates
Political Update: Taxes and the Candidates

The leading candidates for president have diverging views on the tax system.

Last week, we wrote about the debate over minimum wage, and today we are going to take a closer look at how some of the leading candidates for president in 2016 feel about another hot topic: taxes.

Donald Trump: The time to disregard The Donald as a legitimate candidate in 2016 is over; in fact Trump continues to pick up support as well as vocal opposition, and that fervor extends to his views on our tax system. Trump, not surprisingly, brings a pro-business approach to taxes and promises to simplify the tax code while lowering taxes for the middle class. At the same time, Trump has gone on the record railing against hedge-fund managers and the pittance some feel they pay in taxes.

In a “Face the Nation” interview in August, Trump went so far as to declare that hedge-fund managers are “getting away with murder.”

Hillary Clinton: Though the email server gaffe continues to pull focus off of Clinton's views on the issues, the former first lady and secretary of state has made it clear where she stands on tax reform. The cornerstone of her tax plan seems centered on repealing the tax code put into place by President Bush, and would focus on reversing tax cuts to those making over $250,000 a year, making no tax increase to those making under $250,000, and cutting taxes for the middle class.

To top it off, Clinton also recently called for a major increase in short-term capital gains taxes.

Jeb Bush: As a presidential candidate, Bush's reputation as an almost obsessive tax-cutter is well founded. In his time as governor, Bush was known for cutting taxes in office, and he is not expected to pull back from that stance as he continues on the campaign trail.

Bush also recently clarified his proposed tax plan in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, where he outlined a simplified system of tax brackets composed of three tiers at 28 percent, 25 percent and 10 percent.

Bernie Sanders: Perhaps the biggest enigma to emerge so far in the 2016 race, Sanders has already garnered a reputation as an aggressive proponent of raising taxes on the wealthy. Starting with a progressive estate tax, Sanders has made it clear that the wealthiest 1 percent under a Sanders administration will be seeing a monumental increase in taxes.

In a July interview with CNN, Sanders was quoted as saying: "And yes, those folks [the top 1%] and large corporations will have to pay under a Sanders administration more in taxes so that we can use that revenue to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, create the jobs we need, make sure that every kid who has the ability is able to get a college education in America because public colleges and public universities will be tuition-free."