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Government and Politics

Brown and Mandel stay divided on their tax stances
The winner of the senate race could determine whether the Democrats keep their majority in the senate
Story by BILL RICE
This story is part of a special series.


This election season the nation's eyes are on Ohio - and not just the presidential battlefront. They're also watching the hot contest between Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Josh Mandel. It's one of a handful races that could determine whether the Democrats hold onto their slim majority in the U.S. Senate. Like most campaigns the candidates are either short on details or sing only one song about what they'd do to fix things. That's particularly true on the issue of taxes. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Bill Rice reports.

Rice on tax stances

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If we’re going to fix this still sputtering economy, we’re going to have to do something about taxes.  On that Senator Sherrod Brown and State Treasurer Josh Mandel can agree.  But what they mean by tax reform is entirely different.  Here’s Brown in full rhetorical flourish:

“The job creators that got their taxes sharply reduced in the bush years for a decade haven’t been creating jobs. You don’t create jobs by trickle down you create jobs by focus on the middle class. That’s why we are seeing job growth now; we didn’t see any appreciable job growth during the bush years.”

And what does he mean by that?  What would he do? He’d raise the top tax rates to just under 40 percent.

“I think that we need to bring the tax rate for upper income people back to the Clinton years. it’s not a huge tax increase but people that are making a million dollars or two million dollars a year can afford to pay a little better.  They have had a good decade.  We should restore the tax levels to what they were in those years when we had such a prosperous economy, when tens of millions of jobs were created - unlike now, when we have these lower taxes on the rich and we have seen no job growth.”

Beyond raising taxes on the wealthy and curtailing some tax breaks for corporations, Brown doesn’t have a lot to say about taxes.  Nothing about broadening the tax base so that more people pay at least some federal income taxes and no fiddling with tax deductions for the middle class, like home mortgage interest.

And Mandel?  He wants to blow up the whole tax code.

“We need to take our tax code and completely dismantle it. Build it backup with lower tax rates across the board for the middle class and other more simple tax code.  Get rid of all these special carve outs and handouts to industries that just have powerful lobbyists, and have a tax code that is more simple that the average citizen can navigate, the average small business can navigate.”

And what does Mandel mean, specifically?  Which “handouts to industries” does he want to eliminate?  He doesn’t say.  Nor does he say how low he wants tax rates to go.  As for phasing out deductions on home mortgages as some deficit hawks have advocated, Mandel remains vague on such questions.  Here his gift for lofty rhetoric turns on.

“I think the specifics need to be taken up in a bi-partisan way whether its tax reforms or other issues I think it’s important to deal with these in a bi partisan way, walking across the aisle.”

Beneath the vagueness and the platitudes is a simple truth.  Few Ohio voters should have much trouble deciphering the essential differences between Senator Brown and challenger Mandel.  The voter’s decision may be simply asking themselves which of these two very different universes do they live in.

Listener Comments:

“I think the specifics need to be taken up in a bi-partisan way whether its tax reforms or other issues I think it’s important to deal with these in a bi partisan way, walking across the aisle.” - this administration will never be bi-partisan; they pushed their agenda when the House and Senate was controlled by the Dems, and got huge gov. control over what was once private entities. Republicans didn't have any "acceptable alternatives" as Obama stated he will listen to any "acceptable alternative" to his health "care" tax;- it would be laughable if not so cynical.- - amestrib-com/articles Full text of President Obama's health care speech Thursday, September 10, 2009
Romney/Ryan have proven to work with opposition, and they are articulate/- do - have acceptable alternatives, as many conservative reps. have been relentlessly trying to express, in spite of media negligence; reported is that the two parties do not work together, sounds good, the nice network media would not lead us in the wrong direction. The current democrat administration is under the control of far left radicals, this is evident to anyone that wants to find answers to obvious questions about the economy. The debt is tremendous, and should be a big issue, as the fact that the dems will not pass a budget, or spending issue without taxing the citizens' for more gov. control - the dollars don't go the the economy, they go to more gov. control, as they have been for the last 3 years. - the Republicans fight the stealth, and get accused of not working with the Dems, while the Dems have stolen much money by making false promises, and threats such as grandma my not get her Social Security check if the debt limit is not raised.
Thank God Romney was succinct, and fought the painfully obvious remark that the Republicans' won't accept any tax on a country in decline, during the Presidential debate; - just as with Obamacare tax, - this does not help the country - a tax should be proven to help, - not a mandatory free gift to bureaucrats.
The reps. are not responsible for the mess America is enduring; we voted for these wealth stealers' - if we want change we vote them out.
If you were given a free check, with few strings attached, what would you do? Many reps. would do the right thing - however it seems many people don't know Socialism and/or Communism from true American values/support of private enterprise/a Republic.

Posted by: Whose your daddy on October 7, 2012 3:10AM
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