Filed Under:Life Insurance, Life Planning Strategies

Obama vs. Romney: 6 key differences on taxes, regulation

The two candidates offer voters starkly different ideas on how to reform the tax and financial systems

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Charles Dharapak)
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Charles Dharapak)

When GOP presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney chose Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, pundits salivated over the idea that the campaign would be transformed to be one of ideas rather than insults.

It only took a few days before that was exposed as wishful thinking, but that didn’t change the fact that the Romney-Ryan vision of how the nation’s tax and investment laws should be shaped offers a stark contrast to the one presented by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Investment income1. Investment Income

The battle over the rate at which capital gains are taxed often plays out along what sounds like class lines. Many say keeping them low helps the wealthy at the expense of the middle class because they will pay a disproportionate share. Others say low tax rates on the wealthy help create jobs.

Income taxes2. Income Taxes

Income tax rates are another area of contention that exposes the split between the left and right.

Estate and gift taxes3. Estate and Gift Taxes

This is another area that exposes the rift between the two parties' vision for the future of the country.

Regulation of financial services4. Regulation of Financial Services

The Obama administration has backed major reforms for the financial services industry from the Dodd-Frank Act to the Volcker rule.

Corporate taxes5. Corporate Taxes

The current corporate tax rate is 35%. Candidates for both parties advocate reducing it, although the details differ greatly.

Alternative minimum tax6. Alternative Minimum Tax

The AMT has been problematic for years. Established in 1969 to ensure that wealthy taxpayers hand over a minimum amount of their income to the government, the formula used to determine it, which has changed over the years, has managed to threaten middle-class earners because the amount was never adjusted for inflation. Several times, Congress has been forced into action to make short-term fixes. By 2008, the AMT was raising $26 billion in revenue, which is why it has been difficult to eliminate.

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Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford
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