Sure, we'd all like to see federal taxes cut. And with the presidential election just around the corner, now's your chance to cast your vote-not just for a candidate, but also for how you want this country's tax policy shaped.
Texas governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore are both calling for reductions in taxes; however, the two have tax plans that vary in detail and scope. For the most part, the major differences stem from how the two candidates plan to spend future budget surpluses accumulated from outside the Social Security program. Bush wants Washington to distribute a large amount of those surpluses to taxpayers in the form of tax cuts. Gore, on the other hand, says he wants to pay down the debt and put the surpluses back into Social Security, as well as use them to help fortify Medicare.
Bush favors across-the-board income-tax cuts; Gore is in favor of more modest reductions that target specific areas, such as education and retirement savings. As far as small businesses are concerned, tax experts who've analyzed the two programs say Bush has offered a larger number of tax proposals in that area than Gore. "Vice President Gore's first approach through tax changes is going to be individual-based, allowing much more [personal] savings," says Mike Petrecca, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Columbus, Ohio.
Joan Szabo is a writer in Great Falls, Virginia, who has reported on tax issues for more than 13 years.