If I Were President . . .

What Gore Wants

Where does Gore stand on taxes? Well, big tax reductions aren't a big part of his agenda-although he has said he would allocate $250 billion to $300 billion in tax cuts over the next decade by expanding tax incentives for education and retirement savings. One of his major proposals: To create so-called "life-long learning accounts." Under this plan, earnings invested in these accounts could be withdrawn and used tax-free if they go to pay for education or "qualified" lifelong learning.

To encourage greater savings for retirement, Gore wants to encourage the 70 million to 80 million Americans who currently don't have access to either Individual Retirement Accounts or 401(k)s to set up what he calls "USA Accounts."

Gore says that he would like to provide marriage-penalty relief by increasing the standard deduction so that married couples would be able to get the same standard deduction as if they remained single. Under his plan, the standard deduction would rise by $1,400 for married couples who claim it.

And as far as business taxes are concerned, the vice president is in support of the current moratorium on Internet-sales taxation, according to a Gore campaign aide. But the vice president has yet to state exactly how he'd deal with the Internet sales-tax issue once the moratorium expires. Gore also supports making the R&D tax credit permanent, but has also said the credit needs to be reformed, especially with respect to small businesses. He is of the belief that a partially refundable credit for small businesses represents a "sound investment."

In addition, it is likely that Gore will follow the lead of the Clinton administration's anti-tax-shelter, anti-loophole approach, says Stretch. Among the proposals that are being offered by Clinton is one to set up new disclosure requirements for any corporate tax transactions that might indicate some kind of sheltering. Clinton also has plans to increase penalties to 40 percent from 20 percent for substantially understating corporate taxes related to shelters.

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This article was originally published in the August 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: If I Were President . . ..

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