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Taxes
Along with the Iraq war, economic issues promise to dominate the race for the White House, including the always heated issue of taxes. Read the stances of the presidential candidates below. The views of the vice presidential candidates are shown where available.
DEMOCRATS
Barack Obama
Opposed extending 2003 Bush tax cut law through 2010. Supports eliminating marriage penalty and extending child tax credit. Proposes a "making work pay" tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family. Proposes eliminating income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000 per year and eliminating all capital gains taxes on start-ups and small businesses. Says he would reform the child and dependent care tax credit by making it refundable and allowing low-income families to receive up to a 50 percent credit for child care expenses. Favors tax cuts for middle-class workers and tax increases for top earners. Says he would restore the top two income tax rates to their pre-2001 levels of 36 percent and 39.6 percent. (Currently, they're 33 percent and 35 percent.) Says he would maintain the estate tax but would freeze the estate tax exemption amount at $3.5 million. Proposes to create an "American opportunity tax credit," which the Obama campaign describes as "a fully refundable credit" that "will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans and would cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university."
Joe Biden
Advocates repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. Supports amending the alternative minimum tax to the benefit of middle-class Americans but voted against its full repeal. Would not completely repeal the estate tax.

REPUBLICANS
John McCain
Voted against 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cut laws, but later voted in favor of extending tax cuts through 2010. Says he would keep the current rates on dividends and capital gains, and maintain the current income and investment tax rates. Says he opposes a proposal supporters call the "Fair Tax," which would repeal income taxes and other taxes and abolish the Internal Revenue, but has previously said he would sign it into law as president. Says he would double the child deduction from $3,500 to $7,000 and permanently repeal the alternative minimum tax. Says he would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. Advocates raising the exemption from taxation on estates up to $10 million while cutting the tax rate to 15 percent. Proposes that a three-fifths majority vote in Congress be required to raise taxes. Says he would permit corporations to immediately deduct the cost of equipment investment. Would prohibit new cellular telephone taxes and ban Internet taxes. Wants to establish a permanent tax credit equal to 10 percent of wages spent on research and development.
Obama and McCain: Key Senate Votes from 2005 through 2008

Estate Tax

June 8, 2006 -- The U.S. Senate refuses to limit debate on bill to make the repeal of the estate tax permanent by a vote of 57-41

McCain: Yea
Obama: Nay

Tax Cuts

May 11, 2006 -- The U.S. Senate passes a $70 billion tax cut package by a vote of 55-44. The package includes a two-year extension of lower rates for dividends and capital gains and a one-year Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption for many middle-income taxpayers.

McCain: Yea
Obama: Nay

(Sources: CQ Weekly; U.S. Senate Legislation Database)
Poll Tracker
Resources
The issues that make up American politics have many voices. Here are a few governmental organizations, interest groups and companies from across the political spectrum that are actors in the debate over tax policy. * CNN does not endorse external sites.
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