What economic measures the candidates say they’ll take to help the middle class

cjarvis@newsobserver.comSeptember 2, 2012 

Candidates’ ideas for helping the middle class

Pat McCrory

1. Reform the state’s tax code.

2. Provide tax relief to industries that “build, produce, innovate and grow things,” such as agribusiness.

3. Reduce the individual income tax for everyone in the state, and cut corporate income tax rates for businesses.

4. Eliminate the estate tax.

5. Reduce government regulation.

Walter Dalton

1. Says he will be coming out with a detailed plan aimed at protecting the middle class and small businesses.

2. That plan will include limiting the tax break that GOP lawmakers put in the budget in 2011 that they claimed was for small businesses. It was actually an unlimited break for about 460,000 companies, including equity partners in law firms, doctors and dentists, at a cost of $336 million. Dalton would restrict the break to small businesses and those making $100,000 a year and less, reducing the cost by $141 million. Republicans blocked Democrats from doing that.

3. Opposes any efforts to impose taxes on services, which McCrory says he would consider.

President Barack Obama

1. Extend middle-class tax cuts: Obama wants Congress to halt expiration of the current tax rates for those making less than $250,000 a year, avoiding a tax increase of about $2,200 for a typical family of four. Letting the cut expire on income above $250,000 would help reduce the deficit, he says.

2. Reduce taxes on small businesses: Extending that tax cut would also prevent a tax increase for nearly all small businesses, Obama says. He supports additional tax cuts to encourage small businesses to hire and invest.

3. Tax cuts for families: Obama favors making permanent the tax credit on college tuition, which cuts taxes by up to $10,000 over four years. He also supports retaining tax cuts for working families with children.

Mitt Romney

1. Trade: Curtail unfair trade practices of other countries, including China; open new markets for American goods and services; build stronger ties in Latin America; create an international free-trade area he calls a “Reagan Economic Zone.”

2. Deficit: Reduce non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent; cap federal spending below 20 percent of the economy; give states responsibility for programs that they can implement more effectively than the federal government; consolidate agencies and make federal employees’ pay and benefits like their counterparts in the private sector.

3. Small business: Reduce taxes on individuals and corporations; reduce regulations; restrict the reach of unions; replace the Affordable Care Act with a health care system that controls costs and improves care.

Jarvis: 919-829-4576

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