WASHINGTON — The Republican 2012 platform, scheduled to be approved at the party’s national convention Tuesday, includes several familiar tax proposals and a handful of initiatives to encourage more private-sector involvement in infrastructure finance.
Some of the proposals in the platform are repeats from the 2008 GOP platform including extending the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts and reducing marginal tax rates across-the-board by 20%.
The party also proposes to repeal the alternative minimum tax and eliminate interest, dividends and capital gains taxes for lower- and middle-income taxpayers.
The tax system “must be simplified” as part of the larger goal to boost employment and create economic growth, the GOP wrote in it’s 62-page platform released this week.
“Our goal is a tax system that is simple, transparent, flatter and fair,” they wrote. “The current [Internal Revenue Service] code is like a patchwork quilt, stitched together over time from mismatched pieces, and is beyond the comprehension of the average citizen.”
The party placed emphasis on its opposition to “retroactive taxation,” higher taxes and “tax policies that divide Americans or promote class warfare.”
The platform also seeks a constitutional amendment that would only allow Congress to pass tax increases if there is a “super-majority” of 60 votes or more in the Senate, except in the case of war or national emergencies.
While the platform pushes for an overhaul of the tax code, it doesn’t outline specific tax preferences that would be eliminated as a way to lower rates and broaden the base.
It does, however, provide overwhelming support to preserve the mortgage interest deduction, which represents the second largest individual tax expenditure estimated at $484.1 billion for 2010 through 2014, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
The party’s infrastructure platform seeks to encourage the growth of public-private partnerships allowing the private sector to meet more infrastructure challenges, rather than using federal dollars.
“Interstate infrastructure has long been a federal responsibility shared with the states, and a renewed federal-state partnership and new public-private partnerships are urgently needed to maintain and modernize our country’s travel lifelines,” the platform states.
The GOP plan also includes the goals of restricting Highway Trust Fund revenues generated by federal gas taxes to highway projects, and cutting federal investment in Amtrak’s ambitious 20-year Northeast corridor development vision.
“It is long past time for the federal government to get out of the way and allow private ventures to provide passenger service to the Northeast corridor,” the platform states. “The same holds true with regard to high-speed and intercity rail across the country.”