2016 Presidential Candidates: Taxes and Regulation


To support economic growth for individuals and businesses of all sizes, we need a simple, fair and more competitive tax code and regulatory system that fosters rather than inhibits innovation. As the health care law is put in place, it should remain flexible for employees and employers and focus on providing affordable, quality care.

Democratic Candidate*

Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton

"Over the past few months, I’ve listened to Americans’ concerns about an economy that still seems stacked for those at the top. Nowhere is this imbalance more apparent—or more problematic—than in our tax code. It’s full of loopholes that allow the wealthiest Americans and most powerful corporations to game the system and avoid paying their fair share. It even permits a highly paid Wall Street trader to sometimes pay a lower tax rate than a teacher or a nurse. And it creates perverse incentives that discourage long-term investments that would grow our economy and raise incomes for hard-working Americans.  Reforming our tax code to promote strong, fair, long-term growth is a centerpiece of my campaign, and I will continue outlining specific new ideas in the months ahead...I want more Americans to have the chance to work hard and get ahead, just like we did. And reforming the tax code can help. We should be guided by some simple principles.  First, hard-working middle-class families and small businesses need and deserve tax relief and simplification. As President, I’ll make that a priority.  Second, those at the top have to pay their fair share. That’s why I’ve called for closing the carried interest loophole, which lets wealthy financiers pay an artificially low rate, and implementing the Buffett Rule, which makes sure millionaires don’t pay lower rates than their secretaries.  Third, the tax code shouldn’t reward companies for shipping jobs or profits overseas or encourage quick trades on Wall Street at the expense of long-term investments that create jobs and raise incomes here at home. I’ve proposed raising short-term capital gains tax rates for those in the top bracket and then going to a six-year sliding scale that will encourage longer-term investments."  (hillaryclinton.com, 2015)

Republican Candidate*

Donald TrumpDonald Trump

"My 5-part tax plan involves reforming the income tax. The government confiscates way too much of your paycheck. The tax code is also a very complicated system that forces Americans to waste 6.1 billion hours a year trying to figure it out.

What does that tell you? It tells me that it's time we restore simplicity & sanity to the income tax. Here's my income tax plan:

  • Up to $30,000, you pay 1%
  • From $30,000 to $100,000, you pay 5%
  • From $100,000 to $1 million, you pay 10%
  • On $1 million or above, you pay 15%

It's clear and fair. Best of all, it can be filled out on the back of a postcard and will save Americans big bucks on accountants and massive amounts of time wasted attempting to decipher the tax code.

Our country is hungry for real tax reform. That's why we should implement the 1-5-10-15 income tax plan. And we need to enact [the rest of] my 5-part tax policy: kill the death tax; lower the tax on capital gains & dividends; eliminate corporate taxes; and a 20% import tax."  

Trump, D. (2011) Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again. Regnery.

*Leading presidential candidates as of July 21, 2016.  To see all candidates or search for other candidates, please click here.