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Financial Literacy - Taxes
A chat with Congressman Rangel
A new bill from the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee would impose a surtax on higher wage earners.
Taxes made easy

Interview: Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y.

In October, Charles B. Rangel, the democratic chairman of the tax-writing House Committee on Ways and Means, introduced the "mother of all tax reforms." Some of the proposed changes of the Tax Reduction and Reform Act of 2007 involve permanently repealing the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, in 2008, expanding the refundable child tax credit and the earned income tax credit, lowering the top corporate income tax rate and placing a 4 percent surtax on the adjusted gross incomes of individuals earning more than $150,000 and joint filers making more than $200,000.

At a glance

Opponents of the bill have criticized the tax increases it would impose on higher wage earners.

We caught up with Congressman Rangel and got his perspective on the bill, as well as his opinions on reforming the current tax code.

Tax reform's winners and losers
Earlier this year you introduced a broad tax reform bill. Would it distribute tax relief more fairly among the American people?

Well, it's clear that the large part of President Bush's tax cuts went to the very, very wealthy. So, if the president's theory is that the government should not have the money, people know what to do with it best, it shouldn't be that you have to be wealthy. Because the people in the middle class are not only not enjoying any tax breaks, but everything else has dramatically increased, whether you're talking about health care, fuel, education -- it's just been tight on middle-income people. So, all I do is really, I don't borrow the money, as the president did for his tax cuts. I don't add to the deficit, but I merely bring back a more equitable distribution of the tax burden, relieving 90 million taxpayers of additional tax liability by reducing their taxes.

-- Updated: Dec. 26, 2007
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