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Financial Literacy - Taxes
SPOTLIGHT
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.

The need for further changes
Beyond repealing the AMT, how else should the current tax code be reformed?

Rangel on tax reform
Tax reform's winners and losers
The shrinking middle class
The politics of taxation
A time frame for AMT legislation
Tax hike vs. tax code reform
The need for further changes
Changing the estate tax
The possibility of a 'fair tax'

Well, there are a whole lot of things that we're working on as you and I talk. One is the tax advantages that a lot of corporations have that encourage them to invest money overseas. I would remove those incentives and make the incentives for them investing here in the United States and create the jobs here, rather than in developing countries.

We have tax havens where people receive large sums of money and they have it transferred offshore to foreign countries, so that they don't have to pay taxes on it. I'm certain that the Senate will agree with me that that has to be closed. There's been a lot of news in the paper about how certain private equity managers should pay the same income tax rates that corporate employees do for providing essentially the same services -- they pay 15 percent, calling it carried interest, when they should be paying 35 percent.

So, there are a lot of reforms that should be made, and it's very difficult, sometimes politically, to do that because these people really do lobby to Congress, both the House and Senate, very hard. But I'm confident ultimately that Congress will do the right thing. If only we had the president just do something. He's been there for seven years, he's complained about the tax code. If he doesn't like my plan, let him come up with his.

Changing the estate tax
What should be done about the estate tax?

Well, we could make moderate changes, but I don't really think that we'll be taking that up anytime soon.

The possibility of a 'fair tax'
Where do you stand on the fair tax?

Well, nobody's introduced a fair tax. It's a value-added tax, consumer tax, fair tax, sales tax. You can't have an opinion on it. Not one Republican has introduced that bill, or Democrat, for that matter. I don't have an opinion until I have a lawmaker.

-- Updated: Dec. 26, 2007
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