Tuesday, January 22, 2008

First and foremost on the minds of Florida voters is...

Tax cuts.

Few people realize that as Florida Republicans and Democrats walk into the voting booths on Jan. 29 the top issue on the minds of Floridians is tax cuts.

As important as the race for President is, Floridians also have the opportunity to cut their own property taxes. They actually get to vote on it! Very cool!

Imagine that!

A constitutional amendment is on the ballot that would force $9.2 billion in property tax cuts.

Palm Beach Daily News-

That "portability" will free homeowners — including young, growing families and seniors such as Crist's own parents — who want more suitable housing but feel trapped because of the prospect of losing a substantial tax benefit.

"It's about economic freedom, and the ability to move and to improve their lives," Crist said. "And the most beautiful part is, it's not up to me, it's up to you."

Like it or not, this will affect the thinking of those walking into the voting booth on Jan. 29th in Florida.

So which candidates does this help or hurt?

First, this hurts all of the Democrats. The DNC decided to punish the state of Florida for moving their primary date up, and Florida has now lost all of their delegates.

I think it is pathetic that the DNC is disenfranchising each and every single democrat in the state.

On the Republican side, this hurts McCain and Huckabee, the media favorites. This is why I believe that the media is attempting to ignore that this is happening in Florida on the same day as the primary election. They know this will hurt their favorite liberal Republican sons and they do not like it.

First and foremost, McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts that blunted the recession during 2001. McCain again voted against tax cuts in 2003 that literally pulled us out of a recession.

McCain has flipped and flopped on the tax cut issue. In May of last year, McCain claimed to believe that the Bush tax cuts actually did increase revenue.

Less than a month ago, McCain claimed that he would still vote against the Bush tax cuts that his votes were not a mistake, not once, but twice.

If the voters happen to notice this, McCain is in huge trouble with the Floridians.

Huckabee's tax increases have been well documented in Arkansas. An editorial written in the Arkansas Leader made this claim:

Ernie Dumas writes: Mike Huckabee raised more taxes in 10 years in office than Bill Clinton did in his 12 years.

Currently, Huckabee is diving in the polls in Florida. Tax cuts could be one of those reasons.

The property tax cut amendment being voted on in Florida may actually help Romney and Giuliani.

Guiliani has been in Florida for weeks touting tax cuts.

Miami Herald-

Rudy Giuliani promised tax cuts as he courted voters in his must-win state, three weeks before voters go to the polls in a Florida primary that is looking increasingly influential.

At a speech here, the former New York City mayor -- making his 28th visit -- positioned himself as a fiscal conservative, pledging ``the largest tax cut in the history of the United States.''

Later in West Palm Beach he used a nine-minute speech to highlight conservative touchstones, like support for school vouchers and opposition to government-provided healthcare.

Romney has been doing the same thing in both Nevada and Michigan, two states he won. In fact, a couple of political pundits believe that Romney's touting of a huge tax cut plan was one of the reasons he so soundly defeated McCain in Michigan.

I believe that this plan proposed by Romney is a great idea and an idea that should be implemented whether he wins the nomination and presidency or not-

I have proposed changing the rate of taxation on capital gains, dividends and interest to 0 percent for middle class Americans. ... In 2003, we passed major cuts in the tax rate on capital gains and dividends, instituting a new, lower top rate of 15 percent. Many Democratic critics of this tax cut claimed that cutting rates would blow a hole in our budget and hurt our prosperity. In fact, the opposite occurred. ... The rate of economic growth in our economy more than tripled, going from 0.8 percent in the two years before the rate cuts to 3.1 percent in the two years following the tax cuts. Capital gains tax receipts actually increased from $58 billion in 2002 to $103 billion in 2006. ... Under my plan, any taxpayer with Adjusted Gross Income of under $200,000 would pay a tax rate of absolutely 0 percent on all of the income they earn from their savings. This will allow over 95 percent of American families to save and invest tax-free without worrying about the federal government reaching into their pockets and snatching a share of their savings income each year.

Why is heaven's name are we taxing people for saving money?

Common sense would tell you that both Giuliani and Romney should kick the garbage out of McCain and Huckabee on this issue for the next 8 days.

I know that McCain and Huckabee will whine and complain that Giuliani and Romney are being big meanies for pointing out their poor records on taxes. This is politics, Huckabee needs to learn how to practice what he preaches and McCain needs to stop being so stubborn on the tax issues. People care when government reaches into their pockets and swipes as much as they can.

This is what I believe the candidates need to do in order to win Florida and the tax issues:

First, McCain and Huckabee need to separate themselves. Clearly they have become monkey see, monkey do candidates. Both of their tax records are so bad, that the other person is dragging them down even further. Next, they both need to admit they were wrong on taxes and come up with their own new proposals to help the American and Floridian economies. Perhaps there is still time for these two to sell their new proposals to the Floridians.

Perhaps Romney and Giuliani should partner up and hammer away as this tax issue. Make this a two person race for the next 8 days by pounding on McCain and Huckabee's records would be good for both of them.

We have already seen the tax issue work for Romney in Michigan. He is a businessman, he needs to move in for the hard sell. Making tax cuts his number one issue in Florida could prove to be a winning message.

Giuliani needs to do the same. Keep pushing and keep pounding on the tax issue, just like he has done for weeks. Even a strong second place finish is Florida will keep him in the race for another week until Super Tuesday.

Romney and Giuliani could actually help themselves by helping each other.

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