July 22nd, 2007
12:07 PM ET
11 years ago

State GOP chair challenges Democrats on taxes

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (CNN) - South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson is challenging the eight Democratic presidential candidates on the issue of taxes, in back-to-back questions submitted for Monday's presidential debate.

The GOP chairman posted the questions Friday on YouTube, which is co-hosting this debate with CNN and the South Carolina Democratic Party.

"Most of you have voted to repeal the Bush tax cuts, and on the campaign trail you've promised to raise taxes," Dawson said in his first question. "Please put a dollar amount on how much you intend to raise our taxes."

In his second question, the state GOP chairman asked the candidates to state their definition of wealthy and middle class.

"There is a legitimate debate in our country about whether to cut taxes or raise taxes," Dawson said. "Democrats define Republican tax cuts as tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans say tax cuts are for people who actually pay taxes. At the core of this debate, the disagreement seems to be about how the two parties define wealthy and middle class. I'd like to hear your definition of the terms wealthy and middle class."

Dawson's questions are just two of the more than 2,400 submitted so far by people eager to hear the candidates address their concerns. The debate will be moderated by CNN's Anderson Copper and airs live from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. ET with a replay at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

Filed under: CNN/YouTube Debate • Race to '08 • Uncategorized
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Sharon Jenson Atonville, Ca

    My income has never been close to $200,000. a year, but I always pay taxes.

    Katon Dawson: If you watched the last Democratic Debate, you would know that Obama & Clinton define the wealthy as having an income of $200k per year, (although they did differ on the exact amount by $50k).

    Mr Dawson, I too, am curious as to what I'll be paying in income tax once one of them takes office. But I guess it isn't as big a concern for me as it is for you since they will tax those with salaries closer to yours.

    But how about instead of trying to find out how much you (and all those whose salaries are similar) will pay in taxes after '08, ask what they would do with 10 billion dollars of Americas money each month? That question would be much more interesting and helpful, don't you think?

    My guess is they wouldn't spend it on Iraq, like Bush does. Have you seen the deficit? Now since you probably voted for Bush, don't you think the Democrats have a right to ask you to help pay for his ugly and costly mess?

    Sharon Jenson

    July 22, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    Ron Paul will take this debate on taxes easily!!

    July 22, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. Earl Umfleet Sumner, Ill

    The republicans complain about taxes when they expect to run the country on Chinese credit. Where is their reasoning? It is only another partisan issue that they can play for all its worth. When they come down to our income level they may have the right to complain.

    July 22, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. lipper American

    I really wish that instead of making taxes a partisan divisive issue people would understand that taxes are a necessary part of a functioning society. Do you think the private for profit sector is going to care about your quality of roads, police force, fire departments etc.?

    July 22, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Marlin Morris Salem Il. 62881

    The republicans cry class warfare if the democrats propose bringing the tax level back to where it was when Clinton was president.The facts are families with incomes of $50;000.00 or less incomes have gone down appx.6% since Bush took office,while the wealthiest 5% has gone upappx.79%. The wealthiest 1% thye increase is astronomical. Who should pay for this war/ as Clinto stated when your in a hole you dont dig it deeper.. Marlin Morris Salem il. 62881

    July 22, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. Paul N, Saddle River, New Jersey

    Wasn't it the republican Speaker Hastert who said on the House floor that they shouldn't give people making $40,000 a year tax cuts because they don't pay any? Oh yea.... it was.

    July 22, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  7. Steve F., NYC

    I'm guessing that not many of those posting would be interested in the fairest tax of all...the flat tax. Everybody pays their fair share (recently estimated at 15% of earnings...revenue neutral).

    However, this kind of thinking isn't likeky to appeal to the quasi-socialists who seem to dominate these postings.

    July 22, 2007 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  8. enragedliberal redcity, bluestate

    How's about this rethuglican douchebag define "Bankrupt Nation"? We don't have to live in a world where a huge wealth transfer from the people that work to the people that don't defines every aspect of our lives. And today's overfed rich don't need anymore excess wealth at the expense of our children and grandchildren.

    July 22, 2007 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  9. Jim, Charleston, SC

    Ron Paul won't be in the debate, since he's not a Democrat...

    July 22, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  10. Sharon Jenson Atonville, Ca

    Paul N. I ALWAYS pay taxes, I am sorry that I don't make 200k per year so that I can pay more, but I do pay my taxes!

    July 23, 2007 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  11. Tom, Albuquerque, NM

    I recall about 1998, under one Clinton, 'wealthy' was $70,000 per year of imputed income. Imputed means they include the value of pensions, life insurance and potential rental value of the house you own. In other words, a person could easily earn 45-50K, but if they are a homeowner, have some sort of pension and had some life insurance, they were wealthy. Sounds like that may be moving up in dollars and out of the 'imputed' arena into income.

    And Paul from NJ is technically right. Its not 40K. Its only about 30K. On average, a person with an income of around 30K pays no net federal income tax (based on 2005 numbers). And its only Federal income tax, not state income or sales or SSN tax. So they still pay taxes, just ON AVERAGE, the federal income tax is zero at 30K or so. Below that, you can get a bigger refund than you paid for the year without alot of fancy footwork, especially if there are multiple dependents and you itemize. The real killer is states. There is almost no way to get out of paying your state income tax (unless you live in one of the few without one), even if you make only a couple thousand a year. And there is no way to dodge sales taxes or property taxes (even renters pay them, they just don't know how much of their rent went to them).

    And one thing about money and government for the ones who think we should pay more taxes.....you can always send a check to the treasury above and beyond your legal obligation. They will cash the check. The reason I suspect most higher tax advocates do not, however, mail in that check, is that they prefer 'the rich' to pay more in taxes, not themselves, with 'rich' being anybody making 10K a year more than they do. Perhaps the answer is spending smarter, not paying more.

    July 23, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. Tom, Mission Viejo, CA

    Democrat or Republican, how are there so many people advocating bigger government? Fine, you don't like republicans, but why in the world would you ask to pay more in taxes to the government?

    You pay a federal tax, a state tax, property taxes, gas tax, sales tax, phone tax, and the list goes on. Not only do you personally pay an income tax but your employer also pays an income tax for you, too! So the government is actually getting twice the amount per person. Did you know that if you are self-employeed that you have to pay your income tax and the employer tax on yourself?? Ouch, that hurts.

    The government wastes more money than imaginable. And fine, maybe its on a pointless war, some say. But just in general, the government wastes money on so many things, we should not have to contribute more until the government can show it has some restraint. The budget in California has gone from $100 billion to $146 billion in about 6 years! Are the roads better? No. Are the schools better? No. Is the prison system fixed? No. Just more money down the drain.

    Spending money doesn't fix anything. Spend money wisely and it'll go further than spending 10x as much foolishly.

    July 23, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    You just MIGHT be a Bush-supporting GOP “30-percenter” if:

    You think Bush’s tax cuts during wartime is a good idea – even though they will add more than $3 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years and we already we have a spiraling national debt that has us borrowing BILLIONS from China to help float our economy.

    You think foreign currencies trading HIGHER THAN the dollar is a sign of a strong economy!

    and .. (of course)

    You blame Dems for raising taxes rather than the Republicans who created the recent debt that needs to be paid off by raising them.

    July 23, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. Tom, Mission Viejo, CA

    To Rick in Chicago:
    I'm not a big fan of Bush, however...the national debt has actually been shrinking considerably over the past year as tax receipts have grown stronger.

    A weaker dollar has prompted an increase in US exports, as 'stronger' foreign currencies now have more purchasing power. Some in the EU are actually worried about the strong Euro, fearing it will cause a slowing in exports because the goods have become too expensive. A weaker dollar may be helping the US economy through the ongoing housing/subprime slump.

    In the best of worlds, wouldn't it be better to pay less taxes in general? The government cannot and will not solve all of society's problems. Government does not have a real vested interest besides keeping power and money flowing to it.

    So be it that you're a Democrat, how does that make you want citizens to pay more and more in taxes? Why not expect the government to spend our money efficiently? Your neighbor is not a piggy bank that you can keep cracking open to pay for things.

    July 23, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |