NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Few candidates running for president will ever campaign on a promise to raise taxes on Americans, but this year more than others, many candidates are campaigning on promises to eliminate or drastically cut the most common taxes that people pay.Of the eight major Republican candidates running in the 2012 presidential primaries - by which we mean those who have participated in network debates - more than half have called for eliminating capital gains taxes for some or all businesses and all but one have called for a drastic overhaul of the federal income tax code that would cut taxes for many Americans. In fact, two candidates have even teased eliminating income taxes altogether.
|Mitt Romney has among the most comprehensive tax plans for a potential term as president of the United States.|
"Our current tax system is an accretion of decades of patchwork decisions that came into being with no systematic thought for their implications for job creation or economic growth," Mitt Romney writes in his lengthy 59-step proposal to fix the economy before introducing a series of policy ideas he thinks will improve America's tax system.
Income tax: One thing Romney will not change is the individual tax rate in this country. In his proposal, Romney notes that he would like to move closer to a single tax rate in the long run, but he doesn't spell out the specifics of what that lower tax rate would be.
Corporate tax: Romney would lower the maximum corporate tax rate to 25% from the current 35% to make the tax system more friendly to businesses and job creators.
Capital gains tax: He would also eliminate capital gains taxes for anyone earning less than $200,000 annually, a significant change from the current system but not nearly as extreme as some other candidates' proposals for capital gains.
Estate tax: Finally, Romney intends to eliminate the estate tax, which stands at 35%.
Jon Huntsman was one of the first candidates to put out a comprehensive set of fiscal policies, earning praise from many conservatives for the substance of his suggestions. When it comes to tax policy, however, his ideas are very similar to those of his competitors, with the exception of his plan for income taxes.
Income tax: Huntsman's plan is to restructure the individual tax code to create three lower rates of 8%, 14% and 23%, as opposed to the current set of five tax brackets that go as high as 35%. To fund this change, Huntsman intends to eliminate all deductions.
Corporate tax: Like Romney, Huntsman would lower the maximum corporate tax rate to 25% from the current high of 35%.
Capital gains tax: Huntsman's plan would eliminate the capital gains tax completely.
Estate tax: Not specified.
Rick Perry, the most recent Republican candidate to enter the race, has yet to put out a full set of tax and economic proposals in the way others such as Romney and Huntsman have, but he has made several statements hinting at his intentions.
Income tax: In his book Fed Up, Perry suggests overhauling the federal tax system in favor of either a flat tax with one rate for everyone or a fair tax, which would swap the current income tax with a national retail sales tax instead. His campaign has since backed away from this proposal, leaving some question about what Perry would do as president.
Corporate tax: In some speeches, Perry has proposed eliminating the corporate tax completely to spur job creation.
Capital gains tax: Not specified.
Estate tax: Not specified. Michele Bachmann
For someone who often touts her experience working as a tax attorney, it is perhaps surprising Michele Bachmann has yet to formalize a full set of tax policy proposals. Nonetheless, she has put forward several ideas in recent months suggesting what those proposals might look like.
Income tax: Earlier this year, Bachmann suggested the federal government eliminate all federal taxes for one full year in what would essentially be a prolonged tax holiday for Americans.
Corporate tax: Bachmann has stated repeatedly that she would like to lower corporate taxes by an undisclosed percentage, if not to eliminate the tax completely.
Capital gains tax: She declared in a speech last month that she would eliminate the capital gains tax.
Estate tax: Bachmann co-sponsored legislation in the House of Representatives to eliminate the estate tax. Newt Gingrich
The former speaker of the House often bills himself as a man of ideas and indeed, some of his tax policy ideas do stand out from the pack.
Income tax: Gingrich's plan is to institute an "optional" flat tax of 15%, which he says would "allow Americans the freedom to choose to file their taxes on a postcard, saving hundreds of billions in unnecessary costs each year."
Corporate tax: When it comes to corporate taxes, Gingrich falls somewhere between Romney and Bachmann, suggesting to lower the maximum corporate tax to 12.5% but not to eliminate it completely.
Capital gains tax: For capital gains taxes, on the other hand, Gingrich is prepared to nix it.
Estate tax: Not specified. Ron Paul
If we were to vote on candidates based solely on how much they would lower our taxes, Ron Paul would win the race hands down. Not only has Paul called for lowering taxes across the board more than any other candidate, but he has actually recommended eliminating the IRS all together. Your move, Bachmann.
Income tax: Paul would seek to eliminate the income tax completely (he refers to it as "the most degrading and totalitarian of all possible taxes") and shrink the size of government as a result. In fact, he has repeatedly introduced legislation into the House to do just that.
Corporate tax: Not specified.
Capital gains tax: Perhaps it should come as little surprise Paul would seek also to eliminate the capital gains tax in this country.
Estate tax: Not specified. Herman Cain
"Our tax code is the 21st century version of slavery," Herman Cain declared in the introduction to his 9-9-9 tax policy proposal unveiled earlier this month. "In the Herman Cain administration, April 15 will no longer be a day to be dreaded."
Income tax: As the name of his plan suggests, Cain would institute a flat individual tax rate of 9% for all income brackets.
Corporate tax: Likewise, there would only be one corporate tax rate: you guessed it, 9%.
Capital gains tax: Even before the 9-9-9 plan came out, Cain repeatedly called for eliminating the capital gains tax.
Estate tax: Aside from these policy changes, Cain also intends to eliminate the estate tax completely. Rick Santorum
Ask most voters what Rick Santorum's views are on social issues, and most will likely be able to give some answer, but when it comes to fiscal policy - and taxes in particular - his views are less well known.
Income tax: Santorum has called for reducing taxes "for individuals across the board, making the system simpler, flatter and fairer" though he has yet to put forth a specific set of revised tax rates.
Corporate tax: Santorum's big proposal is to eliminate the corporate tax rate for all manufacturers and cut the corporate tax rate in half for everyone else.
Capital gains tax: Santorum calls for a permanent extension of the current capital gains tax, which has a maximum rate of 15%.
Estate tax: Not specified. >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.