Comparing Party Platforms

A close examination of each Party’s most recent Platform (2016) reveals its core beliefs and could provide a powerful indication of how that Party’s nominee will vote.

For your convenience, we have broken the lengthy party platforms into digestible portions based on topic and placed them side-by-side for comparison.


Democratic Party Platform

The Democratic Platform has an overarching category addressing Taxation: Fight for Economic Fairness and Against Inequality (p. 9).
Democrats believe that today’s extreme levels of income and wealth inequality are bad for our people, bad for our businesses, and bad for our economy. Our country depends on a thriving middle class to drive economic growth, but the middle class is shrinking. Meanwhile, the top one-tenth of one percent of Americans now own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent combined. These trends create problems beyond insulting our sense of basic fairness. Social mobility is far lower than most believe it to be. Children who are born to families in the lowest fifth of earnings are more than 10 times more likely to remain there as adults than they are to earn as much as those in the top fifth. Unless we invest in building a level playing field, we all lose.
Making the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes (p. 11)
At a time of massive income and wealth inequality. . . Democrats will claw back tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, eliminate tax breaks for big oil and gas companies, and crack down on inversions and other methods companies use to dodge their tax responsibilities. We will make sure that our tax code rewards businesses that make investments and provide good-paying jobs here in the United States. . . We will end deferrals so that American corporations. . . can no longer escape paying their fair share of U.S. taxes by stashing profits abroad. We will then use the revenue raised from fixing the corporate tax code to reinvest in rebuilding America and ensuring economic growth. . .
We will ensure those at the top contribute. . . establishing a multimillionaire surtax to ensure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. . . we will shut down the “private tax system” for those at the top, immediately close egregious loopholes. . . restore fair taxation on multimillion dollar estates, and ensure millionaires can no longer pay a lower rate than their secretaries. At a time of near-record corporate profits, slow wage growth, and rising costs, we need to offer tax relief to middle-class families—not those at the top.
. . .no one should be able avoid paying their fair share by hiding money abroad. . . We will work to crack down on tax evasion and promote transparency. . . make sure that law-abiding Americans living abroad are not unfairly penalized. . .
We will offer tax relief to hard working, middle-class families. . .

This section was shortened from 407 to 268 words. For full text, see page 11 of the Full 2016 Democratic Party Platform.

Republican Party Platform

The Republican Platform has an overarching category addressing Taxation: Restoring the American Dream (p. 1) and Government Reform (p. 23)
Fair and Simple Taxes for Growth (p. 1)
. . .More than any other public policy, the way government raises revenue. . . has the great¬est impact on our economy’s performance. . .
The current tax code. . . length is exceeded only by its complexity. We must start anew. That will be an enormous undertaking and, if it is to suc¬ceed, it must. . . be engineered from the top down. . . a common sense approach, and be simplified.
Our proposal is straightforward. Wherever tax rates penalize thrift or discourage investment, they must be lowered. Wherever current provisions of the code are disincentives for economic growth, they must be changed. . . We will eliminate as many special interest provisions and loopholes as possible and curb corporate welfare. . . We will be mindful of the burdens on families with children and the im¬pact on an aging population. We will seek simplicity and clarity so that every taxpayer can understand how much of their income is consumed by the fed¬eral government.
We will welcome all to this enterprise — to discuss, debate, challenge, and amend — so that together we can restore economic growth for the American people and, even more important, renew their faith in the future.

This section was shortened from 303 to 200 words. For full text, see page 1 of the Full 2016 Republican Party Platform.

Our Tax Principles (p. 2)
To ensure that past abuses will not be repeated, we assert these fundamental principles. We oppose retroactive taxation. We condemn attempts by ac­tivist judges at any level of government to seize the power of the purse from the people’s elected repre­sentatives by ordering higher taxes.

We oppose tax policies that deliberately di­vide Americans or promote class warfare. Because of the vital role of religious organizations, charities, and fraternal benevolent societies in fostering gen­erosity and patriotism, they should not be subject to taxation and donations to them should remain deductible. To guard against hypertaxation of the American people in any restructuring of the federal tax system, any value added tax or national sales tax must be tied to the simultaneous repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, which established the fed­eral income tax.

Internal Revenue Service (p. 27)
Many good civil servants work at the IRS, but the agency itself is toxic. Its leadership employs known tax delinquents, rehires workers previously fired for misconduct, spends user fees without con­gressional oversight, and awards bonuses for cus­tomer service that would put any private company out of business. Worst of all, the IRS has become an ideological attack dog for the worst elements of today’s Democratic Party. It systematically targets conservative, pro-life, and libertarian organizations, harassing them with repeated audits and denying their tax exempt status. Its commissioner has lied to Congress, hidden evidence, and stonewalled inves­tigations. He should be impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted by the Senate. We value the right of America’s churches, pastors, and religious leaders to preach and speak freely accord­ing to their faith. Republicans believe the federal government, specifically the IRS, is constitutionally prohibited from policing or censoring the speech of America’s churches, pastors, and religious lead­ers. We support repeal of the Johnson Amend­ment, which restricts First Amendment freedoms of all nonprofit organizations by prohibiting politi­cal speech. We also support making the federal tax code so simple and easy to understand that the IRS becomes obsolete and can be abolished.