State Senate candidates are clashing over federal tax plans after a new contender entered the race late last week.
Libertarian candidate Joseph Kexel of Kenosha, Wis., announced his run for U.S. Senate Friday with promises to balance the country’s budget. Kexel joins a slew of other candidates vying to replace retiring Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis.
“Our goal should be to increase our economy, not to tax the rich harder,” Kexel said. “We need real taxation so we can apply it to the debt.”
Kexel, an Information Technology consultant who runs his own business, said he is very business-oriented and envisions an economy based on production rather than borrowing money.
He said much of the country’s economic activity does not aid production but only works to comply with income tax. He said many of the current government expenditures only make the budget deficit worse.
He said his primary goal is to balance the budget, ensuring the U.S. does not spend more than it takes in. The next step is to reduce the country’s debt, he said, which will involve more cuts to attain a budget surplus.
Comparatively, Kexel said the other Senate candidates are very much focused on stimulus money, focusing on even more government spending.
“I believe the economy is best created by citizens,” Kexel said. “If you give money back to citizens by reasonable taxation, they will spend more on reasonable business ventures.”
Other candidates have also brought forth their own tax plans, including Eric Hovde, a Republican candidate from Madison and owner of Hovde Properties real estate company.
According to Hovde spokesperson Sean Lansing, Hovde’s plan is the most extensive of any plan put forth so far by other candidates, particularly in reducing the size and scope of the Internal Revenue Service.
“This plan is taking on one of the biggest and most bureaucratic agencies in the country,” Lansing said. “I don’t think you’d find anyone in the U.S. today who says the IRS is doing a very good job.”
According to Hovde’s tax plan, the problem of the complicated tax code must be addressed. The plan said Americans spend $160 billion on tax preparation annually and this is an “egregious example of government bureaucracy and waste.”
Lansing said though Hovde has never run for office, his background in the private sector for more than 20 years gives him great economic competency.
Republican candidate Mark Neumann’s spokesperson Chip Englander said Neumann has a plan more detailed than any other candidate’s at this point.
Among the provisions in Neumann’s plan are making George W. Bush’s tax cuts permanent, making fewer loopholes in tax cuts and cutting taxes for everyone, Englander said.
He said Neumann has itemized nearly 150 government programs that should be eliminated or cut, among them Amtrak subsidies and peanut subsidies.
“The budget is littered with examples of wasteful spending,” Englander said.
Republican candidate and former Gov. Tommy Thompson’s plan would also make the Bush tax cuts permanent, as well as establishing a flat tax rate after two years.
Additionally, Thompson’s plan would absolve households earning less than $100,000 from capital gains taxes and end federal taxes on Social Security income.
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Wis., could not be reached for comment on this issue, but both have announced their candidacy for the seat.