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THE ISSUE OF TAX IN THE HISTORY OF U.S. ELECTION CAMPAIGNS

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THEISSUE OF TAX IN THE HISTORY OF U.S. ELECTION CAMPAIGNS

TheAmerican political history has evolved over time. Like many countriesof the world, the American founding fathers decided to create asystem of selecting leaders of the country with a great focus ondemocracy. The founding fathers decided that the presidency and someother posts in both the federal and states governments would bedecided through a political contest where people were given a chanceto gauge and choose their most preferred leader through elections.From the eighteen century, aspiring presidential candidates developedmanifestos that displayed their aspirations when elected1. Theissue of tax was and is always covered in the manifestos of aspiringU.S. presidents, with most of them promising of the development ofbetter and more tax policies, which favor both the people and thenation’s budgetary plans.

Theperiod of the late eighteenth century was marked by the UnitedStates’ struggles from the effects of the Revolutionary war thatended in 1783. One of the major effects was the nation’s economicburden, which resulted from the war. The aspirants of that periodcame up with manifestos that displayed the tax plans that would helpin generating revenue for the nation.

Inthe nineteenth century, the issue of taxes also appears in thepresidential campaigns. In 1924, Calvin Coolidge, a Republicannominee also included the issue of tax in his manifesto as a way ofconvincing the Americans to vote for him2.He pledged to lower the taxes and ensuring that businesses are lessinterfered. The pledge on tax, together with others in his manifesto,saw him rise to power and becoming the thirtieth president of theUnited States. In the 1988 campaign, George H.W. Bush (a Republicanaspirant) developed the “No New Tax” pledge3,which greatly favored him and acted as one of the key things that ledto his victory in the race for the presidency. He later fulfilled hispromise through the development of a federal tax policy that focusedmajorly on high-income earners and managed to reduce governmentdebts.

Theelections in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries became tougherwith the rise of significant competition between different aspirants.People in the current era became more educated and developed properabilities to analyze the government and histories of variouscandidates. The economic state of the nation also changed, and peoplebecame more concerned with how leaders handled economic issues. Inthe 2000 campaign, for example, George W. Bush promised tax breaksfor all citizens4,and strongly implied that any individual who actively paid theirtaxes would have a tax break. Unlike previous aspirants, the juniorBush supported the increase in earned income tax credit5,arguing that it is of benefit to the lower groups of citizensaffected by income tax. Such promises made him win the November 7th,2000 elections. During his rule, he ensured that he kept his promiseby considerably lowering the marginal tax rate. His achievement inaccomplishing the pledges that he made to the election campaigns ofthe year 2000 resulted in a swift win in his bid for the presidencyin 2004. Although his presidency was ranked among the worst, hesucceeded in accomplishing his campaign goals of lowering taxes.

Obama’scampaign, just like those of his predecessors, was filled withpromises on the reduction of taxes. He notably employed the topic oftax to win his elections and becoming the forty-fourth president ofthe United States. Some of the promises have been met in his two-yearterm as the president while he failed to meet others. In 2016campaigns, the tax issue happens to be a divisive issue just like inthe past campaigns. Hillary Clinton promised to raise the taxes onthe top earners and leaving the tax rates of the low-earners on thesame level as they are currently6.She also pledged to develop favorable tax policies that would attractinvestors in the country. On the other hand, Donald Trump who is thepresident-elect promised to cut tax rates for all income earners andsupport business tax cuts7.

Toconclude, most of the campaigns for the presidency in the UnitedStates considered the issue of tax rates in their manifestos. Variouspresidents over the centuries won elections based on these promises.The recently concluded 2016 campaigns saw the president-elect differwith most of the previous and current leaders on the tax rate issueby promising to cut tax rates for all earners irrespective of theirincome8.

Bibliography

Ballotpedia.&quot2016 Presidential Candidates on Taxes – Ballotpedia.&quot 2016Presidential Candidates on Taxes – Ballotpedia. 2016. AccessedNovember 16, 2016.https://ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_taxes.

Thorndike,Joseph J. &quotTax History: The Top 10 Tax Presidents.&quot TaxAnalysts. 2014. Accessed November 16, 2016.http://taxprof.typepad.com/files/the-top-10-tax-presidents.pdf.

Mehrotra,A. K. 2014. &quotDeficits, Debt, And The New Politics Of TaxPolicy.&quot JournalOf American History100 (4): 1293-1294. doi:10.1093/jahist/jau145.

1 Mehrotra, A. K. 2014. &quotDeficits, Debt, And The New Politics Of Tax Policy&quot.&nbspJournal Of American History&nbsp100 (4): 1293-1294. doi:10.1093/jahist/jau145.

2Thorndike, Joseph J. &quotTax History: The Top 10 Tax Presidents.&quot Tax Analysts. 2014. Accessed November 16, 2016. http://taxprof.typepad.com/files/the-top-10-tax-presidents.pdf.

3 Thorndike, Joseph J. &quotTax History: The Top 10 Tax Presidents.&quot Tax Analysts. 2014. Accessed November 16, 2016. http://taxprof.typepad.com/files/the-top-10-tax-presidents.pdf.

4 Thorndike, Joseph J. &quotTax History: The Top 10 Tax Presidents.&quot Tax Analysts. 2014. Accessed November 16, 2016. http://taxprof.typepad.com/files/the-top-10-tax-presidents.pdf.

5 Thorndike, Joseph J. &quotTax History: The Top 10 Tax Presidents.&quot Tax Analysts. 2014. Accessed November 16, 2016. http://taxprof.typepad.com/files/the-top-10-tax-presidents.pdf.

6 Ballotpedia. &quot2016 Presidential Candidates on Taxes – Ballotpedia.&quot 2016 Presidential Candidates on Taxes – Ballotpedia. 2016. Accessed November 16, 2016. https://ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_taxes.

7 Ballotpedia. &quot2016 Presidential Candidates on Taxes – Ballotpedia.&quot 2016 Presidential Candidates on Taxes – Ballotpedia. 2016. Accessed November 16, 2016. https://ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_taxes.

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