Until 2008, Darrell Seela owned a home in Las Vegas where he and his wife worked and raised three children. After the crash, he lost his job as a draftsman and industrial engineer for a major homebuilding company. The Seelas lost their home soon after.
The family moved to Ridgecrest, Calif., where Darrell found work. But his wife hasn’t been able to land a new job as a mortgage administrator. “With two incomes we might be able to make it fairly well,” Seela says, “but with one income it’s killing us.” Seela now makes $57,000 a year. His oldest daughter is 18, attends college and works; his 13- and 16-year-olds still live at home.
“We’re used to a certain type of life, and we’re getting that taken away from us,” he says.
When Seela votes for president next fall, he will vote for an economic strategy, as well.
As part of their plans to revive the economy, several presidential candidates have offered innovative prescriptions to reform the U.S. tax system.
For the Seelas and millions of other American families, there is no status quo: if Congress does not act on President Obama’s proposals, the Bush-era tax cuts are scheduled to expire, with powerful repercussions. The charts here show a sampling of the tax proposals, and what would happen if the Bush tax cuts expire.
In a nutshell, Obama wants to end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, while retaining them for working and middle-class families.
Mitt Romney’s plan would preserve the Bush tax cuts for the rich as well, and cut taxes on wealthy estates and corporations.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s proposal for a new flat tax, and Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, offer more radical change.
Perry wants to slash taxes on individual Americans and businesses, and offer taxpayers a flat tax rate of 20 percent, with generous deductions.