As a service to taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. payers, Tax Foundation economists have graded the 2004 Bush and Kerry presidential tax plans based on five principles of sound taxation:
- Simplicity: Taxes should be easy to understand and comply with.
- Transparency: Taxes should not be hidden or misleading.
- Stability: Taxes should not change continually.
- Neutrality: Taxes should not attempt to micromanage the economy through targeted credits and deductions.
- Growth-promotion: Taxes should be low and minimize interference in the marketplace.
Candidates were given letter grades from “A” to “F” based on how well their reported tax plans match up with these principles.Share