Which presidential candidates have your back ...pocket?

The presidential stump fest has officially begun, but thus far the primaries seem to be muddying the waters instead of thinning the field. With the sound bites flying fast and furious, it's easy to forget the candidates' positions on, well, just about everything. So who among the front-runners for both parties has Americans' fiscal interests at heart? A quick visit to SelectSmart.com's Presidential Candidate Selector turned up some interesting results.

Eight of the 26 questions on SelectSmart's Survey are aimed directly or indirectly at voters' wallets, on the topics of Social Security, trade, taxes, the deficit, unions, minimum wage hikes, universal health care and prescription drugs. Once you've revealed how tight or loose you'd like the federal government to be with your tax dollars, you're paired with your "Theoretical Ideal Candidate" based on his or her campaign statements and, when applicable, voting record.

So who should you vote for if you'd rather the deficit increase as opposed to your taxes? Fresh from his much-needed win in the Michigan primary, Mitt Romney leads the pack of Republican front-runners in fiscal conservatism. John McCain is second among Reps who've come out on top in a primary but fourth overall among all the candidates, possibly because of his balanced-budget leanings. Iowa winner Mike Huckabee is at the bottom of the list, thanks to his insistence on reforming Social Security and health care.

Fellow Iowa victor Barack Obama is the closest thing to a theoretically ideal candidate for those who are all about "tax and spend." As went Iowa, so goes the survey, with John Edwards placing and Hillary Clinton showing. While Obama and Edwards are running neck-and-neck, Clinton's supporting free trade and eschewing a balanced budget leaves her trailing.

While clearly demarcating the candidates still in the running, the survey lists all 29 wags who had given any lip service at all to throwing their hat in the ring as of last August, as well as one former VP whose inconvenient truth was that he's happier in the private sector. The list also includes Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. Colbert, who halted his campaign, is nonetheless the No. 1 fiscal conservative in the bunch, assuming we take seriously his position that Social Security should be abolished because "if old people can play bridge, they can work as typists."

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How Financial Planners go Grocery Shopping

Learn to shop smart and save.

View Course »

Intro to Retirement

Get started early planning for your long term future.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Cities with the Lowest Tax Rates

The total amount of tax you pay reaches far beyond what you owe the federal government. Depending on where you live, most likely you're required to pay additional taxes, including property and sales tax. The disparity between the amount of tax you pay in a low-tax city and that in a high-tax city can be dramatic. Living in any of these 10 cities could save you a bundle, although the exact amount may fluctuate based on your income and lifestyle choices.

Cities with the Highest Tax Rates

Much ado is made in the press about federal tax brackets, but cities can carry a tax bite of their own. Even if you live in a state that has no income tax, your city may levy a variety of taxes that could eat away the entire benefit of living in an income tax-free state, including property taxes, sales taxes and auto taxes. Consider all the costs before you move to one of these cities, and understand that rates may change based on your family's income level.

Great Ways to Get Charitable Tax Deductions

Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as a deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

Freelancing certainly has its benefits, but it can result in a few complications come tax time. The Internal Revenue Service considers freelancers to be self-employed, so if you earn income as a freelancer you must file your taxes as a business owner. While you can take additional deductions if you are self-employed, you'll also face additional taxes in the form of the self-employment tax. Here are things to consider as a freelancer when filing your taxes.

Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

Most taxpayers who pay interest on student loans can take a tax deduction for the expense ? and you can do this regardless of whether you itemize tax deductions on your return. The rules for claiming the deduction are the same whether the interest payments were required or voluntary.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum