Editors note: This is the second in a series of questions posed by McClatchy Newspapers to encourage a thoughtful civic discussion about topics of national interest. We invite your participation.
Taxes loom large as an election issue in the political fracas this fall.
Democrats tend to favor a mix of increased tax revenue and spending cuts. Republicans tend to favor spending cuts and lower taxes.
President Barack Obama has advocated higher taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year. Republican Mitt Romney has pledged to cut marginal rates by 20 percent and eliminate unspecified deductions and loopholes.
The Bush-era tax breaks end on Jan. 1, unless Congress acts before then. A break for individuals on Social Security taxes during the last two years also is set to expire.
What do you think is the best course?
Let the Bush tax cuts expire, allowing the highest tax rate to return to 39.6 percent.
Raise taxes on those earning more than $250,000, but keep middle class taxes stable.
Cut marginal tax rates by 20 percent and eliminate most deductions and loopholes, possibly including home mortgage and charitable giving.
Punt again, given the fragile economy. Maintain Bush tax cuts for another year and extend the break on Social Security taxes.
Enter your choice in our poll below and tell us why in the comments section below.