Weekly Columns

Reforming Our Tax Code

f t # e
Washington, August 10, 2017 | Lani Short (202-225-6356) | comments

Think about life 31 years ago: most of us communicated solely by landline; the Internet wasn’t widely available, and certainly not for commercial purposes; and Oprah Winfrey was just beginning her talk show career. Life has changed a lot in the last three decades, but our tax code hasn’t kept up. According to the Tax Foundation, our tax code is more than 2.4 million words long, which is almost six times as long as it was in 1955; and nearly twice as long as it was in 1985. Every aspect of the tax code is complex – consider just education as an example. Today there are over 12 different overlapping tax benefits related to education, which means there are 100 pages of instructions to figure out if students qualify for help with tuition costs. The time for an update and commonsense change to our tax code is now, which is why Congress is working on comprehensive tax reform.

There is no question we need to lower taxes for people at all levels of income, from our job creators to hardworking taxpayers to our friends and neighbors who have fallen on hard times. As you may know, at 35 percent, America has the highest corporate income tax in the industrialized world. This actually incentivizes businesses that operate globally to create jobs overseas, and makes it harder for domestic companies to compete with foreign competitors. Excessive regulation and taxes are a deterrent to job creation and higher wages, and it’s time for Congress to act to ensure Americans can keep more of their hard-earned pay and grow the economy. 

Our proposed pro-growth tax reform agenda will lower rates for individuals and businesses on Main Street, prioritize job creation and make American businesses more competitive with their overseas competitors. House Republicans’ plan will also help middle-class families by consolidating tax brackets and lowering tax rates, which should encourage more saving and investment. Businesses who have invested overseas will be encouraged to bring jobs to the United States, and domestic manufacturers will be put on at least a level playing field with their foreign competitors. According to the House Ways and Means Committee, if the United States economy averages a three percent growth in the next ten years, there would be millions of jobs created and income for a family of four would be thousands of dollars higher. In Tennessee alone, House Republicans’ tax reform plan is projected to bring medium-income households in Tennessee roughly $4,000 more in after-tax income gains while adding more than 34,000 jobs across the state. With potential results like that, it’s critical that we work together to get this done.

As I’ve said many times, our tax code is far too complex. So complex, in fact, that taxpayers spend $99 billion each year complying with the individual income tax. House Republicans are going to work to replace our complicated and confusing tax code with a leaner, simplified and more competitive plan than ever before. We are proposing a plan so simple that, if adopted, taxpayers will be able to file their income taxes on a post card, rather than spend much of their time and money trying to follow our complicated tax laws.

House Republicans are committed to making tax season less stressful and complicated for American families who have many other things to worry about. By helping individuals and families file their taxes simply, hardworking taxpayers will be able to keep more of their paycheck each year. With President Trump’s leadership, I am confident that we can accomplish a simplified and streamlined tax code that will put taxpayers first, create jobs, and grow our economy.

As always, feel free to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you or your family.
f t # e
Tags: Taxes