Tax reform is long overdue


In the year Washington last updated the tax code, “Crocodile Dundee” was in theaters, “Walk Like An Egyptian” was a No. 1 hit, and “Da Bears” won the Super Bowl with Clemson’s “Refrigerator Perry.”

Yes, America’s tax code is outdated —1986 is calling, and wants its rotary phone back.

We can’t continue with an outdated tax code that currently benefits the well-connected but doesn’t support hardworking Americans, kills jobs, and makes companies want to move overseas.

Over the past several months, I’ve worked with House Republicans and President Trump to address this issue. Just recently, we released a tax reform plan that will simplify the code, grow wages, increase jobs, and ignite economic growth.

Our plan is focused on benefiting hardworking American families, not the well-connected with their army of lobbyists. You work hard for your money, and you should be able to keep more of your paycheck. We propose doubling the standard deduction, increasing the child tax credit, and reducing the number of tax brackets in a way that benefits the middle class.

Under the current system, Americans are not only taxed too much, but are also forced to spend too much time and money filing their taxes. Trump/Pittenger tax reform will simplify the tax code so that up to 90 percent of Americans will be able to file their taxes on a postcard.

How did our current tax code get so broken and convoluted? The powerful and well-connected have made Washington lawyers rich through years of lobbying for special perks, leaving ordinary Americans with an unfair tax code, riddled with loopholes. President Trump and I are standing up for you. Our tax plan abolishes special interest loopholes while simultaneously securing valuable deductions for you, including tax incentives for home ownership, charitable contributions, and higher education.

Allowing hardworking Americans to keep more of their money is just the start. At heart, our tax reform plan is really an extraordinary jobs bill. This is going to spark major economic growth.

Right now, small-and-family owned businesses are strangled by a tax rate topping out at nearly 50 percent! Yet small businesses create the majority of new jobs. Shouldn’t our tax code support the growth of small businesses?

Our tax proposal creates a simple, straightforward system where small businesses never have to pay more than 25 percent in taxes.

We must also recognize that America has become uncompetitive on the global stage. At 35 percent, our corporate tax rate is the highest in the industrialized world. This is why American companies have made controversial decisions to move overseas, settling in countries with significantly lower taxes.

In order to bring back jobs and profits, and pave the way for economic growth, we must bring America’s corporate tax rate in line with our foreign competitors. America should be the single best country in the world to start and grow a business, because that’s how jobs are created. Our Republican tax proposal brings America’s corporate tax rate into the average range for the industrialized world. We also create a tax incentive to bring the trillions in profits held overseas back home, leading to increased investment and providing income to pay for infrastructure and necessary services.

President Trump and I are committed to common sense tax reform that creates jobs, grows wages, and sparks economic growth. Our Republican tax reform plan is simple, fair, and puts the real needs of hardworking American families first. For nearly a decade, America’s economy has been stuck in neutral. We need to get our economy moving and creating jobs again, and we can accomplish this with our pro-growth Republican tax reform plan.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan’s tax plan initiated an era of unprecedented economic growth and prosperity. Now it is our turn to take action to put America’s economy back on track, create jobs, and allow hardworking Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, and serves on the House Financial Services Committee, with a special focus on supporting small businesses, community banks, and credit unions.

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