Focusing on the Future

There is not enough long-term thinking in Congress. With tax reform, we can and must change this mentality. Focusing on the future will deliver more economic growth and greater opportunity for generations to come.

With the introduction of the tax reform framework by the Trump administration, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Finance, we have taken a crucial step toward the first comprehensive tax reform in more than 30 years. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to benefit all Americans through a simpler, fairer tax code.    

Our national debt now exceeds $20 trillion, which is a devastating tax on future generations. Rather than the tax-and-spend mentality too common in Washington, the best way to tackle our debt is by growing the economy through better tax policy and holding the line on spending.

The tax reform framework outlines our plan for bringing relief to taxpayers at every income level, with a focus on middle-class families. One component is doubling the standard deduction to create a larger zero-tax bracket and allow most Americans to file their taxes on a form the size of a postcard. This will help taxpayers save time and more of their own money – which they can invest in their futures and back into our economy rather than handing it over to the IRS.

The framework also incentivizes greater business investment with full and immediate expensing for at least five years. Not only does this reduce the complexities of the current depreciation requirements in our tax code, but it also encourages businesses to make necessary upfront investments to create jobs, increase wages, and spur economic growth.  

The death tax, which equates to double taxation, threatens the ability of producers and small business owners to pass their livelihoods on to their children and grandchildren. The framework eliminates the death tax once and for all so family-owned farms, ranches, and small businesses are not hit with a large IRS bill following the death of a family member.

Additionally, the framework lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. The current U.S. rate is one of the highest in the world, which means jobs and profits which could be growing our economy at home are instead benefiting economies overseas. Even President Obama acknowledged our uncompetitive corporate tax rate. We must level the playing field for American businesses in the global economy and incentivize them to invest their profits here.

Overall, we need to be bold to maximize the long-term positive impacts on the economy. Rather than timidly tweaking our tax policy with short-term cuts, we can drive double the economic growth through
permanent reform.

This is a united effort among the Trump administration and both congressional chambers, and I am encouraged by the positive response since we rolled out the framework on September 27. On the Ways and Means Committee, we are already working on turning the framework into a bill this fall. We held a two-day Committee meeting on tax reform right before the release of the framework, and the Republican Conference also huddled for a half-day to share thoughts and ideas. Our focus is bringing people together around this effort and getting it right.

Pro-growth tax reform means more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks. We need to seize this momentum and get a bill to President Trump’s desk for his signature as soon as possible to ensure a stronger economic future for all Americans.

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