Our Economy Needs Tax Reform
‘After eight years of sluggish economic growth under the Obama Administration, I was pleased to see some positive numbers out of last month’s jobs report. And now, following so many years of failed left-wing policies that held Americans back, a new administration and a pro-growth Congress have been working together to move our economy and job creation in a positive direction.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding pro-growth tax reform:
“After eight years of sluggish economic growth under the Obama Administration, I was pleased to see some positive numbers out of last month’s jobs report. And now, following so many years of failed left-wing policies that held Americans back, a new administration and a pro-growth Congress have been working together to move our economy and job creation in a positive direction. We’ve already undertaken what’s been described as ‘the most ambitious regulatory rollback since Reagan,’ and we’re working hard in a number of other areas as well.
“In fact, this month, the administration is redoubling those efforts on the economy, kicking off with an emphasis on workforce development. These initiatives are a top priority for many states like mine. We’re proud to have a governor who has been a staunch advocate for expanding apprenticeship programs and preparing a workforce that can fill current employment gaps while also attracting new businesses and job opportunities to the state. I’ve also been proud to play a role in supporting these efforts and have worked to secure federal funds for workforce development programs in Kentucky. Specifically, I have been proud to help secure funding for training and employment services for laid-off coal miners in an effort to help them find new job opportunities.
“Efforts like these are critical in preparing American workers for success in today’s global economy, but we know there’s more we can do to help. One way the Republican Senate is working to do that is through tax reform. It’s been more than 30 years since we last passed comprehensive tax reform legislation, and since then, the international economy has only grown more competitive. That’s why it’s imperative that we do what we can to modernize our tax structure as we also better-prepare America’s workforce for the many challenges and the global competition that face us in today’s economy.
“Over the past three decades, our tax system has grown increasingly convoluted and punitive, making it harder for individuals and businesses to succeed. In fact, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Report to Congress, ‘If tax compliance were an industry, it would be one of the largest in the United States.’ It’s not hard to see why, considering that our Internal Revenue Code is made up of about four million words, which to give some context, is nearly seven times longer than Leo Tolstoy’s notoriously lengthy War and Peace.
“It goes on to say that, ‘a simpler, more transparent tax code will substantially reduce the estimated six billion hours and $195 billion that taxpayers spend on income tax return preparation; reduce the disparity in tax liabilities between sophisticated or well advised taxpayers and other taxpayers; enable taxpayers to understand how their tax liabilities are computed and prepare their own returns; improve taxpayer morale and tax compliance…and enable the IRS to administer the tax system more effectively and better meet taxpayer needs.’ In short, as that report observed, when it comes to our tax code ‘there is no doubt: Simpler is better!’
“And how do we get a simpler tax code? With tax reform. But that’s just one of the numerous benefits that would come from a revised tax system. For instance, instead of inadvertently incentivizing companies to go overseas, as our current tax code does, a revised system would encourage businesses to keep jobs in the United States. Instead of restricting businesses’ ability to expand, create jobs and increase wages, as our current tax code does, a revised system would open up more opportunities for workers. And instead of deterring the type of growth that boosts the economy and puts more people back to work, as our current tax code does, a revised system would actually promote American investment.
“These are the types of solutions middle class families need now, and they’re the types of policies that the Republican Senate will continue to pursue as we work to reform our tax system. Fortunately, we now have an administration that is interested in making our tax code simpler for families and American businesses alike, without demanding a trillion dollars in tax hikes for more government spending.
“Respective committees in the House and the Senate have been working for some time to move our tax reform efforts forward, and the Speaker and I recently had a productive meeting with the president about this issue. I appreciate the good work that my colleagues are doing on this matter, especially the Finance Committee Chairman, Senator Hatch, who has long been an advocate for simplifying our tax system. He has been working closely with his committee members and Chairman Brady to advance the tax reform that our economy demands.
“This process is not an easy one. There are difficult issues that must be navigated, particularly with respect to business reform. But I am confident that we will arrive at solutions that will be good for American workers and the businesses that employ them. We’ve made progress already, and we’ll keep moving forward as Members offer their input for consideration. I hope that our friends across the aisle will come together in support of these bipartisan objectives too. But either way, we have to keep working on this issue because we know the benefits that tax reform could have for the American people — who, after eight long years of sluggish economic growth under the Obama Administration, deserve more.”
Related Issues: Economy, Taxes, Tax Reform, Middle Class