Opinion: Tax reform will help put America first

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Commentary by U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita

Hoosiers are proud, hard-working people who want to provide a better life for their children and grandchildren. They just want an opportunity to live the American Dream and leave future generations with a country that is better and stronger than the one they inherited.

The failed policies of the Washington elite are continually pushing the American Dream further and further out of reach. They protect a broken tax code that’s great for lobbyists, Wall Street and some mega-corporations, but it is bad for job creation, small business and the American people. The Washington elite offer government dependency in place of the jobs their policies have destroyed. They try to sell solutions that fail to fix economic problems they caused. They will never solve the problem because they caused it.

I am finding real solutions that fix problems facing our nation. Like transformation of our nation’s tax code. I stand with President Trump and Vice President Pence in their efforts to transform our tax code to make it fairer, to make America more competitive and to put America first again.

First, we need to simplify the tax code. The tax code is completely out-of-control in length and complexity, meaning most Americans have to hire professionals to help do their taxes. Americans waste 6 billion hours on compliance and spend at least $260 billion per year just figuring out what they owe. Meanwhile, special interests exploit the complexity of the code to load up on corporate welfare, carve outs and sweetheart deals the average American will never access.

In 1935, income tax instructions were two pages. Today they are 241 pages. According to the Tax Foundation, the federal tax code is more than six times as long as it was in 1955. There is no reason we can’t return to a simpler, fairer tax code that doesn’t require professional help to navigate and doesn’t result in billions of hours in lost productivity and billions of dollars in wasted money.

While we are at it, we need to transform the tax code to make the United States the best place in the world to invest and create jobs. Currently, businesses leave the United States to escape our burdensome tax code. We have the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. It encourages companies to leave America for China. American companies currently hold $2.6 trillion in profits offshore to avoid the unfair tax burden. By reforming the tax code to make America competitive with the rest of the world, we can trigger an economic boom nationwide, not just in Washington, DC where the big government economy is exploding.

After eight years of economic stagnation, America can be the economic engine of the world again. We just need to reform the tax code to change the incentives and policies to attract investment and growth, instead of driving our jobs overseas and hollowing out our manufacturing industry. We can boost take home pay for hardworking Americans, create jobs and opportunity and make the system fair again by closing special interest loopholes that have allowed Wall Street and Washington to boom while economic opportunity diminished for tens of millions of Americans.


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