70,000 Pages

With shocking developments involving the weather, DACA, and statues, the media doesn’t have much interest in covering anything else. Fortunately, tax reform is breaking through and getting some much-needed attention.

The current tax code is more than 70,000 pages long and costs our economy hundreds of billions of dollars every year. This complication combined with carve outs for preferred businesses – such as tax exemptions, deductions, etc. – result in the government picking winners and losers. They’re also one of the biggest ways the government coerces citizens into or out of certain actions. Want fewer coal plants? Tax them. Want more solar plants? Give them tax breaks. To paraphrase “The Godfather”, it’s an offer you can’t refuse.

And for about half of American taxpayers, it’s a bad deal. The top 50 percent of taxpayers pay almost the entire individual income tax burden (the bottom 50 pay less than three percent). Even more shocking, the top one percent pay more than the entire bottom 90 percent.

But no matter how much we pay, the government won’t be able to tax its way out of debt. The federal government actually brings in enough money to cover all functions of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and the entire defense budget. But half of federal spending is on entitlements. Until entitlements are reformed, the government will never balance the budget and get out of debt.

Which brings us to what President Trump is proposing. In an August speech in Missouri, Trump called for making the tax code less complicated, cutting the tax rate for corporations and middleclass families, and bringing profits currently parked overseas back to the U.S. While the details are being left up to Congress, American Encore supports these broad goals. In fact, we called for similar measures in our Blueprint for 2015. While it’s better late than never, it’s past time for a major tax overhaul. Let’s hope Congress gets to work, and gets this done!

It's Time for an American Encore