The tax code remains the least popular, most punitive aspect of the federal government. Every year, Americans spend billions of hours complying with the law, the IRS itself provides incorrect information to taxpayers roughly (half) the time, and an army of lobbyists and special interests dedicate themselves to protecting their sweetheart deals. Meanwhile, families and economic growth suffer.
Not surprisingly, leaders in both political parties have called for an overhaul of the tax code. Several have even outlined plans for doing so. The problem is, while politicians in Washington have been talking about tax reform for 20 years, nothing happens.
Only when Americans stand up and demand that Washington finally fix the abusive, loophole-ridden tax code will anything happen. Otherwise, the special interests who created this mess will keep real reform bottled up for another 20 years.
Our mission at CSP is to educate and motivate Americans so we can force politicians in Washington to fix the tax code, which will result in more jobs and will make sure that families, especially parents with children, are treated fairly.
We have to make Washington act and we have to make them get it right.
There are some fundamental questions that underlie any serious tax reform debate:
- Which plan best meets the current challenges facing families?
- Which plan will lead to economic growth, more jobs, and higher wages?
- Which plan can actually pass Congress and be signed into law?
There are many tax reform plans out there – the Flat Tax, Fair Tax, across-the-board rate cuts – that would be a marked improvement over the current code; however, conservatives must make sure that any reform plan is dealing with today’s problems and tomorrow’s opportunities and isn’t just dusting off ideas from 20 years ago because “we’ve always done it that way.”
While cutting the top income tax rate is a worthy goal, it’s not a panacea. It doesn’t address the problems faced by most families and small business owners. The best conservative tax plan will be both pro-growth and pro-family. It will reflect the problems businesses face in trying to grow and create jobs here in America AND it will reflect the real challenges faced by parents as they work, save, and raise children.
For example, today, many middle class families pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes. These families will be helped much more by a larger child tax credit that’s refundable against both income and payroll taxes, than they will by a traditional cut in tax rates.
The tax reform plan introduced by Senators Marco Rubio and Mike Lee meets the criteria for effective conservative tax reform – pro-family, pro-growth, and anti-special interest. Rubio-Lee has been called “good for growth, good for families” by Americans for Tax Reform and, according to Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review “does more to encourage growth than any the U.S. has had since the 1920s.”
Rubio-Lee makes the tax code simpler, fairer, and ends special interest privileges.