September 28, 2017
If you're looking for some light reading, skip the federal tax code. Clocking in at 74,608 pages, it's one of the most complicated and cumbersome documents Washington has ever produced. House Republicans are pledging to change that, unveiling a simple nine-page framework for rewriting the guiding document for the most loathed agencies in D.C.: the IRS.
At a mini-retreat yesterday, the GOP tried to regroup on its next big project now that the health care repeal is stuck in Senate limbo until the next fiscal year. One way Republicans are hoping to woo back angry voters is by slashing their sky-high taxes and letting families keep more of their hard-earned money. For House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Budget Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), this has been a longtime goal -- one that President Trump is determined to make a reality.
At a speech in Indiana yesterday, the president called it a "once-in-a-generation opportunity." The billionaire businessman was quick to remind people that they have a Tax-Expert-in-Chief. "I guess it's probably something I could say that I'm very good at. We're going to cut taxes for the middle class, make the tax code simpler and fairer for everyday Americans. And we are going to bring back the jobs and wealth that have left our country and most people thought left our country for good."
Together with House Republicans, he wants to reduce the personal income tax brackets from seven to three (12 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent), double the standard deduction for married and single filers, cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, and kill the death tax, among other things. Since proposing the very first child tax credit, FRC has fought to make the family -- the engine of the economy -- the center of tax reform. But instead of rewarding families for their role, the government punishes them – not realizing that what Washington does to family budgets has long-term effects on the country as a whole.
The GOP blueprint makes the tax code fairer, simpler, and more efficient. Conservatives should cheer the increase of the child tax credit, end of the estate tax, and the inclusion of a care credit, which lets families better provide for their loved ones. Unlike the Obama administration, which threatened to turn philanthropy upside-down, the Republican plan keeps the tax incentives for charitable contributions.
If all goes according to plan (a big "if" in this Congress!), the House hopes to have the bill to the Senate by the end of October and to Trump's desk by year-end. If they can manage it, Americans would have a lot more jingle in their pockets this Christmas!
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.