Rounds: Fairer, Lower, Simpler Tax Code Will Unleash the Full Potential of the American Economy
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today delivered remarks on the Senate floor calling for a simpler, lower, fairer tax code that will improve our economy, create new jobs and increase wages for the American people.
“It is our intention to deliver policies that will jolt our economy, allow hard-working families to keep more of their paychecks and provide financial opportunities to lower and middle-class families,” said Rounds on the Senate floor. “I am encouraged by the ongoing discussions and progress being made to alleviate the tax burden on American businesses and hardworking families, and I will continue to work with anyone serious about lowering taxes and reforming the code to provide a much-needed jolt to our sluggish economy.”
Rounds’ remarks, as prepared for delivery:
Mr. President, I rise today regarding our country’s need for tax reform.
Reforming our tax code remains a top priority for myself, many of my colleagues and the president.
We are committed to delivering tax reform that will provide more jobs, bigger paychecks and a fairer tax system to the American people.
Over the eight years of the previous administration, economic growth averaged 1.5 percent annually, about half the post-World War II average.
This anemic growth has led to stagnant wages, and according to the Joint Economic Committee, has cost families an average of $8,600 in income annually.
It’s no wonder half of Americans say they are living paycheck-to-paycheck. This is unacceptable.
Even more concerning, the Congressional Budget Office is projecting economic growth to remain under 2 percent over the next 10 years if we do not act.
We cannot let that happen.
It is our intention to deliver policies that will jolt our economy, allow hard-working families to keep more of their paychecks and provide financial opportunities to lower and middle-class families.
And tax reform is a vital component of this.
Our current, overly-complicated tax code, is more than 74,000 pages in length and takes Americans more than 8.1 billion hours each year to file their taxes.
A fairer, simpler tax code will grow the economy, increase wages for American families, improve American competitiveness overseas and provide much-needed certainty for our business community.
It has been more than 30 years since our tax code was last reformed.
Since that time, other countries have lowered their rates to become more competitive, while our tax code has barely even changed.
The average corporate tax rate in the U.S. today is 39 percent, compared to 25 percent by our foreign competitors.
This puts American businesses at a disadvantage right out of the gate.
We must reform the tax rate to one that incentivizes businesses to remain here in America and keep good-paying jobs from going overseas.
Doing so will unleash the full potential of the American economy.
Now while we all want a simpler, fairer tax code and comprehensive overhaul, I have also been working on legislation that would simply reduce taxes for all Americans.
One thing we can all agree on is that taxes are too high and tax rates – no matter who you are – should be lowered.
Lowering the tax rate is one step we can take that will provide direct, immediate relief to hardworking families and jolt our economy.
I introduced a proposal in May that would lower the rate in each tax bracket - individual, corporate and capital gains - by two points.
This approach would put more money in the pockets of every single American family – money that they can use to help them buy a car, take a vacation, pay off bills or use how they see fit – instead of the American government.
In South Dakota, this would mean a 16 percent tax cut for the average family of four making $68,000 a year.
But no matter what the income level, everyone will see a cut.
Allowing all American families to keep more of their hard-earned dollars by taking it out of the hands of Washington and back into their own pocketbooks will result in a more prosperous American economy.
And when our economy is healthy, every American will feel the positive effects.
I am encouraged by the ongoing discussions and progress being made to alleviate the tax burden on American businesses and hardworking families, and I will continue to work with anyone serious about lowering taxes and reforming the code to provide a much-needed jolt to our sluggish economy.
The American people deserve better than the stagnant growth and uncertainty still lingering from the previous administration.
Thank you Mr. President, I yield the floor.