Tax reform for Main Street growth

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Congress last overhauled the federal tax code in the 1980s — more than 30 years ago — and it shows. A lot has changed in the last three decades; our tax code has not. This has led to stagnant wages and sluggish economic growth.

When House Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee unveiled our blueprint for bold, comprehensive tax reform last June, we envisioned a system that simplified and lowered rates, raised wages while helping businesses create jobs and streamlined our overly complex and burdensome tax code.

Now, with a president in the White House who is committed to pro-growth tax reform, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn this vision into a reality — improving lives for workers, families and job creators in North Carolina and across the country.

Simplifying the tax system, so everyone can easily file their taxes on a form the size of a postcard, is something folks on both sides of the aisle should be able to get behind. We should start by ensuring middle and working-class families keep more of their monthly paychecks. Lowering tax rates, increasing the standard deduction and cutting the system down to three tax brackets is simple, easy and would immediately benefit those living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Next, we should expand opportunities for Americans all over the country by helping Main Street create jobs. The Small Business Administration reported small businesses are responsible for creating 63 percent of new private-sector jobs in the United States. This is America’s backbone and we need to take steps to help these businesses get their feet under them to remain competitive. Our tax reform blueprint does just that by dramatically lowering the tax rate for small businesses to 25 percent — the lowest rate on small business income since before World War II.

In this same vein, the United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. Lowering that corporate rate, while also moving to a territorial system that encourages corporations to invest their foreign profits in the U.S. instead of overseas, would level the playing field currently titled toward our international competitors. This would help get thousands of Americans off the sidelines and back to work.

Lastly, we need to reform the Internal Revenue Service. A better tax code means we need a better steward of our tax system, not one that has violated the trust of the American taxpayer time and again. Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, has been clear this part of the blueprint would “redesign the IRS into an agency with a singular mission: Service First.”

I could not agree more. Taxpayers deserve an IRS that is responsive, transparent, and above all, accountable.

Our plan isn’t designed to raise trillions of new dollars for the federal government to foolishly spend. In fact, it’s designed to be revenue-neutral, help folks save more each month and grow our economy.

I am committed to being on the front lines of creating a simplified tax code that lowers the tax rate for hardworking Americans, encourages people to start a business in the United States and creates more jobs for North Carolinians.

George Holding is a Republican representing North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District. He serves on the House Ways and Means Committee.