Tax Reform Off and Running

Making good on a campaign promise, President Donald Trump kicked off his first official week in the Oval Office by welcoming a group of top business leaders to the White House and promising to reduce regulations and corporate taxes. According to reports, “Trump reiterated his promise to cut personal and corporate tax rates, ‘massively,’ saying, ‘We’re trying to get it down to anywhere from 15 to 20 percent.’”

That’s welcome news for both the American taxpayer and businesses that find themselves a step behind their global competitors. It bodes even better for an economy that is need of a boost. Significantly, President Trump’s comments put him on the same page as the House GOP’s “A Better Way” tax reform blueprint which calls for reductions in the individual tax rates and a corporate tax rate of 20 percent. The blueprint is likely to serve as the basis for tax reform legislation in Congress.

Comprehensive tax reform has been a long time coming, thirty years to be precise. That’s the last time Congress overhauled our tax system. In the ensuing years, it’s only become more complex and burdensome, holding back growth and investment. And while there have been some attempts to put forth legislation, notably by former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), none gained any traction.

But President Trump’s election in November – combined with the GOP blueprint – gives new life to the odds of enacting meaningful tax reform this year. Even more encouraging are Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin’s comments at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee last week.  During questioning, Mnuchin told members of the committee that creating economic growth is a critical issue for the Trump administration and that passing comprehensive tax reform is a central component of that goal.

With the possibility of comprehensive tax reform becoming a reality, it’s important that Congress and the White House come together to work out their differences. The nation can’t afford to wait another thirty years.