President Trump’s Joint Session of Congress Speech Highlights Tax Reform

For the first time, President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress where he outlined his legislative vision. He covered all the big-ticket items, from immigration and trade, to national security and infrastructure. Significantly, President Trump also gave some insight into his views on the issue of tax reform, considered to be a top priority of his administration.

In his speech, President Trump told Americans that his team is working to develop historic tax reform that “will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone.” This plan has been anxiously anticipated by Congressional leaders and tax policy experts who are eager to see how it lines up with the House GOP’s A Better Way Plan.

If President Trump’s plan is similar to what he laid out in his speech, then we can expect:

  • “A big, big cut” for American companies.
  • “Massive tax relief for the middle class.”
  • “A level playing field for American companies and our workers.”

Despite offering no further details, Trump repeated the themes from the campaign where he also called for massive tax cuts for both individuals and companies, including a huge cut to the corporate tax rate from 35 to 15 percent. The House Republican tax reform blueprint – proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady –hopes to restore American competitiveness by lowering the corporate tax rate to 20 percent and shifting to a territorial system.

As President Trump and Congress gear up to tackle tax reform, lawmakers must strive to remember the benefits that this overhaul would bring to both the U.S. business community and individuals, and not get lost in an intraparty tax cut fight. For too long, the United States has been burdened by an oppressive tax code that weighs down on America’s opportunity to compete freely in the global marketplace. President Trump and Congress must focus on successfully implementing comprehensive tax reform in a manner that best serves economic growth and does not unfairly penalize America’s competitiveness.