What Others Are Saying

What Others Are Saying

Stop the Tax Attack has compiled a sampling of comments from lawmakers and policy experts on tax reform.

Political Figures

  • “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that he wants to see ‘very significant’ tax reform passed before Congress’ August recess, in what could prove a tough task as lawmakers work through a complex agenda. ‘We want to get this done by the August recess. We’ve been working closely with the leadership in the House and the Senate and we’re looking at a combined plan,’ he told CNBC in his first television interview since assuming office.” (CNBC, February 23, 2017)
  • “When Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin launched his outreach earlier this month to lawmakers on an overhaul to the country’s tax system, one of his first meetings was with the newly created Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans trying to vote together on issues such as taxes and infrastructure. While the meeting did not produce any firm commitments, Mnuchin’s decision to prioritize the group in the early stages is just one sign that the White House, stung by its initial defeat on health care, is taking a starkly different legislative strategy for taxes.” (Politico, March 30, 2017)
  • “An overhaul of the U.S. tax code could be possible by August if U.S. House of Representative leaders are open to ‘serious debate,’ the head of a conservative House Republican group said on Thursday. Asked if lawmakers could pass tax reform before their summer break in August, U.S. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows told a Politico news event: ‘I do. I’m optimistic on tax reform if we do it differently than we did healthcare.’” (Reuters, April 6, 2017)
  • “‘I’m here to tell you tax reform is going to occur in 2017,’ Brady said Tuesday in Washington at a conference of tax professionals sponsored by Bloomberg BNA and KPMG LLP. While Trump’s plan differs in some ways from a tax-overhaul ‘blue print’ that Brady and Ryan released in June, the two plans ‘are kissing cousins,’ Brady told reporters after his speech. Asked if there were any aspects of the House plan that would be a no-go’ for negotiating with Trump’s team, Brady said no. ‘It’s all go-go on tax reform,’ he said.” (Bloomberg,  November 15, 2016)
  • “Ways and Means member Ron Kind (D-Wis.) said he hoped for more regular order and some hearings on a tax bill. ‘Obviously we anticipate Secretary Mnuchin playing a very big role, and Treasury is going to have to have their tax team at some point that will be working hand in glove with Congress,’’ said Kind, who also is a member of the New Dems. ‘That’s the only way this will work ultimately. You need to get the three stars aligned between the House, Senate and Treasury,’ which was what got President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 tax reform over the finish line.” (Bloomberg BNA, April 4, 2017)
  • “Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Senate Democrat, said ‘there is room for conversation’ on tax reform.” (Morning Consult, November 16, 2016)

Tax Groups

  • “The House Republican plan is a cornucopia of good tax policy and an excellent first step towards reforming our monstrous tax code. The blueprint outlines a better way to reaching the most important goals of pro-growth reform: lower rates for individuals and businesses, full expensing for capital investments, territorial taxation, and a leaner, less complex code.” (Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union, June 24, 2016)
  • “The Republican blueprint for tax reform is a clear and dramatic path to strong economic growth and job creation. When enacted it will steer America on a sharp U-turn from our present road to serfdom. America cannot limp along on its weak and weakening ‘recovery’ — with this blueprint the path is clear.” (Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform June 24, 2016)
  • “Comprehensive tax reform now appears to be a promising goal in 2017 with Republicans in control of the White House and both chambers of Congress following the party’s Election Day victories, some experts believe. ‘It makes the probability that Congress enacts comprehensive tax reform by the August recess of 2017 … near 80 percent,’ Kenneth J. Kies, managing director of the Federal Policy Group LLC, said.” (The Hill, November 11, 2016)

Media

“To succeed, therefore, the tax reform effort has to do two things. First, it must establish broad and bipartisan public support for the overarching goal of the reform. And then it must create bipartisan coalitions of interests to support the details. Note the use of the word “bipartisan” in both previous sentences. The lesson of 1986 is that you cannot hope to achieve tax reform on a partisan basis. Competition between the parties can help drive the tax reform dynamic, as it did in 1986; but without some ability to work across the aisle, you can’t assemble a majority for reform.” (Alan Murray, “Tax Reform: Bipartisan or Bust,” Fortune, April 3, 2017)

Academics

“The Ryan-Brady plan, known as A Better Way, is exactly the comprehensive approach that leaders from both political parties should embrace. It transforms the complicated corporate tax into a simplified “cash flow” tax at a flat 20 percent rate; caps the rate on “pass-through” entities at 25 percent; denies interest deductions but allows full and immediate expensing for 100 percent of capital expenditures; imposes 6, 12.5, and 16.5 percent taxes respectively, on dividends, interest, and capital gains paid to households; and adopts a territorial system for taxing profits earned abroad (bringing America in line with the rest of the world).” (Dr. Gary Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Real Clear Markets, March 3, 2017)

Public Policy Groups

“The House Republican tax reform plan represents a bold reform framework, one that simplifies the tax system, dramatically reduces marginal tax rates on new investment and capital income, and modestly lowers the average marginal tax rate on labor.” (Alex Brill, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, October, 2016)