By U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1)
A lot has changed in our country since 1986. Ronald Reagan was President, Top Gun was a hit at the box offices, and Matlock had just premiered on television.
One thing that hasn’t changed since then? The tax code.
1986 was the last time we had meaningful tax reform in this country, and that is a shame. The current tax code does not match the realities of today’s economy or the needs of modern Americans. Thankfully, a new tax code is on the horizon.
Last week, President Trump and Republicans in Congress unveiled our framework for a new, simplified tax code. Under our framework, Americans will keep more of their hard earned money in their pockets, small businesses will be encouraged to grow, and the economy will have what it needs to finally experience real growth again.
President Trump put it best when he said that “it’s time for Congress to provide a level playing field for our workers, to bring American companies back home, to attract new companies and businesses to our country, and to put more money into the pockets of everyday hardworking people.” That is exactly what our plan would do.
First, our plan would move from the current seven tax brackets to essentially four brackets: 0%, 12%, 25%, and 35%. The 0% bracket would result from doubling the standard deduction to $24,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly or $12,000 for single filers. This change is fundamental to a fairer, simpler system.
Additionally, our plan calls for the elimination of special interest tax breaks that primarily only help the well-connected and elite. A complicated tax code full of loopholes and confusing provisions does nothing to benefit the average American family, and we must make things as simple as possible.
Importantly, our plan will maintain important tax incentives for home mortgage interest, charitable giving, retirement, and education. The plan also increases the child tax credit to make it available to more working families.
With these changes, our plan will allow for a simple “postcard” tax filing for the vast majority of Americans. It will no longer take you countless hours or require you to hire outside help to simply file your taxes.
As President Trump has said, these changes will result in a “Middle Class Miracle.” Hardworking people across American will have more money in their pockets, which they can use to benefit their family and spark greater economic growth.
Our plan also includes a provision important to family farms and small businesses. By repealing the estate tax, also known as the death tax, we will no longer punish families when someone dies, and they want to leave their business or farm operation to a loved one.
Sadly, some on the liberal left has already started spreading false and misleading information about our pro-growth tax plan. I want to ensure you that our tax plan is designed with working Americans in mind, first and foremost. In fact, a key goal of our plan is to eliminate provisions that only benefit the well-connected and well-off.
Over the coming weeks, I will continue to share more information with you about how our tax plans will spur economic growth and benefit American families. Next week, we will take a look at how our tax plan will open the United States up for greater economic competitiveness on the world stage and bring jobs back to our country.
In the meantime, I encourage you to read the tax reform framework for yourself online at FairAndSimple.gop. As you legislative process moves forward, I welcome your input and feedback.
It is time we get the job done and give Americans the tax cuts they deserve and revitalize the American economy.