By Senator Mike Lee
Today, our country is beset by economic uncertainty and anxiety. This isn’t the result of a mere cyclical downturn in the U.S. economy, but rather a fundamental transformation that has left too many people worried the American Dream is slipping away from them and their children.
If we hope to realize a new American Century, many of our oldest and most defective public institutions and government programs will need to be updated, reformed or replaced. Perhaps no function of the U.S. government is more antiquated and dysfunctional than its tax system, which is why Senator Marco Rubio and I have joined together to propose a federal tax-reform plan that will remove obstacles to investment, innovation, growth and opportunity.
Our plan vastly simplifies the tax code, which means more American families and businesses will be able to do their own taxes, spend less time and money complying with the tax code, and have greater certainly about what they owe from year to year.
It also reduces taxes for the vast majority of Americans to a 15% rate, which means they’ll be able to keep more of the money they earn. For most working families, this translates into more freedom and more opportunity – to save, to invest, to afford a new home or to send their kids to college. It makes the tax code fair so that the special-interests can’t rig the system at the expense of everyone else.
Our plan levels the playing field for working parents, who are penalized under our current system, when they have to pay twice to maintain our senior entitlement system – once when they contribute their own wages and again when investing in the next generation and raising children who will contribute to our entitlement system.
It makes the business climate more competitive, which means lowering the barrier to entry for new, innovate start-ups and ending the culture that protects those who can use political connections to gain favor.
Our reforms would help spur growth where today’s tax code obstructs it. On the business side, we would cut the current 35% corporate tax rate to make it competitive in the global economy. We will also allow companies large and small to deduct their expenses and capital investments while integrating all forms of business taxation into a consolidated, single-layer tax.
And our plan works together with the federal welfare system, by removing poverty traps so that low-income workers are able to move into the middle class and stay there.
It bears remembering that the end goal of economic policy is not simply growth, but freedom – clearing the obstacles from each American’s unique pursuit of happiness. I believe that if public policy gives people greater freedom and opportunity, the country will also see greater prosperity.
Washington is always looking to solve its short-term political problems, but our plan seeks to address Americans’ long-term economic problems.
Our plan will make it easier for Americans to find jobs and easier for businesses to create them. It helps restore upward mobility at the bottom of our economy and fair competition at the top, and it would restore equal opportunity to working parents, America’s ultimate investor class.