Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Albuquerque Journal 

Proposed tax cuts will help in long run


October 11, 2017

It’s important that Congress come to terms on a meaningful tax-cut package that also simplifies the system.

President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are calling for a package of tax cuts that are, in fact, needed to make America more competitive and actually give us a long-term chance of taming the deficit.

And Trump is hardly the first. John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton all championed tax cuts of one kind or another with positive results.

To be sure, there will be lots of haggling over details. But the proposal that will come out of the House Ways and Means Committee chaired by Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, needs to have certain key elements:

• A meaningful middle-class tax cut. That would be accomplished, at least in large part, by doubling the standard deduction. Make it retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year. Letting American families keep more of their own money will make their lives better and spur economic activity.

• Cuts to the corporate income tax from the current level of 35 percent to 20 percent or less. We have by far the highest corporate tax level in the industrialized world, and it makes us much less competitive. And it has produced the wrongheaded result of American companies earning profits overseas but balking at bringing the money home to invest in American economic infrastructure.

• Enact an aggressive depreciation schedule for the purchase of equipment and machinery. Letting company owners write off those expenses more rapidly will encourage them to invest in their companies, making them more viable and benefiting employees.

• Simplify the tax code. This will be a challenge because much of the opposition to tax reform will come from the legion of lobbyists who represent clients who make big money because the system is so complex.

• Do away with or modify the so-called “death tax.” This tax produces limited revenue and is mostly political. But if there is no stomach for eliminating it, significantly raising the exemption would insulate many privately owned businesses and farmers who now have to sell in the event of the owner’s death — to the benefit of big corporations. Raising the exemption to $100 million would protect wealth and still allow the tax on the Bill Gateses and Warren Buffetts of the world.

Credible groups complain that the GOP proposal will increase the deficit. While that may be true in the short run, the only way to tame the deficit is through economic growth in the annual range of at least 3 percent GDP. That kind of growth means people are working, companies are making and selling products and the government, in turn, reaps more tax dollars.

Our elected officials on both sides of the aisle need to get to work, with the administration, and come up with a meaningful tax cut and reform plan. Along with sensible regulation reform, investment in infrastructure and improving the job-related skills of American workers through education, the tax package is a critical part of the nation’s path to success in an increasingly competitive world.

— Albuquerque Journal


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