Other Opinions

Is tax reform even possible?

Mike Fullilove
Mike Fullilove amccoy@sunherald.com

The state of the economy always plays a part in presidential elections. This was no different in 2016. Many in the country felt the Obama administration’s Keynesian policies of the last eight years was dragging the country in the wrong direction. Donald Trump sees economics differently.

The plain and simple difference is big government socialist economics of envy versus free market economics (capitalism). “There is only one cure to our fiscal malaise: Get economic growth going again. Government programs cannot and will not drive economic growth,” says Jeffrey Tucker of the Foundation for Economic Education.

“Economic growth is the key to a good society, good jobs, improved technology, and it gives everyone a brighter outlook on life.”

The left has demonized capitalism, businesses and corporations and “the rich” for so long that some people have become convinced that taxing the rich more will solve our problems. No so. The “rich” already pay the majority of the taxes.

America’s corporate tax is already one of the highest in the world and this stagnates growth. Government produces nothing and only spends “our money,” wasting billions on pet projects.

Since the incompetent Republicans in the Senate have bungled health care, President Trump has now set his sights on one of his other major campaign promises — tax reform. He has a plan (check it out at www.whitehouse.gov/taxreform) to get America moving economically after eight years of Obama’s stagnant growth policies.

Reform will not be easy, but what might it look like: “Under Trump’s plan, taxes on corporate profits go from 35 percent to 15 percent; taxes on capital gains from 23.8 percent to 20 percent; rates for all individuals to 10 percent - 20 percent - 35 percent; the standard deduction is doubled; and the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax are eliminated,” Tucker said. This is just for starters.

“If you want to cut the deficit, there is only one way — cut spending, but I see no evidence that either party wants to do that. Letting people keep more of their own money is the right thing to do, regardless of the government’s fiscal problems.”

“Correctly structured tax reform can make a large contribution to restoring prosperity, increasing job creation, and high wages. The tax system should minimize its adverse impact on the core institutions of civil society, minimizing interference with the operation of the free market and free enterprise,” says David Burton of the Heritage Foundation.

The last time we had significant tax reform in America was 1986 under President Ronald Reagan, which provided the economic boom of the late 1980s and 1990s. But the continued growth of government programs and spending since then has put us back in a hole of no growth.

Just think of the excess of taxes we pay today — federal income tax, alternative minimum tax, corporate tax, estate tax, FICA, Medicare tax, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, cigarette taxes, luxury taxes, alcohol taxes, energy taxes, aviation taxes, property taxes, telecommunication taxes, state income taxes, join in and name a few. Does anyone not think some reform is necessary?

It takes wealth to build and create new businesses and expand them. It takes wealth to hire new employees. America must free up wealth to grow the economy, creating more jobs and better wages. The free market does this — not government. Government needs to get out of the way and let Americans get the country back on track.

Mike Fullilove of Long Beach writes about local, state and national issues from a conservative perspective.