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Ways and Means Chair: Kill the Tax Code

Ways and Means Chair: Kill the Tax Code
Texas Rep. Kevin Brady. (AP Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 July 2016 11:37 AM

The chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee told Newsmax Wednesday it is time to retire the U.S. tax code — and pave the way for a much-simplified one.

"It's too costly, it's too complex, and mainly, it's unfair," Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas said of the present system.

"So, yes, it needs to go. Sunsetting the tax code allows us to put on the House floor a debate about what do we keep, what we have or is there a better way."       

Brady assumed the chairmanship of the tax-writing panel last year when Paul Ryan relinquished its gavel to become speaker. In a wide-ranging interview with Newsmax, he also offered his own blueprint for what he called "the growth of wages, the growth of local businesses, and the growth of America's economy."

But before any such reforms are made, Brady insisted, the present tax code must go because "it isn't working" and that is why he has weighed in strongly for the "Tax Code Termination Act." Officially H.R. 27 and presently with 136 co-sponsors in the House, the Termination Act would sunset the present tax code by a certain date and allow a simpler alternative to take its place.

"Is there a tax code that grows the economy and mobilizes businesses and salaries, that simplifies the tax code enough that it could fit on a postcard, that busts up the IRS [Internal Revenue Service] and makes it accountable to the American people?" he said, "I think that's a great debate to have. So I'm hopeful that that legislation can move this year.  I think that's important to our debate."

As for his own "blueprint" for growth, Brady recalled how it grew out of the tax reform task force that was part of Speaker Ryan's "Better Way" agenda to turn the U.S. economy around.

With its eventual goal to "leapfrog America from dead last among our global competitors, into the lead pack of our competitors for a long time," the Texas lawmaker explained that his blueprint would lower the [tax] rates for business, for job creators, to the lowest in modern history, so they can invest in new jobs and new workers and growth for the local economy.

"We allow full expensing, so our local businesses can write off all those purchases of buildings, equipment, and technology that help them drive the economy. [When the tax rates are lowered] for all job creators, whether they have to be structured as a corporation, a small business, a Mom and Pop, a distributorship — any of those — and we are no longer taxing them around world — a zero tax rate to bring those profits home to America — and no longer taxing U.S. exports, and full immediate expensing of equipment, that — taken together — puts [the U.S] into that lead pack."

We noted that of the 136 sponsors of the sunset measure, only one — Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota — is a Democrat. Are there any other Democrats "in the pipeline" waiting to co-sponsor this measure, we asked.

"I think, privately, Democrats know America is no longer competitive," replied Brady. "The small businesses are struggling, and people can't keep up with this complex code. I think over time, we will build up support, or hopefully attract support for the blueprint, as we move forward."

As to what signals he has received from the White House for both the tax code sunsetting or his blueprint for growth, Brady would not say. But he did volunteer that both measures were getting the interest of the certain Republican nominee for president.

"We have had extensive discussions with Mr. Trump's tax team," he told us, "And there is big common ground on simplifying the tax code, lowering the rates, and growing the economy, and reigning in the IRS. And while he hasn't made a statement, clearly, we're on the same path in a major way on this tax reform blueprint."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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The chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee told Newsmax Wednesday it is time to retire the U.S. tax code - and pave the way for a much-simplified one.
Ways and Means, Tax Code, Kill
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 11:37 AM
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