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Mr. PAULSEN. Mr. Speaker, that little word ``tax'' that we've been talking about today is really, in reality, 3.8 million words that make up the entire U.S. Tax Code. Over the past 10 years alone, Congress has made over 4,428 changes to the Tax Code, averaging about one change each and every single day. It's time, Mr. Speaker, that we find consensus and provide a simpler, fairer, and more competitive Tax Code for everyone.
Over the past 2 years, the Ways and Means Committee has held over 20 hearings laying the groundwork for comprehensive tax reform. We've had meetings jointly with the Senate as well. This legislation that we will vote on today now gives us a path forward that will allow small businesses and all American families the opportunity to have a simpler, fairer, and more competitive Tax Code, not one that actually picks only winners and losers.
We need to close loopholes. We need to eliminate and reduce the number of expenditures and deductions and exemptions that bestow preferential treatment for varying interest groups and primarily only benefit a few.
Business leaders and economists across the country agree that, in order to create more jobs, we've got to make sure that America stays globally competitive, but the complexity of the Tax Code has put America at a disadvantage.
Back in 1960, 85 percent of all the top 20 world firms were in the United States; by 1985, there were only 13; by the year 2010, this number was cut in half again to a meager six. Putting it simply, Mr. Speaker, the Tax Code's antiquated features have diminished the attractiveness for the United States to become the premier country in which to locate and found and start a business. This means fewer small businesses, it means less manufacturing, and it means fewer jobs.
Today's vote shows that we are serious about moving forward on tax reform to help get our economy back on track. Let's make the United States the number one destination for entrepreneurs, for innovators, and job creators. Let's put this motion in place to pass this measure.
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