3.8 million words -- that is the length of our current tax code. For perspective, consider the foundational document of our Republic, the Constitution, has less than 5,000 words. Both the dictionary and the Bible combined have less than half as many words as our bloated tax code.
Buried in that morass of tax language are special interest carve outs, lobbyist loopholes, and numerous credits and deductions that Washington uses to pick winners and losers.
Virtually no one believes that an overhaul of the tax code is not necessary. But with more than 23 million Americans out of work or underemployed, now is the time to tackle this monumental task.
Consider this: if the President's proposal to increase taxes moves forward, 53% of small business income will be taxed at a higher rate.
Another insidious proposal buried within the President's plan is the rebirth of the Death Tax, which is nothing more than double taxation as it is levied on all remaining assets after a lifetime of taxes. President Obama proposes a tax rate of 55 percent on the assets of someone who passes away. Those hit the hardest by the Death Tax are family business owners and farmers who risk losing the family business or farm.
Washington needs to understand that in order to grow our economy and create jobs, we must remove the boot of a higher tax burden from the necks of small business so they can grow and employ more people. Raising taxes on the backbone of America's economy while millions of people continue to struggle to find work is the worst possible idea at the worst possible time.
We can do better.
In order to truly revitalize our economy and achieve long-term employment growth, we must develop common-sense reforms in order for small businesses to thrive and expand. I have met with small businesses in Central Florida, and I have heard about the complexity and uncertainty of our tax code.
Americans spend more than six billion hours a year and over $160 billion just preparing their tax forms. In fact, there are more professional tax preparers in the United States than there are policemen and firefighters combined. Imagine the growth we could achieve if that time and money was spent by individuals investing and creating jobs.
ICYMI: Webster calls for an easy tax filing process that will save Americans time and money.
As I've written to you recently, through my position on the House Rules Committee, I cosponsored and helped pass H.R. 6169, a solution that streamlines the parliamentary maneuvers used in both houses of Congress to keep policies from being enacted; establishes a format by which tax simplification will be achieved; and puts in place principles that include closing loopholes, reducing rates on U.S. companies and converting six individual income brackets into just two (10 and 25 percent).
For more years than I can remember, politicians have talked about reforming the tax code -- now we are putting the pieces in place to do it.
By clearing away the underbrush of our tax code and making good tax policy permanent, we can give individuals a flatter, simpler tax code and provide certainty for our nation's small businesses, which will free them to have confidence to expand their operations and hire more Americans.
Lawmakers must join together and work toward reforms that improve our tax code for the betterment of our small businesses, individuals and families.
For too long our tax code has been hijacked by special interests. We know that doesn't work -- it is time we put the tax code to work for the American people.
Member of Congress