Every tax season families and small businesses must navigate America's flawed tax system. With Tax Day on April 15th and Tax Freedom Day on April 18th, we are mindful of the need not only for tax reform, but also for a balanced budget in order to strengthen our economy.
In the past decade alone, over 4,400 changes have been added to the tax code. It is no wonder 90% of us -- including former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman -- are either forced to hire a professional or purchase commercial software in order to complete our taxes on time. American families and small businesses deserve a simpler and fairer tax code.
As a longtime supporter of a Fair Tax plan, this year I am again cosponsoring the Fair Tax Act (H.R. 25), which would streamline the tax system by replacing all federal personal and corporate income taxes with a single national tax on retail sales. This would significantly reduce the federal bureaucracy by eliminating the IRS, and would ask all American citizens to contribute and pay their fair share of federal taxes. Today, more than half of all Americans pay no federal income tax, according to the Tax Policy Center*.
While tax reform is necessary, the real problem is spending.
On April 10th -- over two months past the legal deadline -- the President released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2014. His budget does not attempt to achieve balance but continues his out-of-control spending policies. The tab for this budget will be paid through higher taxes on hardworking Americans at a time when they can least afford it, whether it is on earned or unearned income, family businesses, energy, or health.
The Administration's history of irresponsible spending is both irrational and unsustainable, and the proof is in the numbers: the national debt is nearly $17 trillion-- over $6 trillion under President Obama alone, the debt per person in America is now over $53,200, and the labor force participation rate -- currently at 63.3% -- continues to decline.
That is why, along with fundamental tax reform, I continue to work for serious spending cuts in order to achieve a balanced budget, strengthen our economy, and encourage job growth.
We need to solve the nation's budget crisis and protect the pocketbooks of American families and small businesses. I appreciate your input and invite you to share your thoughts on this important issue.