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Pathway to Job Creation Through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SMITH of Nebraska. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I rise today in support of the underlying bill. And I think that the American people expect us to have a debate here in Washington that is about better policy and not one-upmanship and various 30-second sound bites.

But we know that there are many barriers in our economy. There are barriers to moving our economy again and going forward, and we know that comprehensive tax reform is one of the most important issues we need to face. It isn't always the most popular issue. It is not always the most tangible issue. But we know, whether it's farmers or ranchers--incidentally, from my district, small businesses everywhere, or anything relating to the economy--we know we have work to do.

We know that our current Tax Code, as we have heard most recently, is very costly, confusing, and complicated. The current Tax Code is comprised of more than 10,000 pages of ever-changing laws and regulations. It is a patchwork of various credits, deductions, exemptions, tax hikes, and expiring provisions. This makes responsible business and financial planning next to impossible.

The cost of compliance is obviously a burden. Compliance costs with the current Tax Code falls disproportionately on small businesses, which spend an average of $74 per hour on tax-related compliance, making it the most expensive paperwork burden they will encounter.

Additionally, our onerous, excessive system is a system with an out-of-control spending addiction that has dominated Washington for far too long under both parties, I would add. It is time for a system which lowers the rate, broadens the base, and addresses global competitiveness.

The Ways and Means Committee has held a series of hearings soliciting input on tax reform, and we will continue in that direction toward fundamental tax reform. The bill before us today provides an important path forward to ensure Congress acts in a timely manner to reform this convoluted Tax Code, and it outlines a framework for comprehensive reform. I urge my colleagues to support the Pathway to Job Creation Act.


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