Jackson Cit Pat: Tax reform means lower taxes, bigger paychecks for Michigan families
Michigan workers need a pay raise. From paying bills and the monthly mortgage, to raising children and saving for school, the cost of everyday life keeps getting more expensive. Yet wages have been stagnant for too many hardworking families.
To change course, we need to jumpstart our economy and unleash the type of booming job and wage growth that will help workers provide for their families and create a better future. A key to a healthier economy is a major streamlining and simplification of the tax code, which hasn't been done in more than three decades.
As it stands today, the tax code has ballooned to more than 70,000 pages. It's a complicated mess and overly burdensome for families and small businesses. With all its special interest carve outs, the code is tilted in favor of a few and often takes a high-priced lawyer or accountant to understand.
Working with President Trump, we recently released a framework to fix our broken tax code and provide meaningful relief for middle and low-income families. The goal is to strengthen America's economic competitiveness, create better jobs with bigger paychecks, and give a pay raise to the workers who need it most. It will be so straightforward to file your taxes that nine out of ten Americans will be able to do it on a one page, postcard-like form.
For families and individuals, our plan is centered on allowing them to keep more of what they work hard to earn. It doubles the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married couples, ensuring more of people's income is tax-free. Those who are in the 10 percent tax bracket will now pay zero, and those in the 15 percent bracket will be dropped down to 12 percent. Our framework also enhances the Child Tax Credit to provide more support for moms and dads with the daily costs of raising a family.
Today's backwards tax code is also a financial headache for small businesses. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, small businesses spend more than $15 billion each year just to comply with the tax code. Simplification will allow them to focus their resources on expansion opportunities instead of compliance costs. In addition, our plan will ease the tax burden on Main Street businesses to the lowest level in generations. With this tax relief, small businesses will be able to thrive, give their workers a raise, and create more jobs in the community.
Another key piece of the framework is bringing back jobs and capital from overseas. America's onerous corporate tax rate - the highest in the developed world - pushes away the investment and job creation we need here at home. Too many jobs and manufacturing plants have left our shores for nations with more competitive tax systems. That needs to change. Our plan will level the playing field for American workers and incentivize job creators to do business in America instead of foreign countries.
More details about our solutions are available at FairAndSimple.gop. It's time to put the days of sluggish growth and flat wages in the rearview mirror. With smart and bold tax reform, the road ahead will be brighter for middle class families in Michigan.
-- U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, represents the 7th Congressional District and is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Education and the Workforce Committee. This op-ed originally appeared in the October 31 edition of the Jackson Citizen Patriot.