Ways and Means GOP Members Support Pro-Growth Tax Reform

Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee believe tax reform should lead to lower rates and job creation, not new revenues for increased spending, according to a March 6 letter to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. The letter, which was released by the committee on March 11, details lawmakers’ plans for tax reform, which they expect to complete in fiscal year 2014. The committee plans to scale back tax preferences that distort economic behavior and that benefit small groups of taxpayers, the letter reads.

GOP lawmakers said they would oppose all efforts to raise tax revenues by increasing rates. Instead, they said that lowering rates will increase economic growth and bring in higher tax revenues. In addition, the lawmakers want to address U.S. corporate tax rates, which are not internationally competitive, and individual taxes, which are overly complex and far too expensive to comply with, the letter says.

The Republican lawmakers asked that Ryan provide for consideration of comprehensive tax reform on the House floor as part of the House’s fiscal year 2014 budget resolution. The tax legislation should lower individual rates to two brackets of 10 percent and 25 percent, reduce the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent and transition to a more competitive system of international taxation. “By making the tax code simpler and fairer, we can begin to regain the trust of the American people that Washington can and is working for them,” the letter states.

Ryan said on March 10 that he believes there is a consensus in both chambers for tax reform that would lower rates. “There are a lot of moderate Democrats, especially in the Senate, that are in favor of lowering tax rates by closing loopholes. That’s what we’re proposing.” Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Ryan added that there is an impasse between the two parties currently over Democrats’ demands for increasing taxes in order to fuel more spending. That proposition, he said, blocks attempts at tax reform which he said undermines attempts to get the economy back on track. “We see tax reform as an incredibly important goal, and policy, to getting pro-growth economics, to getting businesses growing again and hiring people, ” said Ryan. “Tax reform to us is an economic-growth-generating exercise. Tax reform to the president, so far, seems to be a spending growth exercise, to spend money.”

By Jeff Carlson and Stephen K. Cooper, CCH News Staff

Letter from Ways and Means Republicans to Budget Chairman Ryan



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