Column: A case for President Donald Trump's tax cuts

By Daniel Webster
Tampa Bay Times
Monday, October 16, 2017


One of America's founding ideals is that anyone, regardless of where they started, through hard work and dedication can become successful and enjoy the fruits of their success.


Yet because of arcane laws, complex regulations and loopholes, our tax system tilts in favor of a few. Often, the losers are small businesses, families and young Americans who are trying to get ahead and build a better life. As a result, there is a pervasive feeling that a well-connected few enjoy the greatest prosperity our country has to offer while the rest of us and our children are missing out.


With the election of President Donald Trump, we have the opportunity to reform a tax system that is more than three decades old. Smart tax reform will level the playing field for American businesses to keep and add more jobs for American workers. It will end practices that encourage businesses to send money or jobs overseas. By simplifying our tax code, we will unleash the creative genius of our hardworking business owners, who will spend less time on tax compliance and keep more money for capital and labor investment.


Small businesses are the backbone of a strong economy. Under this plan, the tax rate for businesses would be reduced to 20 percent — and capital investments also could be immediately expensed. Gone are the long, tedious depreciation schedules that create accounting nightmares and dissuade businesses from making capital investments. Encouraging these investments would undoubtedly lead to an economic boom as small businesses upgrade machines, vehicles and equipment — much of which is locally made by other small businesses.


American families and individual earners also benefit under this plan. The current number of tax brackets is cut from seven to just three: 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. The new plan would double the standard deduction and increase the child tax credit. American taxpayers would have less taxable income and keep more of their hard-earned money. Finances are often cited as a top cause of stress in a marriage. Strong families are the foundation of a strong society, and from a strong society we will grow a strong economy.


Our plan also incentivizes families to save and invest, helping Americans better prepare for retirement. Un-American taxes such as the death tax — that require taxpayers to pay taxes twice and discourage saving wealth for children and grandchildren — would be repealed. This new, simple pro-growth system would allow individuals to file their taxes on a postcard-sized document.


Ryan Ellis, a leading tax expert and senior tax adviser, conducted an analysis of the new framework using the most conservative assumptions. Published in Forbes, he found that a couple with two children earning median income of $87,000 would receive a $1,223 tax cut. A single mom with two small children making a median income of $41,000 would receive nearly $500 in tax cuts and, furthermore, would be off income tax rolls altogether.


After 30 years, this reform is long overdue. I am eager to work with my colleagues and the president to reinvigorate the U.S. economy by keeping more money in the pockets of American businesses and families.


U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Clermont, represents District 11, which includes Hernando and Citrus counties.