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ICYMI: Chairman Brady Speech at The Heritage Foundation on How Tax Reform Will Help Middle-Class Americans

September 28, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following yesterday’s release of the unified Republican framework for tax reform, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) spoke at The Heritage Foundation this morning on how tax reform will deliver more jobs, bigger paychecks, and fairer taxes – helping middle-class Americans throughout their lives.

Click here or above to watch Chairman Brady’s speech at The Heritage Foundation

Full remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you, Mike, for the kind introduction.

“This is a very exciting week for tax reform, and it’s an exciting week to be a conservative.

“For the past several months, the House and Senate have been working closely with President Trump and his team to develop strong, conservative principles for transformational tax reform.

“Yesterday, with the release of our unified framework, we took a big step forward in making tax reform a reality for the American people.

“And today I’d like to tell you exactly how our unified approach will help middle-class Americans – and all those who want to be in the middle class – throughout their lives. Because that’s really what tax reform is all about.

“Sure, unleashing economic growth and enhancing America’s global competitiveness are top priorities, but we have to remember one very important thing: Our economy cannot reach its full potential unless the hardworking people of this nation have an opportunity to reach theirs.

“At the same time, our nation cannot be more competitive globally unless our local businesses and workers have an opportunity to compete and win anywhere in the world – but especially here at home.

“And we’re just not going to get there with the tax code we have now – a tax code that works so poorly for so many Americans.

“Think about it. We have some of the best and brightest workers in the world, yet Americans’ paychecks are not growing.

“We have some of the most innovative small businesses and entrepreneurs, yet fewer jobs, storefronts, and start-ups are opening around the country.

“And we, as Americans, have a special kind of grit and determination that truly sets us apart. We take pride in our work, and it shows in the fact that our American-made products often set the global benchmark for quality and innovation. 

“Yet, today we’re seeing less ‘Made in America’ products hitting the market, and more of our businesses, jobs, and manufacturing plants moving overseas to countries with modern and competitive tax codes.

“If we want to unleash the vast potential of this nation through tax reform, I’m convinced we have to start by unleashing the individual potential of every American. By giving you the chance to put your talents into action, to build a better life for yourself and your family, to pursue your own American dream – whatever that may be – and make it a reality.

“That’s exactly what our unified approach for tax reform is focused on. And we have three key objectives that are going to make a tremendous difference for middle-class Americans.

“Specifically, tax reform for middle-class Americans means more jobs, bigger paychecks, and fairer taxes. And I’m excited to tell you a few of our bold ideas to deliver on those objectives for the American people.

“Let’s start with the first one – more jobs.

“Under our unified framework, this begins by offering the lowest tax rates in modern history for American businesses of all sizes. We also lower rates for families and we flatten out the code from seven brackets to three. Rates for individuals and families will be 12 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent.

“The reason is simple – every dollar of income that Americans families and businesses can keep and put toward their own American dream is a dollar that grows our economy, creates jobs, and expands opportunity.

“On the business side, our job creators and workers will no longer have to bear the burden of America’s 35 percent corporate tax rate – the highest in the developed world. Instead we’re reducing it to 20 percent, which beats many of our biggest global competitors.

“And for America’s small businesses, we’re delivering a tax rate of no more than 25 percent. That means our Main Street job creators will no longer be taxed at individual rates above 40 percent.

“So, after years of having to compete with one hand tied behind their backs, our businesses – and all the American workers who make them run – will finally have a more level playing field where they can succeed and grow.

“And to better ensure these historically low rates translate into more job opportunities for middle-class Americans, we’re getting rid of special interest loopholes.

“We’re eliminating those wasteful carve-outs and deductions that encourage companies to invest where they can get a new and better tax break instead of where they can create a new and better job. We’ll also be working to remove provisions that reward companies for sending American jobs overseas.

“True tax reform is about rewarding hardworking Americans, not Washington special interests.

“It’s about growing our economy from the bottom-up by offering the American people a better chance to find a well-paying job and start a fulfilling career – no matter if you’re fresh out of college or if you want to break into a new line of work.

“That brings me to our second crucial objective – bigger paychecks.

“Each of the bold ideas I’ve discussed so far will help Americans grow professionally, but it’s just as crucial that our tax code helps grow your paycheck – and standard of living – along with it.

“As I mentioned earlier, we’re delivering lower tax rates for American families so they can keep more of their income to save, spend, and invest in what’s important to them.

“But to truly unlock the growth of paychecks nationwide, we also have to unleash business investment in the United States.

“That’s why, for the very first time, we’re offering businesses the ability to fully write off purchases of new equipment they need to produce and compete at a higher level. And this bold reform – commonly known as full expensing – is one I’m really excited about.

“With full expensing, we’re not just making it easier and more affordable for businesses to invest in physical capital like a new tractor or computer – we’re making it easier for them to invest in human capital. We’re unleashing investments in you, American workers.

“This bold reform helps provide Americans with new tools they can use to do their jobs better and more efficiently. Greater productivity helps our businesses grow, serve more customers, and create jobs. And, just as important, it helps you earn a larger paycheck, move up in the workplace, and even learn new skills that could benefit you in a future job.

“And I’ll finish with this on growing paychecks – we’re finally moving the United States to a modern, “territorial” tax system.

“Unlike the vast majority of our international competitors, America still forces our global businesses to pay U.S. tax on their foreign earnings. And these taxes come on top of what our companies have already paid in other countries. So, not only are we making it more difficult for our businesses to compete globally, our tax code makes it more attractive to keep foreign income abroad and invest it in growing foreign operations. 

“It’s past time that we move to a 21st century tax system that encourages our businesses to invest their foreign profits in growing jobs and paychecks here at home instead of overseas.

“And now our third key objective – fairer taxes.

“This is perhaps the most personal and the most important goal we have. It’s about, for the first time in decades, having a tax code that respects the time and take-home pay of all Americans – especially the middle-class.

“And it’s centered around delivering a tax code that is simpler, less stressful, and more supportive of American families as they pursue what makes them happy in life.

“First, we’re eliminating the current maze of special interest loopholes that benefit special interests but offer nothing but confusion for working families. But it doesn’t stop here. 

“We double the standard deduction to protect more of your income from taxes and spare the vast majority of Americans the hassle of itemizing.

“We preserve family-focused provisions that help middle-class Americans with buying a home, raising children, paying for college, and donating to your local church or charity.

“And we’re repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax so millions of families no longer have to spend time and money calculating their taxes twice every year.

“Ultimately, this delivers a tax code so fair and straightforward that 9 out of 10 Americans will be able to file their taxes on a form as simple as a postcard – or even as easy as ordering a pizza on your smart phone.  

“Finally, I want to make clear that we’re dedicated to repealing the Death Tax.

“For the first time in over 100 years, owners of family farms and small businesses won’t have to fear double or even triple taxation when they pass down their life’s work to the next generation.

“They’ll have real peace of mind knowing that their families can keep building that business, creating more jobs, and growing paychecks for more families in the community.

“Now, with the White House, House, and Senate coming together around these unified objectives and ideas, we’ve taken a significant step forward in delivering bold tax reform for the American people.

“And releasing it yesterday I think was a great omen for us moving forward. After all, yesterday marked the 31-year anniversary of when the Senate passed the final tax reform bill in 1986, officially sending it to President Reagan’s desk.

“In a statement that day, President Reagan said: 

“‘Today’s historic vote on tax reform marks the last legislative hurdle for the American people, who finally have a tax code they can be proud of—one that is fairer, simpler for most people; one that encourages growth and that is pro-family.’

“Like President Reagan in 1986, President Trump fully supports the unified approach we are taking today. Working together, I’m confident we will get tax reform to his desk this year. But we certainly have legislative hurdles to overcome before then.

“In the most immediate term, it’s passing a budget that provides our runway to land tax reform.

“From there, Members of the Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees will craft tax reform legislation that delivers more jobs, bigger paychecks, and fairer taxes for the American people. But that work cannot begin seriously without a budget. 

“And make no mistake – the Ways and Means Committee will continue to listen as tax reform moves through regular order, taking feedback from the American people and from our fellow Republicans in Congress. We also welcome the participation and partnership of Democrat colleagues.

“We think it’s time the American people once again had a tax code they can be proud of. And, more important, it’s time we had a tax code that shows we are proud of them – that we recognize each American’s individual potential, and that we want them to reach it. 

“Tax reform is our opportunity to improve the lives of millions of middle-class Americans for years to come. We have bold ideas. We are unified. We are ready to get it done.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about the unified Republican framework for tax reform.