Jobs and the Economy

Economists on both sides of the aisle agree: A return to rates of economic growth as high as we traditionally had is essential if we are to balance our budget and restore opportunity for good jobs. Growth therefore must be central to our tax and economic policy, and it’s the most important issue for me.

Growth requires common sense regulatory reform and simplification. Costs have to be measured against benefits, yet cost/benefit analysis rarely is applied. I’m not against regulation, but I am against job killing, and impact on employment must be considered in everything we do.

Growth also requires tax reform. Forty years ago, President Carter appropriately called the federal tax code a “disgrace to the human race,” yet it has since become drastically more complex and unfair. When used as a tool for central planning, the tax code inevitably becomes crony capitalism where the most powerful interests secure disproportionate benefit directed towards questionable policy goals. Justifiable cynicism about the tax code and the Internal Revenue Service threatens a cornerstone of government, which is taxpayer confidence that revenue is collected fairly, simply and transparently.

The tax code must be simplified. Compliance, collection, and enforcement must be made easier. By eliminating non-capital deductions and lowering rates across the board, growth and efficiency will replace tax avoidance as the drivers of economic activity.

U.S. Corporate tax rates are among the highest in the world, and that tax burden ultimately is borne by individuals — regressively. Additionally, American corporations with U.S. headquarters are penalized when they take cash earned and taxed overseas and invest it in the United States. I will work towards making our corporate tax rates more competitive and ending the penalty for repatriating earnings back to America.

Finally, the Earned Income Tax Credit has proven to be an effective tool in providing assistance to the working poor. I support its expansion.