Tax Day is fast approaching and tax reform conversations are once again front and center in households across the country. Millions of Americans busily sort through the excessively complex, often punitive tax code while thinking there must be a better way — and there is.
Tax reform is about much more than rates, receipts, and deadlines, though. It’s about economic growth. It’s about freedom and opportunity for all Americans to pursue what they wish to achieve. It’s about making sure our tax code works in concert with the American spirit rather than in conflict with it.
So naturally, any tax reform proposal should start with these principles and work outward to reach that goal. That’s how the FairTax (H.R. 25) began; it’s why I introduced it in the U.S. House and have passionately pursued it since; and it’s why support continues to grow across the country and on Capitol Hill as a result. The FairTax has never been a Washington solution — it’s an American solution.
The FairTax is a complete replacement of the current income tax system — elimination of all the loopholes, costs, and Washington control — with a transparent, one-time, inclusive, federal sales tax on new goods and services. Under the FairTax, there would be no more annual filing; no disclosure of personal information to the IRS; no more tax withholdings from your paycheck, and so on. Productivity would no longer be punished, and April 15 would be just another beautiful spring day.
While tax reform is a common refrain in Washington, the tone of this Congress is noticeably different. With a willing partner in the White House, we have a very real opportunity to move tax reform through the House and Senate, and to the president’s desk for signature. It is a priority for President Trump, and it remains a priority of mine. That’s not to say President Trump is ready to sign the FairTax into law tomorrow, but I believe he’s open to good ideas, and he has a great team surrounding him — which includes Vice President Mike Pence, who was a co-sponsor of H.R. 25 during his time in the U.S. House.
It’s no secret that I want tax reform to be the FairTax in full right away, but I’m willing to get there a piece at a time if I have to. In fact, today you can see the fingerprints of the FairTax are all over the House Republican tax reform proposal led by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady. As a supporter of H.R. 25 himself, Chairman Brady understands the “three yards and a cloud of dust” principle needed to move America closer to our end goal.
If we can incorporate the FairTax principles of simplicity, transparency, and creating a level playing field for our job creators into the reform on which we agree now, America will benefit, and we’re that much closer to implementing the FairTax in the long run.
The big ideas take time; and sending power from Washington back to the American people — as the FairTax does in a way we haven’t seen in decades — absolutely meets the criteria of a big idea. The current tax code is by far the most effective political tool for politicians to manipulate the behavior of the American people, and it has been used as such for far too long. H.R. 25 puts that power back in the hands of the American people, so institutional Washington tends to be a bit reluctant.
That’s why the strong foundation built by FairTax supporters across the country is so important. It doesn’t always capture headlines or trend on social media, but let me tell you, the untold Herculean efforts and tireless work done by the grassroots all across America is what separates FairTax passion from countless other ideas. Many things come and go in a time of rapid news cycles, but H.R. 25 is a constant, and remains the most widely supported fundamental tax reform bill in Congress. That matters.
It matters because as has been said, success is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. I believe we’re on the cusp of one of those opportunities, and I’m eager to move the ball forward. From national security to health care to tax reform, America’s to-do list has no shortage of items, but unleashing the power of the American economy is a shared goal at the top of everyone’s list.
U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., represents the 7th Congressional District of Georgia, which includes the majority of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, and currently serves as Chairman of the Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process, as well as serving on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and Budget Committee.