As for repatriation, we have worldwide business leaders leaving $1.2 trillion in profits overseas that could otherwise be used to create jobs here at home. Even a temporary repatriation tax break down to 5.25 percent from 35 percent would produce nearly 3 million jobs over two years, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. That same action would increase our economic output by $360 billion over two years. Simply put, moving to a territorial tax system will level the playing field with the rest of the world.
As for the income tax, why do we expect folks to be happy with a system that forces Americans to spend 8 billion hours a year doing their taxes, as well as one that accounts for nearly 80 percent of the paperwork citizens must comply with on the federal level? There are more than 1,100 forms and instructional booklets to determine your tax liability, and the instructions for the most common form (1040) are 189 pages long! The instructions for a tax form are 47 times longer than the U.S. Constitution.
A simpler, flatter and fairer tax code is not a pipe dream, but rather it is a necessity. The House has already passed multiple bills that will move us towards a revamp of our tax code, including the Pathway to Job Creation through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act (HR 6169), of which I am an original cosponsor.
The certainty and confidence that a revamped tax code will give American families and businesses is absolutely essential to the future of our economy. How can we expect people to plan ahead when they don’t know what they’re planning for? When you need to plan to send your child to college in ten years or to expand your business in five years, you have to have a feel for what the landscape is going to be. I don’t think there is a person in America that could tell you what the tax code will look like in five years, and there certainly isn’t anyone who can tell you what it will look like in five months. That has to change.