Trump's right: GOP's border adjustment tax 'too complicated'

It was clear on Election Day that millions of Americans are frustrated with Washington, D.C. and business as usual.

Many of these voters represent Middle America, working families who have not seen their wages rise in any meaningful way over the course of the last decade.

Each day, they have been asked to do more with less as policies coming from Washington have failed to address the economic realities of their lives.


Many of these voters considered themselves the forgotten voices.  To fill that void, then-candidate Trump very successfully connected with them.

Almost on cue, just weeks after the American people sent an unmistakable message to Washington, some in Congress already seem to be looking the other way.

While tax reform is badly needed in our nation considering the outdated policies under which we all operate, any changes must not punish the same working families who have been left behind and forgotten by Washington.

Thus, it is tremendously concerning that some in Congress are advancing tax policy that will saddle the middle class with added costs and burdens. The border adjustment tax (BAT) will significantly hurt consumers and retailers, both large and small, by taxing imports. 

The net effect is that American families who spend a significant portion of their disposable income on tradeable goods, like food, fuel and clothing, will see the cost of these products increase. Moreover, taxing imports would severely threaten domestic jobs. 

The effort advanced by some in Washington represents the government picking winners and losers with the winner being massive corporations that send most of their products overseas and the loser being everyday Americans who rely on affordable goods to feed and clothe their families.

In this discussion, facts matter and here is one that concerns all of us - according to the National Retail Federation, should the BAT pass, the added expenditure of everyday necessities will cost American families as much as $1,700 per year.

In addition to the pain felt by consumers, if the BAT were enacted, the retail industry would suffer. Today it is the nation's largest employment sector and millions of jobs could be negatively affected by this dangerous policy. In addition to all of the jobs created, the retail industry also pays billions of dollars in taxes. 

It appears our leaders in Washington are also losing sight of what their constituents want - cutting wasteful government spending instead of issuing new taxes. 

Fortunately for working families, they have a supporter in the White House.  Recently, President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal that the BAT was "too complicated" saying, "Anytime I hear border adjustment, I don't love it.  Because usually it means we're going to get adjusted into a bad deal.  That's what happens."

The House and Senate's focus on reforming the tax code has merit, but they must not do it on the backs of working Americans purchasing basic items for their families, while rewarding massive corporations sending goods abroad.  

As President Trump very clearly stated, we just don't need another "bad deal" from Washington, D.C. 


David Williams is the President of Taxpayer Protection Alliance (TPA).


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