There is no question that our current tax system is incredibly complicated and in need of a complete overhaul. I support efforts to reform our tax code in order to make it easier for every American to understand and comply with the law, and that means we need to focus on three key principles as we work to reform the tax code: (1) The code needs to be simpler, fairer and flatter. It should be easier to do your taxes and to have peace of mind at critical moments in life, and we should not punish success achieved through hard work and innovation. (2) The tax code should support our national economy, helping to create jobs and growth while expanding opportunity for all Americans. Our goal is to make the United States the best place in the world to hire and invest. (3) The IRS needs to put taxpayers first with quality customer service and modern information systems.
While I served as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee from 2011-2016, our committee worked hard to restore accountability at the IRS. We streamlined its operations, encouraged the agency to do more with less, and protected taxpayers from wasteful or inappropriate behavior. All the while, we increased funding in certain areas to improve customer service, resulting in faster response time, better fraud detection and stronger cybersecurity.
In addition to my work on the Appropriations Committee, I have strongly supported legislative efforts to reduce the tax burden on hardworking men and women. In my time in Congress, I have been proud to support legislation that provides much-needed tax relief to small business and working families, increases in the child tax credit, and reduces the marriage penalty and tax rates on dividends and capital gains. Also, I have backed legislation to expand small business expensing and depreciation rules, and will continue to work to maintain these important measures.
I am also a long-time proponent of legislation that seeks to permanently end the “estate tax,” which is also known as the death tax. The loss of a loved one is hard enough to face without the threat of the federal government claiming much of what a parent or spouse spent a lifetime building – whether that is a family home, savings account, farm or small business. This will continue to be a priority as Congress considers legislation related to tax reform.
In conjunction with lowering the tax burden on American families and businesses, I have also worked hard to ensure the federal government lives within its means by reining in out-of-control government spending. Families have learned to spend less, be responsible and live within their budgets – and now it’s time for the federal government to do the same. Under my tenure as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congress worked to cut over $126 billion from the federal budget because Kentuckians deserve the decency of accountability and oversight when their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent.
Jobs are vital to economic growth and prosperity. The economy has been stagnant for a long time and increasing American’s tax burden will only make things worse. As your Representative in Congress, I remain steadfast in fighting against government waste and any bills that increase the government’s reach on your dime. I will continue to be your voice in Washington to grow the economy, create new and lasting opportunities, and fight for new jobs without raising your taxes.