don’t underestimate the power of simplicity

31 years ago this week, the House and Senate came together to pass a comprehensive tax reform package that President Reagan then went on to sign into law. A lot has changed in 31 years. We’re long overdue for another update.

Pro-growth tax reform is a priority. After years of hearings and meetings and listening to people across this country, we look forward to tackling this in the fall.

To mark this anniversary, and to highlight what the House is doing on pro-growth tax reform, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX), Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-PA) visited Reagan Ranch in California.

Click here or below to watch their full remarks.

LIVE: On this day – 31 years ago – the House and Senate came together to pass the single largest reform of the U.S. tax code in our nation’s history – a bill that was ultimately signed into law by President Reagan.Today, Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, joined by other House Republicans, are speaking about pro-growth tax reform at the Reagan Ranch.

Posted by Committee on Ways and Means on miércoles, 16 de agosto de 2017

Chair Kevin Brady:

“…the Reagan tax reform [was] built for excellence — built to ensure every American could achieve their American Dream, whatever it might be. …I think President Reagan would be pretty disappointed in the tax code we have today. Fairness has been replaced by favoritism for Washington special interests. Simplicity and certainty have been replaced by complexity…And competitiveness has become a casualty of Washington’s inaction.

“…I just don’t accept where we’re at right now in the tax code. Our local businesses, our middle class families — they don’t accept it, either. So on this historic day, it’s time for us to come together and show the world as a nation we don’t accept this tax code, and it’s time to change it.

“For the first time in 31 years, we have a White House, a House, and a Senate truly committed to fixing this broken tax code…it will not be easy. Tax reform, legislatively, is the biggest challenge of any generation.

“…to be successful…it’s important we remember what we’re fighting against. And more importantly, it’s important to remember what we’re fighting for. We’re fighting against this monster of a tax code. And right now – the tax code is winning. In fact, it’s on a 31-year winning streak.

“…We cannot let the status quo win. What we’re fighting for is too important…We’re fighting for what President Reagan termed as the greatest special interest of all – the American people.

“…like President Reagan, I believe there is no limit to what this nation can achieve when we put our faith in God, in each other, and in the boundless potential of American ingenuity.

“2017 is a year we make history. And, together, we will.”


Rep. Peter Roskam, Chair of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy:

“What’s so interesting about Americans is, historically, when people are successful around us, what do we tend to say? We tend to say, ‘how nice for you!’ And the reason…is we think that could be me, that could be my daughter, that could be my grandchild. There are aspirational elements of our economy that create incredible buoyancy.

“And yet, for the past several decades, there has been a heaviness about these things. And there is a feeling…where [Americans] feel like they can’t catch a break. They’ve got things that are so overwhelming and so complicated, so debilitating, and so heavy, frankly, that they can’t move forward in a way in which they want to. It’s not about class envy. It’s not about jealousy. It’s about feeling overwhelmed. And you’ve got a tax code that is complicit in making people feel overwhelmed.

“…Could you imagine the national disposition in the next month if we are able to cut this Gordian Knot and get to fundamental tax reform that creates real growth, real opportunity, that translates into real jobs, more money in their paychecks for middle class Americans…?

“Ronald Reagan is not here today. But Ronald Reagan had faith in generations that followed him. We are that generation. If you look around, if you interact with folks all across the political spectrum today, there is a real desire to have things get done in ways that benefit everyone. I have a great deal of confidence in our capacity…that we can get tax reform done.”


Rep. David Schweikert:

“We need to make the [fear] go away. In many ways this sort of cruelty that’s been rolled up in this tax code on the American people — it’s so complicated. Even people who have given their entire life to tax code will look at you and say ‘I think. It’s my best guess. We can call the IRS.’

“…When you hear us talk about simplicity, fairness, growth — don’t underestimate that word ‘simplicity.’ I’ve been just elated where back home in the Phoenix area, the number of conversations I’m having…where simplicity, getting rid of that fear of making a mistake because there’s no way of knowing a tax code that’s this complicated…is going to be a really powerful gift to the American people if we do our jobs.”


Rep. Carlos Curbelo:

“We’re here to seek inspiration, and to make this commitment that the Chairman mentioned. It’s easy for discussions about tax reform to become technical. And over the coming weeks, I’m sure you’ll hear about corporate interest deductibility and all sorts of technical terms, but at the end of the day, this is about every American family and about every American.

“It’s about prosperity and opportunity. It’s about young people, who feel like the economic recovery hasn’t reached their households — young people who may have gone to college, but can’t find gainful employment…a lot of immigrant families who have come to this country seeking opportunity and are getting by, but not enough of them are getting ahead. That’s what all of this is about.

“And of course it’s not going to be easy. But it wasn’t easy for Ronald Reagan, either. And the same way he infused our nation with optimism in the ‘80s and after his presidency, now it’s our turn. It’s our turn to renew the confidence of the American worker, to show American families that they can succeed here and that this is the greatest place in the world to get a job, start a company, to invent new products. That’s what tax reform is all about. It’s up to us to meet the expectations of the American people and to help them to accomplish, reach their aspirations.”