|Boozman Bulletin: Fair and Simple
Anxiety. Frustration. Anger. These are just a few of the emotions that Americans feel when it comes time to prepare their taxes.
It is easy to understand why. The federal tax code is extremely complex and, instead of becoming easier to navigate, it has only become more cumbersome, growing nearly three times its length since 1984.
At a time when half of the country is living paycheck to paycheck, Congress can provide relief and help middle-class families get ahead by reforming the bloated and out-of-control tax code.
As I visit with Arkansans about tax reform, I consistently hear they want a tax code that is fair and simple. With over 70,000 pages in our tax code, they currently deal with the exact opposite of that. It is ridiculously complicated.
The current tax code makes it difficult for hardworking Americans to get ahead in today’s economy and to save for the future. After years of stagnant wages, half of all Americans have nothing put away for retirement and a majority do not have the ability to financially address an emergency.
Simplifying the system will allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned income, better provide for their families and save and invest more effectively for the future. That is why it is encouraging that President Trump has made tax reform a key priority for his administration and quickly brought Congress to the table to devise a path forward to provide tax relief for all Americans.
My colleagues and I are optimistic that the tax reform framework released this month will allow all Americans to keep more of their hard-earned dollars in their pockets, rather than Uncle Sam’s. The framework establishes lower, simpler rates, doubles the standard deduction and enhances and maintains a number of tax credits that allow Americans to keep more of their paychecks.
Not only will tax reform deliver relief for every American, it will also help grow our economy. At 39 percent, our corporate tax rate is one of the highest in the developed world. This discourages owners of all size businesses from reinvesting their profits here at home and puts us at a competitive disadvantage with the rest of the world.
The federal government cannot create jobs, but it can implement policies that contribute to the atmosphere that job creators look to when deciding whether to expand and invest. One of the most significant factors that affect these decisions is the tax code. Reforming our outdated tax code can stimulate economic growth and lead to job creation and higher wages. This framework provides for the lowest tax rates in modern history for American businesses of all sizes which will help create jobs and increase wages.
The antiquated tax code needs to be overhauled to foster economic growth and help hardworking Arkansans succeed. Making serious changes to the tax code can help increase economic activity, address our national debt and create jobs. Major reform to tax-related statutes has not occurred since 1986. It is long overdue for Congress to come together in a bipartisan effort to reform the tax code in a way that provides relief to the middle class and grows the economy.
- Protecting States’ Rights: The Arkansas Congressional Delegation recently met with Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry to share our concerns about the overreach of the Clean Line project brought on by the Obama administration. This set a dangerous precedent that usurps states’ rights. That’s why we’re urging for a review of the project to allow states the right to be part of the decision-making process.
- Reducing Overregulation: The Trump administration is poised to roll back the previous administration’s deceptively-named ‘Clean Power Plan.’ I applaud this effort because it protects Arkansans from drastic increases in energy costs, electricity blackouts and job cuts due to overregulation.
- Decreasing our Nation’s Carbon Footprint: We’ve seen the tragic images of the wildfires in Northern California and Oregon in recent months. The Environment and Public Works Committee recently held a hearing examining legislative solutions for wildfire threats. Enhanced forest management practices are essential to the timber industry in Arkansas and help prevent wildfires in addition to reducing carbon emissions.
- Honoring the Little Rock Nine: We recently marked the 60th anniversary of the integration of Little Rock Central High School. Nine courageous teens challenged the status quo, facing an angry mob and hostile classmates head-on. They were pioneers in the fight for equality and continue to be a voice for progress. I was honored to recognize their courage in a speech on the Senate floor.
- Fostering Civic Involvement: I was pleased to welcome the inaugural Congressional Youth Cabinet participants to their first meeting in Little Rock. This program aims to foster a lifetime commitment to civic engagement and public service. The group of 44 juniors from all four congressional districts met in Little Rock. I’m looking forward to hearing their ideas about solving current issues facing our country.
- Helping Arkansans: Let my staff and me help you with problems you’re having with the federal government. Members of my staff will be in Paragould on Friday, October 20 for a mobile office at the Paragould City Hall from 2-4 p.m. to help you.
- Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse: Arkansas Take Back is decreasing the availability of unnecessary prescription drugs by properly disposing of expired and unneeded medication. Drug take-back programs are an important tool to breaking the cycle of addiction for prescription drug abusers. Help prevent pills from getting in the hands of abusers by getting rid of old and unused medications at collection sites across the state on Saturday, October 28.
- Recognizing Arkansas Veterans: The ‘Salute to Veterans’ series honors the service and sacrifice of Arkansas veterans who served our nation in uniform. In the latest edition, I highlighted the service of WWII veteran Garland Gables. His memories of his time in uniform are an important part of our history that will be submitted to the Veterans History Project.
- Connect on Social Media: Stay up to date with what I’m doing for Arkansans via social media. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.