Tax Day 2018 is now behind us, and as we FairTax supporters tend to do, we took it as an opportunity to call others to action. It’s a reminder that this simply isn’t the way things have to be. We know a better way. The most notable difference between this Tax Day and those in years past is that it marks the last time the American people will file their taxes under the old, broken tax code we’d been subject to for far too long. That is without a doubt a win – progress. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a step in the right direction. It’s only one step. It is also without a doubt not the end goal. Tax reform hadn’t been achieved in more than three decades precisely because it is so difficult to build the needed consensus around big, transformative ideas. That takes time, and patience, and lots of hard work. All of which we FairTax supporters have in abundance.
It’s not an accident that the tax reform achieved last year contains principles embodied in the FairTax. Simplicity, transparency, and an innate acceptance that taxes on businesses are taxes on consumers, which are all tenets of H.R. 25. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady himself has long been a supporter of the FairTax, and don’t think for a second that didn’t matter. The reality is simply that we didn’t have quite the amount of support needed to make H.R. 25 the law of the land at this time. President Trump had a different vision for what he wanted to accomplish, and any reform needs Presidential support to get across the finish line. That’s ok. I believe we’ll get there, and not getting all the way there right now was no reason not to move America as close to the freedom of the FairTax as we could. That’s why I supported last year’s reform, and it’s why I’m as motivated as ever to keep pushing to make the FairTax – in full – the law of the land.
The drastic reduction in the corporate tax rate within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is one of the best examples of the progress we’ve made in shaping the national conversation surrounding tax reform. Before the FairTax, no one was emphasizing the importance of reducing – or in our case, eliminating – the corporate tax rate as a way of unleashing economic opportunity and lowering the cost of goods and services. That was not only an accepted point of view this time; it was a broadly embraced fact. You and I did that.
The notion that complexity within the tax code and all its compliance costs drive up prices and stifle economic growth is further proof of the impact we’ve already had. It is now simply accepted throughout the Republican conference and within President Trump’s Administration that America must simplify the code, and the bill the President signed into law in December did that. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act absolutely improved a bad situation for American families. I’ll take that progress any day; and I’m eager to come back tomorrow and continue working on furthering the FairTax initiative.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act didn’t override the FairTax, it drew inspiration from it. The FairTax isn’t diminished by the success of last year’s tax reform, it’s further legitimized by it. That’s the message I want to share. Washington often moves slowly, and progress can be tedious, but we’ve made tremendous progress – not just for H.R. 25, but for millions of American families who will benefit from the recent reform…and who will benefit even more from the FairTax.
Congressman Woodall (R) represents the Seventh Congressional District of Georgia, northeast of Atlanta, and currently serves as Chairman of the Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process, as well as serving on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and Budget Committee. He is the lead sponsor of H.R. 25, the FairTax, introducing the measure each Congress since beginning his service in January 2011. Recently, he was chosen as one of only four House Republicans to serve on the bipartisan, bicameral, 16-member Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform.