Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist has a new op-ed in The National Interest magazine describing 14 steps America can take to revive the economy.
On tax policy, Norquist outlines three steps. The first is to maintain the lower corporate and personal income taxes enacted in 2017:
This part is easy as long as the GOP holds a majority in the Senate and/or House. Most Republicans have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, promising their constituents that they will “oppose and vote against” any and all tax increases. The reduction of the corporate rate from 35 percent (higher than communist China’s 25 percent) to 21 percent in 2017 led to strong economic growth. The median family income rose in 2018 alone by 6.8 percent. The unemployment rate for all Americans fell to a historic fifty-year low of 3.5 percent by spring 2020, just before the coronavirus-inspired economic shutdown unemployed 20 million Americans. Yet, the underlying low-tax, reduced regulatory environment allowed the economy to recover quickly. By election day 2020, unemployment fell from 14.7 percent to 6.9 percent. That compared favorably to Obama’s unemployment rate of 7.9 percent as he ran for re-election in 2012. The 2017 tax reform also eliminated the tax deductibility of state and local taxes of more than $10,000 from one’s taxable income for federal income tax purposes. This ended a significant subsidy for high-tax cities and states at the expense of states with low taxes. This puts pressure on high-tax states like California, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to limit their abusive tax rates, which has driven 12 million of their residents to other states over the past decade.
Norquist urges ending the double taxation of Americans working overseas:
The United States and Eritrea are the only two countries that tax individuals for work they do while living in another country. The United States has a worldwide tax system. The rest of the world, minus Eritrea, has a territorial tax structure. Republicans ended the double taxation of American corporate income in the 2017 bill. Several trillion dollars of U.S. corporate earnings were trapped overseas, unable to be repatriated to the United States lest they pay an American tax penalty. That ended, and trillions were made available for investment in the United States. Now America should leave Eritrea all alone and end the double taxation on individuals. There are 5 to 8 million Americans working overseas, and they pay billions each year in excess U.S. taxation. As a result, it costs more to hire an American than a German in France because the American must be compensated for his higher (American worldwide) tax burden.
Norquist also calls for an end to the inflation tax on capital gains. This can be done by statute or administratively via the President and Treasury Department:
President Trump has the authority to define the “cost” of an asset when calculating capital gains taxes as the original sale plus inflation. The average stock sale price is 40 percent inflation gain. There is no reason people should pay capital gains taxes on inflation.
If you would like to read the rest of Grover’s recommendations, the piece is available here.