Speaking at an Americans for Tax Reform press conference in the U.S. Capitol, Ohio Senator Rob Portman called for tax reform and tax simplification for American families. The full text of Senator Portman’s remarks can be found below:
“This is the day, tax day, when we have a chance to reflect on our tax code. First, how much we should be paying in taxes and, second, how we should be collecting it. And I just want to make it very clear that there are two very different visions here.
President Obama and the Democrats have already raised taxes $1.3 trillion. People forget that. So taxes have gone up in the last six years. When we talk about the fact that pay checks are flat, in fact, we’ve even seen a decrease of about 8 percent in take-home pay, and people are facing the middle-class squeeze, part of this is because, by raising those taxes, we’ve hurt the economy and made it harder not just to get jobs, but to get good jobs.
Second, if you look at his budget that he just put out, and we’re in the middle, you know, trying to do our own budget right now as Republicans, he raises taxes at least another $1.5 trillion, depending on how you account some of the fees that are in there, it can go up closer to $2 trillion. So you think about this. Over $3 trillion in new taxes is the Democrat’s prescription for our economy.
By the way, he also takes taxes on households, taxes on families, individual taxes to the highest level they’ve ever been in the history of our country. Certainly in nominal terms but also as a percent of our economy.
So there’s two very different visions here and, thanks to Americans for Tax Reform, thanks to Kevin Brady and others in the House side and now with the Senate Republican majority, we have a chance to roll back some of these tax increases but also to have a chance to collect our taxes in a different way. So it’s not just about the fact that the other side wants to continually add more taxes to an already weak economy and take families’ taxes up to historic levels, but we also need to change the way we tax. And tax reform needs to be at the top of our agenda.
IRS reform, as we’ve talked about, is certainly needed, partly because it’s impossible for any agency to administer this tax code it’s such a mess. In terms of the business tax code where, as Grover knows I’ve spent a lot of time, we now have a situation where we have the highest tax rate of all of the developed countries in the world. It’s no wonder we’re losing jobs, losing investment, losing whole companies overseas.
This is an opportunity during tax day for us to reflect on that, to lower the tax burden, lower the eight-hours on average it takes an American to fill out their taxes, and the billions of dollars that’s wasted in that. But also to reform our tax code so it works better for American families, American workers, so America can once again be a place where America’s promise is met. Thanks, Grover.”