On Tuesday evening, President Obama will deliver the annual “State of the Union” address.  Below are ten items Americans for Tax Reform is urging him to include:

  1. Cut the corporate income tax rate.  The United States has the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world.  This puts American employers at a disadvantage to our international competitors, and costs U.S. jobs.
  2. Move from “worldwide” to “territorial” taxation.  The U.S.. is one of the few developed nations that not only seeks to tax all profits earned within her borders, but also the profits of her taxpayers earned all around the world.  Most other countries are closer to a “territorial” system.  The U.S. should move toward this type of system, which would make the complex maze of international deferrals and credits unnecessary.
  3. Make full business expensing permanent.  As part of the tax increase avoidance deal in December, Congress and the President agreed to one year of full business expensing (as opposed to multi-year deductions called “depreciation”) for new business machinery and equipment.  This should be expanded to real property and made permanent to further equalize the tax treatment of investment versus consumption.
  4. Call on Congress to repeal Obamacare taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year.  Obamacare contained nearly two-dozen new or higher taxes, at least seven of which are directly-levied on families making less than $250,000 per year.  At the very least, those taxes which violate President Obama’s “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of taxes on any family making less than $250,000 should be repealed first.
  5. Remove uncertainty from small employers and investors by making current tax rates permanent.  The top personal rate of 35 percent is also the rate at which a majority of small business profits face taxation.  The capital gains and dividends rate of 15 percent has been priced into the value of every American’s IRA and 401(k) balance.  To restore certainty to the economy, businesses and families need to plan with steady and permanent tax rates.
  6. Call for a moratorium on new federal regulations.  According to the annual “Cost of Government Day” report issued by Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and the Center for Fiscal Accountability, regulations impose a cost of $1.5 trillion annually on our economy.  There were over 60,000 pages added to the Federal Register in 2009.  Americans had to work nearly 75 days just to pay for the regulatory burden of government.  At the very least, no more damage should be allowed to occur, starting with harmful Obamacare regulations.
  7. Admit “stimulus” failures and rescind the unspent funds. This could save taxpayers almost $200 billion. Famously threatening that absent an influx of cash in the form of government “stimulus” unemployment would crest 8 percent, two years of economic stagnation and unemployment holding steady above 9 percent shows the plan to be a failure by the White House’s own standard. Admit defeat and move on to proven pro-growth policy.
  8. Promise to veto any further state government bailouts.  Refuse to reward the fiscal recklessness of the states by pledging to end state bailouts. Due in part to the snake oil of “stimulus” funds, states expanded rather than restrained their bottom lines during the economic recession, and are facing a cumulative $72 billion overspending problem, on top of a $3 trillion hole dug by unsustainable pension promises. If the President is serious about fiscal restraint, he should make clear states are responsible for their own spending habits.
  9. Keep your promise on earmarks.According to Citizens Against Government Waste, earmark spending has topped $36 billion over the past two years of the Obama Administration, to say nothing of the trillions of dollars of spending that have been enabled by greasing the palms of elected officials.
  10. Support lasting reform to permanently shift the bias away from spending. Prudent measures such as allowing taxpayers to read bills online for five full days before they receive a vote would ensure lawmakers are diligent stewards of taxpayer dollars. The President should also champion the thirteen other ways Grover Norquist suggested to him in June.

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