Our tax code is a broken 10,000 page mess.
Comprehensive Tax Reform
It is exceedingly complex and full of lobbyist-written loopholes, subsidies and handouts designed to benefit specific interests. I have been a firm advocate of streamlining and simplifying the tax code; our government needs a focused and extensive effort to completely reform our tax system. I am hopeful that the process by the House Ways and Means Committee will yield a fairer system that reduces the tax burden on all Americans while generating revenue to meet our nation’s needs. It’s not right that special interests have worked for decades to write the tax code in their favor and I believe we need to clean out the mess and start over.
Today American companies face the highest tax rate in the entire globe. While other nations have lowered their tax rates to remain competitive in an increasingly global economy, the United States has kept its 35% tax rate in place. American businesses pay taxes at higher rates than their international counterparts, putting our companies at a competitive disadvantage. In an effort to help level the playing field, I have cosponsored the American Competitiveness Act, which would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%, which is the average rate among Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation countries. I am hopeful that this legislation, which would spur growth and create jobs, will be included in a final tax reform package.
Having run my own company, I am also keenly aware of the unique challenges that tax reform poses for small businesses. According to Ernst & Young – one of the largest tax service firms in the nation – 90% of Wisconsin small businesses pay their taxes as individuals. I will continue to work with other members of Congress to ensure that any reform legislation accounts for this distinction and does not inadvertently harm Wisconsin’s primary job creators.
Estate Tax Repeal
I have cosponsored legislation to permanently repeal the estate tax. Eliminating this tax would present a unique economic opportunity for northeastern Wisconsin, allowing families to transfer their small businesses and farms from one generation to the next. Local entrepreneurs would no longer have to face this double tax or the threat of being driven out of business after the death of a family member. The current estate tax policy is set to expire at the close of the 112th Congress, so I will support and press for workable solutions that will prevent Wisconsin small businesses and families from facing drastically higher rates in 2013. The family farm is becoming more and more rare in Wisconsin and I don’t want our tax laws to be a cause of the decline.