WASHINGTON – The year was 1986, Ronald Reagan was president, the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl and Top Gun was the hit movie at the box office — and it was also the last time the federal government reformed the tax code.

Suffice it to say a lot has changed since 1986 and it is well past due that we modernize our tax code and provide relief to all hardworking Americans.

Mooney
Mooney

We must create a tax code that grows our economy, encourages job creation and raises take-home pay.

By cutting tax rates on America’s job creators, both large and small, and allowing businesses to fully and immediately write off investments, the reform plan makes it easier for employers to hire new workers and invest in their communities.

In endorsing the plan, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce notes, “in the long run, 5,000 new jobs in West Virginia and an additional income of nearly $2,000 for the average West Virginian family are to be expected if this bill passes.”

I share President Donald Trump’s commitment to getting tax cuts passed as soon as possible to grow the American economy.

Sadly, Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi is continuing to obstruct President Trump and has pledged to oppose any plan to lower taxes. She recently quipped that the tax plan must be defeated claiming, “Their biggest argument in favor of their tax bill is, ‘Well, we won’t win next year’s election, unless we pass something,’ so we have to make sure this doesn’t happen.”

This blatant partisan statement is exactly what is wrong with Washington. I have heard from many of my Democrat colleagues that they agree with the need for tax reform.

Nancy Pelosi making this about only politics is shameful. The Republican majority in Congress ran on a plan to reform the tax code — and we are about to deliver a big win for the American people.

The current tax code is far too confusing and it is hard for average Americans to understand how much they pay in taxes.

There is already misinformation being spread about the plan, so I would like to set the record straight — no taxpayer will pay higher taxes under this plan.

The plan shrinks the current seven tax brackets into four — 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent and 39.6 percent — and doubles the standard deduction so that typical middle-class families will keep more of their paycheck.

Doubling the standard deduction means that the average family will not pay taxes on the first $24,000 of income. For an individual filer, it means no taxes will be paid on the first $12,000 of income. It also significantly increases the Child Tax Credit by $600 per child.

A fairer, simpler tax code will mean that nine out of 10 Americans will be able to file their taxes on a postcard-sized form. Independent estimates show that taxpayers spend a combined $99 billion — with a b — each year complying with the individual income tax; money Americans could otherwise use on what is important to them and their families.

That means we will break up the bureaucracy at the Internal Revenue Service and return the agency to its core mission of providing high quality customer service.

This plan will eliminate corporate tax loopholes which have been carved out by lobbyists in Washington. We must eliminate them to lower the rates of average Americans.

The plan currently before the House of Representatives does preserve the charitable giving deduction and the mortgage interest deduction. Both deductions are widely used and very popular.

Beyond just lowering tax rates for Americans, this plan also lowers the corporate tax rate to 20 percent.

In an increasingly global economy, America has become unappealing for businesses and companies are moving their headquarters offshore.

West Virginia’s own Mylan Pharmaceuticals moved their headquarters to the Netherlands where the corporate tax rate is 25 percent. The federal corporate tax rate is 35 percent and there is bipartisan support for lowering the rate.

While large corporations, who employ many Americans will benefit, small businesses across West Virginia will also see their rates lowered. Small businesses that file taxes as individuals will see their rate lowered to 25 percent.

I recently toured Industrial Bolting in Kanawha County and heard first-hand how small businesses can thrive in West Virginia. Industrial Bolting has recently added a few jobs and are looking to add even more in the near future. Small business growth such as that is needed to boost our economy.

In 1986, I was just starting high school and began to pay attention to politics and listen to the inspiring words of former President Reagan. As Reagan famously said, “We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him.”

While many of the details of the plan are still being negotiated I remain committed to working with President Trump to ensure that West Virginians get the tax cuts they deserve.

Mooney, a Republican, is West Virginia’s 2nd District representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. This opinion piece, which was written before the House passed its version of the tax plan Nov. 16, originally appeared on the Daily Mail editorial page of the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

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