Politics

Dems Support Trump's Tax Reform — Or at Least They Did

Given this lengthy history of embracing his ideas, Democrats can't possibly oppose him now. Right?

Thomas Gallatin · Sep. 6, 2017

When Donald Trump released his plan for tax reform, he highlighted four areas for specific focus. First, simply making the tax code “fair and easy to understand.” Second, lower the corporate tax rate — currently at 35%, the highest in the developed world — down to a reasonable and competitive rate of 15%. Third, via the incentive of a lower corporate tax rate, bring businesses back to American soil, which brings in trillions of dollars and in turn spurs greater economic investment and job growth. Fourth and finally, lower taxes on middle-class Americans.

None of these tax reform proposals are unreasonable or controversial. In fact, Democrats have been suggesting these reforms for years.

Democrats have promoted simplifying the tax code. In 2011, Barack Obama said in his State of the Union speech, “I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the [tax] system.” Also in 2011 Sen. John Tester (D-MT) stated, “You know, I will tell you I think tax reform needs to be part of the equation. And I think we can simplify the tax code.” And everyone’s favorite non-Indian, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), this past April introduced legislation aimed at simplifying the tax code and filing process. Declaring support for Warren’s bill, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said, “If Washington would finally act on common sense reforms at the IRS, we can simplify tax filing and make it less expensive for taxpayers.” And this statement just two weeks ago from Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH): “I think we need to simplify the tax code.”

Democrats have said they favor lowering the corporate tax rate. In 2008, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “America has one of the highest corporate tax rates among industrialized nations and [Treasury] Secretary [Hank] Paulson has repeatedly spoken of the need to eliminate unfair tax preferences in the code to allow for a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35% to 30.5% or below. Reducing the corporate tax rate would help keep our companies competitive internationally.” In 2014, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) stated, “I think we all want to lower corporate tax rates.” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) two weeks ago said, “I think we need to lower the corporate tax rate. We can’t just be the party of redistribution of wealth. We’ve got to be the party of creation of wealth.”

Democrats have connected lowering the corporate tax rate to incentivizing businesses to come back to American soil. In 2013, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) stated, “Corporate tax reform is necessary to ensure the American economy is the most desirable place in the world for U.S.-based companies to invest. We can do that by closing down tax havens that cost our country revenue and cost American workers jobs. Lowering the corporate tax rate would put companies on a level playing field with foreign competitors and reduce the incentive for them to shift jobs and profits overseas.”

Democrats have called for tax relief for the American middle class by eliminating tax loopholes. Nancy Pelosi in 2015 urged “closing special interest loopholes” and “tax reform that ensured all Americans pay their fair share.” In 2013, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said that reform was needed “by closing special interest loopholes and by no longer favoring wealth over work in our tax code.” And just days ago Sen. Heidi Heitcamp (D-ND) stated, “I’ve been pushing for both sides of the aisle to work together in Congress toward permanent, comprehensive solutions that will do away with loopholes and handouts for special interests and instead promote our small businesses, farm economy and energy industries with the fiscally responsible reforms they need to grow and expand.”

Will Democrats stand by their words, or will they continue to play the politics of obstruction opposing Trump at every turn? We’ll find out soon.

Click here to show comments