Reforming our tax code for all Americans, not just some

Earlier this week, I joined U.S. Senator Chris Coons and Morris Pearl, chair of Patriotic Millionaires, a group of high net-worth Americans who promote public policy solutions that encourage everyone to pay their fair share of taxes, for a discussion on the president’s latest tax reform proposal. For as long as I can remember, reforming our nation’s complex tax code has been a discussion throughout our nation’s capital city. Anytime I hear a new proposal, I always ask four questions:

·   Is it fair?

·   Does it foster or stimulate economic growth?

·   Does it streamline the tax code or make it more complex?

·   What is the effect on the budget deficit?

There’s a lot we still don’t know about the president’s tax proposal, but among the things I do know is that it fails this test for a number of reasons.

Under the president’s proposed plan, state and local tax deductions would be cut, our national deficit would rise another $2.4 trillion, and our most vital programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security would be in jeopardy. This puts states like Delaware in a tough position. Many states across the country already have budget challenges, and here in Delaware, we’ve come a long way since we had the worst credit rating in the country.

Senator Coons, Mr. Pearl and I agreed on our concerns that this is not what’s right for our country. Mr. Pearl said, “having a few billionaires getting even more billions will do absolutely nothing to help the rest of our economy. They spend a lot of money as it is, but they won’t spend more money when their billions are multiplied by even more billions. What we need for the economy is lots of people making enough money to shop in stores, buy new cars, new homes.” 

For years, I’ve been supportive of streamlining our country’s tax code, but what the president and the GOP have proposed is not what I think is in the best interest of our country, or in the best interest of Delawareans. We need to do this the old fashioned way – by working together. We should hold public, bipartisan hearings, have witnesses from all walks of life with different perspectives, and reform our tax code the right way that works for all Americans, not just some.