Tuesday, The Hill released a piece crediting President Trump’s movement on tax reform as a result of an op-ed that Heritage experts wrote.

President Trump was inspired to take action on tax reform after someone in the White House flagged for him an op-ed by his former campaign advisers, Politico reported Monday.

In April, Stephen Moore, Larry Kudlow, Steve Forbes and Arthur Laffer wrote an op-ed in The New York Times urging the administration to advance tax-reform legislation “with urgency.” Someone in the White House alerted Trump to the piece, and Trump then told his staff to make a tax plan that resembles the op-ed, according to Politico’s report.

One week after the op-ed was published, the White House released a plan that has a number of similarities to the recommendations from Moore, Kudlow, Forbes and Laffer. For example, Trump’s plan proposes lowering the tax rate for corporations and small businesses to 15 percent.

Stephen Moore is a distinguished visiting fellow in Heritage’s Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity and Steve Forbes has served as a member of Heritage’s Board of Trustees since 2001.

We are thankful for their work.

What do you believe is the most important issue to address in tax reform?

Comments (143)

J L Frank - May 19, 2017

The time and expense of filing a return and maintaining all those records.

Dana Dockendorf - May 19, 2017

We need a flat tax.

Tim Hurlbut - May 19, 2017

I am a big supporter of the Fair tax.
Simple, Fair.
No IRS, no lobbying for tax preferences.
No black market or underground economy.

After the Fair tax we can concentrate on reducing spending.

Richard Van Dop - May 19, 2017

Simplify, and move from “taxing to regulate society” to simply “taxing to raise revenue”. Get rid of as many deductions as possible. Whatever breaks you give one group are paid for by another. Just stop that. I like a flat tax with sizable personal exemptions, low tax percentage and nothing else. Also, a majority must pay something.

Albert Henke - May 19, 2017

Lowering the corporate tax rate to stimulate economic growth. A 15-20% rate should be the target. And OMB scoring be damned! The cut will allow for more hiring, higher wages and lower consumer prices which will ultimately result in a deficit reduction due to increased personal income tax revenue.

Seth Shaw - May 19, 2017

We should go to the “Fair Tax” plan that has already been written and do away with the IRS. This way everyone pays their taxes at the cash register and want need to waste countless hours at tax time.

Tim L Voorhees - May 19, 2017

The President needs to let us know that there will be no ex post facto laws. As a tax adviser, I hear clients express much frustration that the new (unknown!) tax laws may be retroactive back to January 1st. It is impossible to know how to plan when the laws may change retroactively. New laws should start the following year!

Gary Sullivan - May 19, 2017

1) Simplify the tax code
2) Everyone needs to pay some tax
3) Collapse the six tax brackets
4) Repeal the alternative minimum tax

Jerry - May 19, 2017

All government retirement payments should be tax free. Phased in by reducing tax over time by increasing net income by the equivalent of any tax increase, reducing tax eventually to zero with no impact on the net income of the retiree. Makes no sense for the government to pay a retiree $100 then take back $10 in tax and incure an expense in collecting the $10.

Russell Fulton - May 19, 2017

Lowering the marginal tax rates AND eliminating all ‘loopholes” and special tax breaks for favorite political objectives. If the loopholes aren’t dealt with, you’ll never convince the electorate that the rich aren’t cheating. Get the corporate tax rate down as far as the political climate will allow. Go big! and negotiate. Sell it!

Frank Feltham - May 19, 2017

Lower both personal and business tax rates and I agree with all of Gary Sullivan’s points.

RANDY E SCHRODER - May 19, 2017

We need to get out of the “progressive” taxation business, move toward a flat tax, and make sure all Americans have “skin in the game.”

Ralph Thomas Reed - May 19, 2017

Make the whole tax code fit on an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper with .75 margins and 12 point type.

Albert (Alberto) Castro Jr - May 19, 2017

1) Simplify the tax code
2)Lower taxes across the board. Personal and especially corporate taxes.
3) Abolish the Death tax.
4) Close all loop holes to everyone.

Phillip Coffman - May 19, 2017

–Simplify, without need for paying tax preparers!
–A fair version of a flat tax.
–Keep in some legitimate deductions, like charity, excessive medical costs, et.al.

–Can we rely upon your expertise to streamline deductions, in keeping with a flat tax?

Al - May 19, 2017

Fully agree with the above comments. We need to lower the tax rate to get the economy going and from a personal point of view, I’d like to see a flat tax or “Fair Tax” that eliminates the need for me to file with the IRS. Tinkering around the edges with 3 brackets etc just continues the morass called the tax code.

dasryl knab - May 19, 2017

Address the projected entitlement overruns.

John Controne - May 19, 2017

Agree with everything Dana, Gary and Russell posted. Someone want to tell me why Congress can’t pass a simple one page, one time bill to offer corporations a low tax rate to repatriate all that money held overseas? That would be an instant boost to the economy. It doesn’t have to be delayed by being part of comprehensive tax reform.

fred grant - May 19, 2017

tax the lds church tax on all of there property in the usa

Bill Montgomery - May 19, 2017

I support Trump’s plan to reduce taxes on all business’s & eliminate the death tax.
He should also eliminate the capital gains for all assets held over 10 years

Noel C. Hubler - May 19, 2017

1) Simplify the tax code
2)Lower taxes across the board. Personal and especially corporate taxes.
3) Abolish the Death tax.
4) Close all loop holes to everyone.

Keep in some legitimate deductions, like charity, excessive medical costs, et.al.

thetaxbabe - May 19, 2017

@dana: I agree! Get rid of AMT. Keep 1031 exchanges. Current plan great: amnesty for corps that offshore profits to bring back profits. Lower corporate taxes and stop taxing workers abroad – tax treaties are extremely complicated. Give private-public partnerships a huge tax break. Off-topic but relevant: If the White House would implement a guest worker program (like Bush was advocating) then payoll taxes not collected because of nontraceable payment, can be collected.

J. Fisher - May 19, 2017

1.Having a significant tax reduction(10+%) for the middle class folks with incomes between $50K – 200K, reduce # of deducts; higher Std Deduction
2.Some reduction for those in the $200K to
$1M range (<10%); less for higher income
3. Fewer brackets

Stephen R. Jones - May 19, 2017

The border tax will destroy my import business. Not being able to write off the cost of imported goods creates a non deductible cost. $ 1000 cost 8% markup = $ 1080 sales price current tax 50% = net $ 40.
$ 1080 sales price tax at 20% $ 216. Net loss $ 136. I also have a manufacturing business that uses a large amount of imported goods with same result as above. Border tax will create huge job losses, closed businesses and massive shortages. It will take years to move the manufacturing to the US and the small businesses will be long gone.

Bill Boykin - May 19, 2017

Tax reform must:
*eliminate debt
*enable low income people to gain wealth
* eliminate need for border tax to equalize trade
* eliminate the billions wasted on tax returns and hours spent.
What will do all of this? HR-25 and S-18. All together now—push.
Flat tax will stay flat for a NY minute.

Ed Stout - May 19, 2017

Get rid of the death tax. It is double taxation and you should be able to leave what you earned and paid tax on to your beneficiary rather than the goverment.
No need to raise taxes if stop giving money to countries who hate us and/or side with our opposition. That includes giving Social Security to illegal foreigners who have done nothing to earn it.

Janet McAuley - May 19, 2017

Have income tax rates automatically adjusted for the past year’s inflation rate. Also allow congress to change this if so desired.

Regina daly - May 19, 2017

Reduce taxes on the middle class.
Tax those who use oversees banks to hide their money.

Linda Prescott - May 19, 2017

So many great ideas here already, but definitely:
-abolish the death tax
-simplify (do not give the IRS any more power to interpret!)
-lower business and individual rates
-“everyone needs to pay some tax”-yes!

Stephen Kobelas - May 19, 2017

Taxing income penalizes hard work. The more you work, the more you are taxed. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Institute the “Fair tax” where taxes are collected on what you spend by the taxpayer instead taxing his hard work. Before all the negative comments about the “Fair Tax” read up about it. It reimburses $400 per individual per month for taxes paid on necessities and such. It’s a plan that has been vetted. Politicians don’t like it because they lose control over us, the tax payer. There are no deductions because there is no more tax on income. No more tax on interest, estate taxes, corporate taxes, RMDs, savings accounts, capital gains, etc. Think what that would do for the economy. Check with Gov. Huckabee who is a strong supporter. He knows. Check it Out.

Michael R. Carr - May 19, 2017

1. Simplify the tax code!
2. Eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax.
3. Eliminate the Municipal Bond interest exemption from Federal Income Tax (a favorite tax break for wealthy liberals). Municipalities should compete with the private sector for funds on a level playing field.
4. Eliminate all State taxes on income, property, & sales as Federal tax deductions.
5. Eliminate mortgage interest deduction.
6. Eliminate the charitable contribution deduction.
7. Eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit.
8. Eliminate the personal exemptions.
9. Reduce the number of tax rates to one or two (for example, 12% on all annual income between $20,000 and $100,000 and 17% for all income above $100,000 with a flat dollar amount of $250 for adults earning less than $20,000 per year. Everyone should have some skin in this game!

Beverly Buckner - May 19, 2017

Simplify and make it fair to all. Get rid of loopholes and make sure the rich don’t get benefits the others don’t get. Abolish the death tax.

Ronald Stokes - May 19, 2017

Cease charging RMD withdrawals on individuals with less than $500,000 in retirement accounts. It is killing seniors that had very little retirement savings that did not work for large corporations.
Make it so simple to file tax return that a high school grad can do it. Drop so many of the rules that allow big earners loop holes.

Roseann Marinelli - May 19, 2017

Personal Taxes – Simplify the tax code but do NOT eliminate property tax or mortgage interest deductions (caps could be ok). Repeal the AMT and eliminate the death tax. A flat tax rate could work and make things really simple, but what’s the right rate?Corporate Taxes – lower the rate to either 15 or 20%.

Charlesbohle - May 19, 2017

We should start with a clean piece of paper!

Thomas Hudson - May 19, 2017

We need a flat tax or national sales tax. The IRS needs to be shut down as we know it today. The IRS targeting conservatives under Obama mandates a tax system that is not susceptible to this manipulation.

andy raWICZ - May 19, 2017

i think everyone should pay 10% plus 8% added value tax. this would make the tax exemptions obsolete

Marvin K Rohrs - May 19, 2017

It is TOTALLY unconscionable that the tax plan should eliminate the medical expense deduction while keeping the mortgage interest and charitable deductions. My medical expenses are totaling over $150,000 per year, which is many times more than the deductions that are being retained. Medical expenses are the only one of the three that one has no semblance of control over. It appears that the writers of the tax bill are, as usual, ignoring the “little guy”!

Russ Masters - May 19, 2017

Creating a tax system that is: (1) simple enough (e.g., Flat Tax) to greatly reduce the IRS size, and (2) that ensures everyone pays something.

B. j. Dingman - May 19, 2017

RMD is questionable.

Tax reform would do so much, for so long.
. Debt
. Attitude.
.Growth
. Pocketbooks

Bjd
Naples

LoAnn Twedt - May 19, 2017

It seems that lowering corporate tax rates will positively affect jobs and the economy. Keeping things simple is a good piece of advice. This is the first step. Trump has 4 years to work on fine tuning the tax program. It may take some encouragement from the right people to help him not be so all inclusive in one package. Great things can come in small packages.

Kathryn Benedic - May 19, 2017

All of these recommendations are excellent and should be considered.
Most definitely….Simplify the Tax Code! The IRS doesn’t understand it either! For example, my CPA filed 2014 & 2015 for me. This year I received a notice of adjustment for each of those years. I paid more to the IRS. Last week I received a letter of another adjustment advising me of a Refund. Makes no sense!
– For sure….Eliminate the Death Tax.
– Flat rate based on new income brackets

Frank Owen - May 19, 2017

If they insist on a revenue neutral bill push for every tax dollar reduced, reduce spending the same amount.
You must preserve deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions as well as preserve the tax deferral of retirement plans (401k, IRA, 403b, and 457). With the loss of pension plans and the shortfalls in SS, it is imperative to continue to encourage Americans to save long term for retirement

Ken Foreman - May 19, 2017

Sales tax seems to be the fairest tax.
Eliminate the irs.

Eddie Wrenn - May 19, 2017

It’s the US private economy related tax issues that need major attention.

Thanks for you hard work.

Charles Morton - May 19, 2017

Eliminate ALL deductions for non-profit organizations! Then the tax rates could be reduced significantly! Have some compassion for the taxpayer rather than give a subsidy to every college, church, hospital, foundation, home owner, do-gooder scheme!
People would still contribute to organizations that they believe in!

Robert Waunch - May 19, 2017

In addition to lowering the corporate tax rate, corporations also need a one-time rate to bring all their funds back to the US; it could even be less than the 15% rate. But the most important thing is to make the tax system simple; eliminate all the special pork rules that are throughout the code. There is no reason the tax code should be longer than 10- 20 pages.

Jim Fitzpatrick - May 19, 2017

Without a doubt, the most important item for tax reform is to lower the corporate rate to 15%. American business has for a long time now been saddled with the highest rate in the world … leaving trillions of dollars overseas as a result. Let’s do it wile we have a reasonable chance!.

DC Twesme - May 19, 2017

A comprehensive study of the fair tax has already been written. Getting the word out might be difficult…too many oxen gored. But it’s the answer. The 16th Amendment would have to go. ” If not now, when; if not us, who?” It would go a long way toward draining that swamp. A flat tax wouldn’t stay flat very long.

Chrissy Anthony - May 19, 2017

The most important tax reform, in my opinion, is the removal of the inheritance tax.
And the precision with how tax monies are spent–
Please give the USA a flat tax

Tom Laur - May 19, 2017

I think the most important issue to address in a tax reform package is to take the tax off of income. Our Constitution originally allowed for a consumption tax. The 16th amendment to the Constitution allowed for the government to tax individuals on their income. This allowed citizens tax money to flow to Washington DC. Now Washington DC allowed some money to flow back to the states with strings attached. This allowed the feds to grab the power formally held by the states.
I think the “Fairtax” is a really good template to be used to change our tax system for the better. Many white papers have been written to explain it very well. The DC politicians are not in favor of this tax because it would cause the loss of a great amount of lobbyist money.

John Marshall - May 19, 2017

Go to a flat tax close the IRS the government needs to learn work on the flat rate we give them from our wages which in turn will teach them to budget how they spend our hard earned wages more judiciously.
Also if you want to see the economy get healthier give the working man back more of his paycheck so he can put more back in to the economy.
I want to see sales tax abolished. It is a disgrace greedy tax. You wonder why we have so little to put back into the economy. When we go and purchase something and get taxed for purchasing it. It is utterly disgusting. You see something you like to purchase and like the price but when go to check out it cost you more than the price it was for because of the greedy state sales tax. Now you see how hard it is to want to buy something with your hard earned wages when the state want to penalize for purchasing it by taxing your purchase. How do you expect people to put more money back in the economy when more than 50% of your wages go to the government and states tax you for buy goods.
Why should we try to do any purchasing when we get penalized for by a disgusting sales tax.

Douglas Weise - May 19, 2017

Its complexity. Let’s go FLAT: one rate for everyone, whether personal or business, pays on gross with no deductions/credits/exemptions.
File on a postcard. Or FAIR: based on consumption. Eliminate the IRS.

James McDaniel - May 19, 2017

The length of time it will take for businesses
to reflect the tax cut and ultimately repay
the government for the reduction of funds.

Paul Bruyea - May 19, 2017

Change to a territorial tax system…..

Ted Beatty - May 19, 2017

Please simplify to flat tax(my opinion) and reduce corporate tax rate. Allow money stashed overseas to be brought back to USA at a reduced rate.
Get rid of the IRS – I don’t care how many bureaucrats have to be dumped!

Gilbert Bergman - May 19, 2017

You can see from some of the other comments, that small business benefits greatly from simplification of the tax system. Others mention a flat tax & elimination of the IRS. Well, anything to eliminate the time and effort it takes to prepare and organize our business just to utilize possible deductions.

John A DuBan - May 19, 2017

Simplify the return so that people can easily compute a flat tax rate where everyone pays something. As the man below says, “tax to raise revenue, do not tax to control society.

Joan Erb - May 19, 2017

I favor the “Fair Tax” Everyone should carry their share. We should make taxes so easy we don’t need the IRS. It has grown so large it’s impossible to monitor.

Allen Simon - May 19, 2017

I too like the fair tax. But, it will be hard to get it past the swamp creatures, since current law makes it so easy to satisfy lobbyist/donors. We need to fix the tax law in stages, as we gradually kill off the swamp creatures, making the next step easier. The Trump proposal at least keeps the swamp’s hope alive that future congresses will add back all the special favors that the Trump proposal removes. Also the fair tax cannot go into effect until enough states support repeal of the Income tax amendment, and we need some tax relief ASAP.

Ralph - May 19, 2017

Some good ideas expressed here but I will add mine:
1. Why have a Corp Tax? Corps. really don’t pay tax…Never have and never will. Corps. collect tax from people and send them to the IRS. Any Tax imposed on a Corp. is a cost of doing business that they pass on to the consumer in higher product prices.
2. Simplify Tax Return to one page. I am retired, I do own a few stocks, i.e. limited partnerships (MLPs) that issue Form K-1s vs 1099s, and sold a rental property. My CPA came up with 135 pages of Tax Return. It’s criminal.
3. Stop taxing Social Security.
4. Increase the Standard Deduction to the point that it would offset the ilimination of interest deduction for home owners.

phil steinberg - May 19, 2017

10% flat tax for all people–eliminate death tax——–ok charitable tax,but some Cap. keep and then phaze out mortgage deductions over 15 YRS. Raise age on Soc.Secur.Benefits. Elim. IRS in 5Yrs.

Dolores Gadevsky - May 19, 2017

Tax purchases, not income or property. Abolish the IRS.

Robert G. - May 19, 2017

Most important feature of any tax plan is optimizing revenue. Best way is through a regressive tax schedule. Highest rate (30%) should be on lowest bracket which most earners pay. Incentive for work effort. Declines to 15% over only three additional brackets. Boosts productivity and GDP growth. Modest tax credit for those below poverty line financed by portion of additional revenue. Remainder to reduce national debt. Eliminate itemized deductions/exemptions. Retain one standard deduction. Eliminate inheritance tax. Lower business/corporate tax to 20%. Capital gains and dividends to 15%.

Tom Mayberry - May 19, 2017

Gaining bi-partisan support for a tax plan.

David B Goedde - May 19, 2017

To help the poor, repeal the 16th Amendment (the income tax). The “Fair Tax” plan provides tax visibility and thereby control.

Marilyn Bernal - May 19, 2017

I think that the multinational corporations (who can take advantage of cheap labor and taxes in foreign countries) should pay 1-2% MORE in taxes than the “only US” ones and that money should, by LAW (because Congress will spend it otherwise!), ONLY go to the DEFICIT!! It has to start somewhere.

Therese A McClurg - May 19, 2017

I believe there should be a flat tax for everyone who is not retired. Retirees should not have to pay taxes on Social Security.

Tim Houseward - May 19, 2017

1. Simplify, simplify, simplify!
2. Everyone pays something, there must be “skin in the game” for all.
3. Drop the corporate rate to 15%.
The above items will release boatloads of lawyers and accountants for value added work.

Rebecca Stephenson - May 19, 2017

Do away with the Death Tax.

Richard Butterfield - May 19, 2017

Eliminate the disparity between those who do not pay any income tax and those who do pay income tax. Every citizen should pay income tax. The rates need to be lower with no special interest tax deductions. If everyone paid taxes, there would not be reports regarding a “tax break” for the rich. All citizens would be in favor of lower rates and oppose unnecessary tax increases as well as hold representatives accountable for spending. This would frustrate the journalists who like to sensationalize tax reform as a ” tax break” for the rich, which would be a good result and eliminate polarization regarding tax cuts.

Doris Smeby - May 19, 2017

Flat Tax, 15% on Post Card
15% Corporate Tax
Charity Deduction

Keith Waldrop - May 19, 2017

The best approach would be to can the entire Tax Code and abolish the IRS by adopting the Fair Tax. That would also mitigate the problem of increasing the percentage of tax payers with no skin in the game every time we add more “middle income tax relief”. If the Tax Code is to remain in place, Sub S Corps and LLCs should only be taxed on cash withdrawn from the business and paid to its owners. Creating two different marginal rates for personal income and business income is fraught with peril from what could become widespread tax fraud and/or ‘creative accounting’ by tax advisors.

James Templeton - May 19, 2017

I support the flat tax rate. Either dissolve the IRS or regulate them so they cannot be used as a weapon as evidenced by the Obama IRS obstructing conservative groups.

David G. Holland - May 19, 2017

I’m a fan of this is your percentage base on income with no forms to fill out for individuals. Tax forms are just a way to track how much you have and to use as force if your not following the line.I especially like a sales tax because everybody pays no matter how much or where your money comes from and if taxes get raised you just don’t spend what you can’t afford to.Whatever they do they have to abolish the old and start new or the next group will just use an excuse to get people from both.

Robert Small - May 19, 2017

The Fair Tax House Bill, HR 25 and Senate Bill, S 155:
* Ensures adequate funding of the Federal Government
* Enables workers to keep their paychecks free of all federal withholding
* Allows retirees to keep their entire pensions
* Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities
* Allows American products to compete fairly
* Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy
* Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding
* Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation
* Eliminates Corporate Welfare
* Reduces Lobbying efforts in D.C.
* Promotes a smaller, more efficient, more effective government
* Collects taxes from illegals & the underground economy
* Abolishes the IRS

Chan Bailey - May 19, 2017

Simplifying the tax laws should be a top priority.

Charlie J. Smith - May 19, 2017

Pass tax reform that will promote jobs. 15% on businesses will produce a great number of jobs, which will generate more income to the government. Eliminating the Death Tax is also very important. Lowering all taxes will help the nation and bring jobs back home.

Donald Koop - May 19, 2017

We need to decide whether to tax income or consumption! The taxation of income is the single most influential cause of the ills of our system of taxation. It brings complexity, unfairness, lack of durability (too easily changed), fiscal unsoundness (costs too much to collect, too easily evaded), and insecurity (too susceptible to theft of refunds, etc.). The taxation of consumption, along with a provision to proportionally reduce the rate for middle-to-low income taxpayers, would eliminate all of these ills. The FairTax (HR-25) is just such a plan and should be receiving enormously more attention than it is. This lack is telling for the FairTax which knowingly was written to limit the power of Congress to use the tax code for its own end: dispensing favors, picking winners and losers, manipulating various types of behavior, and so forth. It is elegantly simple in design, something Members of Congress cannot allow to displace the complicated, cumbersome, burdensome income tax code we all hate. They must be reminded which Masters they serve.

Michael Forrest - May 19, 2017

1. 15% max tax rate for for all ordinary income (personal and business)
2. 7.5% for capital gain
3. Minimize deductions and cap them progressively with income as
4. Permit carried interest
5.Make system as simple as possible to eliminate all the hassle, trauma and cost of return preparation.
5. Kill the death tax forever

R. Edeards - May 19, 2017

I agree with most of them above and stop all the tax payoffs to our politicians for favors for special interests. Simplify the whole system and make it fair to everybody not just reelected politicians and special interests. Most of the tax code is for spe ial favors which only benefit the elite.

Mary L.Trentham - May 19, 2017

Institute a Flat tax, eliminate the IRS, eliminate the alternative minimum tax, eliminate the deduction for interest on municipal bonds and eliminate exemptions.

Trevor Dupuy - May 19, 2017

Eliminate taxes on ALL forms of income and repeal the 16th Amendment. Replace the tax code with The Fair Tax. It is simple, inexpensive to administer and enforce, doesn’t penalize productivity, would eliminate the politicized IRS and would eliminate major leverage crony capitalists have to corrupt lawmakers. It would put the economy and subsequent employment on steroids.

Loyd Prior - May 19, 2017

I strongly favor completely eliminating all tax deductions, including charitable items as this has been the door for many loop holes. Let us consider our motive being charitable at all.

Larry Smith - May 19, 2017

We need to get America back on it’s feet again. This is the way to do it. It will put hard earned income back in our pockets again.

J. Curtis Brewer - May 19, 2017

Radical simplification, designed to underpin long term economic growth in a balanced fashion ,eg. not using the tax code to favor one industry or legitimate economic activity over another; fairness and fashioned in such a way as to develop a revenue stream sufficient to underwrite and fund the legitimate functions of government only, thus requiring individuals to fund their personal agenda themselves. It goes without saying that appropriate safety nets need to be thoughtfully considered and funded.

Michael Tracy - May 19, 2017

Stop punishing hard work and success with income taxes, Reduce the rates 1% every year and add 1% national sales tax on everything, until we gradually eliminate all income tax. Then reduce the 20 T debt by asking all Americans to sacrifice so that our kids and grandkids won’t be screwed.

mike burdick - May 19, 2017

The Fair Tax is the best. Simple, lowered rates and fair to all.

Donald Koop - May 19, 2017

“Mary L.Trentham – May 19, 2017
Institute a Flat tax, eliminate the IRS, eliminate the alternative minimum tax, eliminate the deduction for interest on municipal bonds and eliminate exemptions.”
Mary, you can’t eliminate the IRS just by going to a flat tax which is just a scaled-down version of the existing mess. Someone still has to collect taxes, evaluate returns, issue refunds, enforce payment, and all the rest.

Kevin Jones - May 19, 2017

Same as Gary Sullivan’s comments. Can’t say it better.

Mac - May 19, 2017

Void the 56,000 page current tax laws, rules, and amendments to a single sheet of tax reforms with no amendments. Flat tax

Tom Bonus - May 19, 2017

Federal tax credits for having babies (actually allows some taxpayers to pay no tax and still get a refund. The muslims are laughing and cranking out the next generation of muslims with the plan to overwhelm America by their growing numbers. America became great based on its work to eat economic system. I travel extensively and am often asked by foreigners, “is it really true that if I move to the USA the government will pay my medical, food (stamps), tax credits…?” We are becoming a welfare state and that spells economic doom!

Robert Hahn - May 19, 2017

Americans: I have not heard about income ranges that would correspond with the Trump plan for three tax brackets.
AND, discussions about “fair tax”, a consumption tax based on your spending. Troubling. Spending includes your normal weekly, monthly, and periodic bills for groceries, utilities, insurances, medical expenses, car payments, fuels, commuting costs, house payments, store purchases, on-line Internet purchases, and on and on. Most payments are for your subsistence and living expenses: necessities. A “tax” on the necessities will increase our cost-of-living. UNSAT !
Also, for taxes based on income, ALL citizens with an income must pay “something”, at least a nominal amount. That if the “have some skin in the game”.
Be it either an income tax or a consumption tax, let the taxpayer decide/choose which way permits a smaller tax burden for the tax year, and submit tax payments accordingly. BUT, to where? To the Treasurer of the United States, Washington, DC, but NOT to the disestablished “irs” !

S. Joseph Nickele, Jr. - May 19, 2017

A flat tax would be wunnerful, but one consideration overrides all others: The National Debt. For most of my 72 years, we’ve been talking about growing our way out from under that debt. Now, we’re talking about budgets that will continue to contribute to that debt, for ANOTHER FULL DECADE, in the unlikely event that we can keep conservatives in the Administration that long…?!? History has been most unkind to nations that assume they can add debt upon debt, forever. At a minimum, makie DEEP welfare cuts, no matter what the final tax plan looks like!

Barrett Giorgis - May 20, 2017

Abolish the income tax and the IRS. Adopt The Fair Tax.
The so called “progressive” income tax is incredibly regressive for most tax payers. The Fair Tax is the same rate for all while being progressive by structure.

G. Allan Barnes - May 20, 2017

I’m in favor of tax code simplification. But it ends up being a bait & switch scam. Example: Utah tried eliminating tax on food and everything else in the store skyrocketed. California passed no tax on food and invented CRV scam tax (among others) on bottled drinks etc. to recover tax lost on food sales. The moral of the story is, what one hand giveth, the other hand takes away. You see, politicians love spending other people’s money. So with pork seekers, funding for “bridges to nowhere”, $400 hammers, $600 toilet seats, etc, nothing will really change, for the song remains the same.

Marilyn McDermott - May 20, 2017

Flat tax. Abolish the IRS. Although I don’t believe this will be done. The economic consequences for the IRS abolishment alone will hinder this. And then there are the CPA firms that would lose the revenue for tax filings. What would all the bean heads do? Flat tax is a nice thought but it will never happen.

Dave Corsi - May 20, 2017

A tax on consumption instead of income is the way to go. It is a more stable source of revenue and puts “the people” in the driver’s seat, not the politicians and lobbyists.

Randy LaBounty - May 20, 2017

Ending the burden of the ‘middle class’ taxpayer and their children, taking the biggest relative hits in the current tax code to pay for the government’s waste, fraud, and abusive spending addiction – w/o addressing the dangerous & burgeoning national debt – EVER!

Mac H - May 20, 2017

I’m afraid our Congress is hopelessly corrupted by special interest. They are unlikely to do a good job with tax reform and anything they do pass will begin to be trashed with new new loop holes before the ink is dry. They are an ignoble, self serving lot. My pardons to the very few honorable among them.

Timothy Blaney - May 20, 2017

Lowering the corporate tax rate and removing some over-regulation should allow American companies to produce their products and services right here in the U.S.
Investing in America and creating more and new jobs for a healthy economy.

ken struttmann - May 20, 2017

Immediately, allow corporations to repatriate foreign earnings at a reduced rate ASAP. That would create billions in our Treasury. Put that money to work in infrastructure. Simplify the returns and reduce the rates

Jacqueline Little - May 20, 2017

Flat tax.

Paul Stone - May 20, 2017

Business taxes.

John Walker - May 20, 2017

Health insurance premiums should be deductible for everyone separately from other health costs and not subject to a percentage of income. It should be a deduction in addition to other itemized deductions and the standard deduction. To make it fair, it might be good to phase this out for high earners – say over $200000 for a couple and $125000 single.

Sherry Hewitt - May 20, 2017

Simplification!

Gerald G Street - May 20, 2017

We need a Flat Tax or the Fair Tax. Maybe a mortgage deduction and a medical expense deduction, but otherwise no exemptions, no deductions. Business should have no deductions or exemptions, just pay a flat percentage of gross receipts.

Gerald G Street - May 20, 2017

Get rid of the IRS. Get rid of the tax code. Any system of taxation that requires educated people to have to hire tax accountants to file is way too burdensome.

Margaret Daniels - May 20, 2017

The elderly need tax relief. If we have saved any money we can’t withdraw any without paying a chunk to the government. It causes us to have to pay taxes on our social security, and that is not fair. Also, we cannot file as head of household if we are living alone. If we aren’t head of household, who is??? No one else is paying all the bills. We have the same rent or house payments, as well as up-keep and repairs of older houses and appliances etc. Also, there are no deductions, because most of us are eating better so we are healthier and that food is more expensive. Also, anything we have to hire done, such as yard work, heavy housework, cutting, trimming shrubbery, painting, any upkeep, is extremely expensive. I am 85 years old and trying to stay independent, even have a teacher’s (small) retirement, plus social security, and I can barely exist on that. Am unable to work on a job, if I did I would pay out more than I was able to make.
Taxes on a house I own are costly as well. We need help!

Wayne Hart - May 20, 2017

Reduce national debt, long term objective #1.

John Porter - May 20, 2017

The myth of corporate income tax. Corporations, having a fundamental necessity to generate a profit; simply pass along the cost of paying taxes to the end user or consumer of their product or service. So the tax becomes in the end another tax on the public; the buyers of the corporations products. It is simply another burden on the U.S. taxpayer and general public, disguised as a “corporate income tax”. It is an easy sell by those who paint corporations as greedy and evil. The best solution to this of all the tax reform proposals I have seen is “THE FAIR TAX” This proposal would do so much good for the economy making our products more competitive and alleviating the burden on U.S. taxpayer to spend so much time and money just to figure out how much taxes they owe the government. It would not really eliminate the need for the IRS as some propose; but would re-direct their efforts away from monitoring income tax forms to monitoring those businesses that collect the national sales tax for the government; i.e. retailers and other sellers of new products and services.

Bert Krages - May 20, 2017

Eliminate the death tax. Assets in ones estate should be exempt from taxation and personal wealth should pass to family members so family owned business can continue to exist.

Joe Sussen - May 20, 2017

Add my name to the list of people calling for the FairTax. It’s simple, captures money from those who would not be paying under any other tax plan and it allows you to keep 100% of what you earn.

Rachel Ebert - May 20, 2017

Eliminate the IRS, flat tax and simplify the tax return. Lower corporate taxes

Ernest C Wilson - May 20, 2017

I think Corporate tax reform is critical and by that I mean lower rates and elimination of taxing world-wide income I would leave individual tax changes for later after we see some GDP growth. After all individuals appear to need no stimulus their spending is quite strong. It is also questionable if current deficit levels will permit it.

John - May 20, 2017

Do NOT cut taxes on wealthy. Cut taxes on middle class; will reinstate some credibility to the system. Simplify paperwork and record keeping. No tax on Social Security benefits. Curtail or eliminate lobbying.

Jim Boatman - May 20, 2017

Lower the corporate tax rate to encourage job growth in the US. Simplify the individual tax code.

Cam Barnds - May 20, 2017

Reduce the Taxes on Senio (69 an olderr) investments.
Inaddition to paying taxes on IRA’s we withdraw we pay taxes on other investments and Yet we have no way of earning additional sums late in life- Yet all the items we must continue to buy- Grocery, Medications, Utilities, Property Taxes, and Sales Taxes on most Items of 7-10 percent- Seniors are not receiving colas for social security– Kansas Does not allow us to take Medical Dedctions on state Income taxed]s We saved to live comfortably and it is not happening to many- I am supporting a Wife with specail needs and money comes from IRA which we paid taxes on all social Secuirty funds and now we pay them on our income above a certain IRS set amount?? The whole system is convuluted because there are no Money managers in washington- Govnmt employess have a better ride threw late in life than those of us who tried to Work to Pay our way.
! Happy to sit down with those who want to say otherwise. and Let them show me.
CCB 66208 KS

Henry C. Holder - May 20, 2017

Tax reform must include everyone.

Bernard M. Geiger - May 21, 2017

I agree with Gary Sullivan’s proposal:
Gary Sullivan – May 19, 2017

1) Simplify the tax code
2) Everyone needs to pay some tax
3) Collapse the six tax brackets
4) Repeal the alternative minimum tax

Jeff Traylor - May 21, 2017

It is my belief that the corporate tax rate is the most important item on the agenda. lowering this will release a flood of reinvestment for companies, both domestic and foreign. This will rapidly generate a rise in the economy and will also lower consumer costs. The fact of the matter is that companies DO NOT PAY TAXES. All of them pass on the costs of operations, including taxes to their final consumers. Income taxes get multiplied as they pass done the chain to the consumer. think of the fact that at each step in the chain from beginning to end adds additional 35% to the cost of the product that you purchase.
This is a “hidden tax” since the consumer does not see this in the price tag. Politicians live by covering up such taxes and hiding them from the voters. See Mr. Shaw’s comment

Hank Raehn - May 21, 2017

I have been for years a supporter and advocate for the FairTax. If the President took the lead on promoting and encouraging Congress on this approach, it’s passage would completely transform the U.S.A. For those unfamiliar with this approach, it is well-documented in “The FairTax Book” by John Linder, a former Congressman from Georgia, and Neal Boortz. Tax reform as currently being discussed is just tinkering with a broken system.

Janice Wangard - May 21, 2017

The Fair Tax Plan penalizes after-tax savers. I favor a single layer FLAT TAX that exempts the first $30,000 for ALL. Provides for the poor as well as lost tax credits. Eliminates most of the IRS AND stops one “Social Engineering” tool of politicians.

Glennie R Lawson - May 21, 2017

Increase Tax Tremendously on Products of any type coming in from Foreign Countries which will force Companies and Manufurers that have moved Overseas To Come, Quickly, Back to America!
Abolish The Death Tax!
Lower Corporate Tax To 15%
Lower Income Tax!
Abolish the IRS.
Fire ALL CORRUPTED Bureaucrats That Has Anything To Do With Controlling Taxes or Controlling Prices of Products.
Reveal Who The Corrupted Democrats & Corrupted Republicans Are Publically So They Can Be Voted Out and Replaced!
I’m Confident The Heritage Foundation and President Trump Has, Can and Will Come Up With A Great Tax Plan! However, The Corrupted Politicians in Congress and The Corrupted Bureaucrats (Which ARE MOST of Them), IS THE PROBLEM!

S Weise - May 21, 2017

Simplify. Don’t pick winners and losers in business – let free market reign. Lower rates but remove deductions. People will have to choose what benefits them rather than following the tax goodies brick road. If done right, it will need to be phased in to allow time to change from old strategies.

Richard Crosby - May 21, 2017

Simplicity and action. Many good ideas are already stated in the 80+ comments. Stop talking about it and do something like the Fair Tax. Then get on with instituting government spending reforms to reduce the size and scope of government.

Daniel Ireland - May 21, 2017

Eliminate the IRS. It is loaded with corruption.
Go to fair tax or National Sales, tax..So everyone is invested in our Government.
Audit the Federal Reserve and the Defense Department.

Martha Webber - May 21, 2017

I’m in favor of reducing the tax rate on small businesses and corporations; however, no deductions . It’s imperative that as many loop holes as possible be removed.

Peter - May 21, 2017

No income tax
Sales tax only
Remove ALL Federal “programs” leaving behind those things for the Federal government to do as specified in the US Constitution
Let each State of our Union — it’s citizens — determine how to best maintain their cities and towns and natural resources

This all possible if we can get to a Convention of The Several States soon

Eugenia Ramsey - May 21, 2017

No loop holes, remove them. to have more money to spend on the persons living in poverty by providing low cost housing.

Gerry DeYoung - May 21, 2017

Most important: simplify the Tax Code.

Richard Elder - May 22, 2017

The most significant change is SIMPLIFICATION. This brings with it a massive savings from ‘cheating’ which the current complexities plays into. Take economic maneuvering out of the statute, a one rate for all is best. No need for special features aimed at giving ‘welfare’ assistance to needy etc.; Welfare needs is a separate issue.
( I am retired CPA with 50 yrs expert in tax and small business.

Joe Fanning - May 22, 2017

Jerry (May 19, 2017) is right on target.
Add the elimination of the Death Tax as a lifetime of work and savings should go to their heirs or designated institutions.

Jake Huff - May 22, 2017

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Everybody who makes a dollar over the established poverty level should pay a flat rate on the rest of their income over and above the poverty level. In other words, the 1st $35 K, if that’s the poverty level is either tax-free or at a very low rate, maybe 1 %. Over and above the 1st $35 K, every pays a flat 5 – 10 %, whatever works for the government’s debts. Those living below poverty level can pay a little (1%) to help out, but those of us who are making better incomes should all pay at the same rate with NO LOOPHOLES for the extremely rich. And YES! Eliminate the IRS. There is nor SERVICE there, only taking from the Middle Class while the poor get a pass and the rich hide their money and get some kind of a pass, too. The rest of us get raped year after year.

James Schmerbauch - May 22, 2017

Reconcile lower taxes with the need to reach a balanced budget an debt reduction. Encourage work rather than dependence on government handouts, haence, create conditions for job growth..

Dorthy P Johnson - May 23, 2017

I am and have been a supporter of the fair tax. The IRS is a very powerful beacracy that if eliminated would save on our Fed Budget and put many attorneys out of business. I am not antilegal assistance but the IRS has become an agency that has been used to shape indiv. actions to the gov’t wishes. The money is mine NOT the gov’ts! Citizens need to fund gov’t but not a cradle to grave agenda like we have now!

Author Steven Lawrence - May 24, 2017

Thank you, Dorthy. We are in definite need of serious tax reform. Thanks for your support.

Janet Scaruffi - May 23, 2017

FAIR TAX…pure and simple. Such a waste of time , effort, paper and ink….income tax. So many tax shelters that the little guys struggling do not know about or can’t use. F A I R you buy you pay. Simple and honest,simple and fair. Even though you did your best to keep records fill out forms or pay to have taxes done…YOU wait with dread that a mistake was made and Bang Toil & trouble.

William Schmidt - May 23, 2017

Reduce the tax burden on the American citizen by lowering our corp. and personal rates. Also, consider a flat tax, where we all pay 12.5% tax, with no deductions. Better yet set up a program called the fair tax, also known as the Federal sales tax.
Keep dreaming of a real just America.

Author Steven Lawrence - May 24, 2017

Thank you for sharing, William. The tax system definitely needs serious reform.

Donald Warmus - May 27, 2017

We need the corporate rate reduced to 15%, the capital gains tax eliminated, and the death taxes eliminated.
If this is done the economy, the GDP, and ultimately the tax revenues will go through the roof. The deficit will eventually be wiped out, and Trump and the otherwise idiotic Republican Congress will be re-elected.

John McLaughlin - June 4, 2017

1. Switch to The Fair Tax.
2. If not #1 simplify the current complex mess.
3. Eliminate or adjust the unfair Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)..

Vieva Johnson - September 4, 2017

The FairTax is “fair”. It taxes “everyone”, at the cash register, on consuming the earth’s resources. We ALL need to put something back. FairTax gives a “rebate” to all. FairTax is paid by illegals & any non residents coming into our country. IRS can be “phased out” & save us $$$. States collect tax & sends to U.S. Treasury. NO filing of any kind!

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