The broader goal of the Republicans’ Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was to boost economic growth and provide a better standard of living for all Americans. The most critical word in that sentence is “all,” because the only tax code that is right for America is one that is fair for all Americans.
There is no doubt that last year’s tax reform was historic. Families are seeing larger and larger tax refunds, CEO confidence is at an all-time high, and the economy is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Any casual observer, including this author, would call this bill a success.
They would be correct. But that doesn’t mean we still can’t do more.
While Republicans still hold the House, the Senate, and the White House, our principal aim should be to ensure that our tax code continues to become fairer for all Americans. As the economy continues to grow under President Trump, leaders in the House and Senate should work together to eliminate unfair loopholes and deductions that were included in the 2017 bill.
That doesn’t mean we need to, or should, get rid of every single deduction. The vast majority agree that if we as a society place a value on a strong middle class, then some deductions would be reasonable. In the same way, domestic manufacturers should receive some tax incentives that give them an advantage over foreign corporations.
However, there are still a large number of unfair deductions in the current tax code. I don’t mean “unfair” in the way that the Left defines it in their class warfare arguments. “Unfair” is when crony capitalism becomes rooted in our tax code, and forces American taxpayers and companies to cover the cost of exclusionary deductions that only benefit a powerful few.
Opining about a problem rarely does much to solve it, so I’ll take the liberty to suggest one of the first that Congress could eliminate. Section 199A of the tax code provides an unfair tax advantage to cooperative farming monopolies that threaten the livelihoods of small farmers in middle America.
A small farmer currently pays tens of thousands of dollars more in taxes annually than the farming cooperatives that receive special tax breaks. The current structure creates a massive disincentive for private businesses, as it is significantly more costly to purchase the same product.
Even President Trump, as well as the original sponsors of the legislation, agree that the current tax bill unfairly picks winners and losers. Carve-outs such as this create incentives for corruption and crony deals that harm ordinary Americans.
Our Republican leaders in Washington would be wise to continue their pro-growth policies leading into the midterm elections. It’s critical that we keep the House and Senate, and truly improving the livelihoods of ordinary Americans is the best way to do it.
Peter Van Voorhis is a columnist, political strategist, and media commentator.