Finally, antiquated tax system on the verge of reform

There are clearly bugs to work out, but the House approval last week of an overhaul of business and personal income taxes bring the nation close to tax reform for the first time in three decades.

Just the fact that it has been 30 years since the tax structure of this country was revised should be enough evidence that reform is overdue.

But the path to it has been littered with political banana peels geared to clouding over the intent of the legislation.

The intent is to put more money in the pockets of all Americans, many of whom have not seen that happen in a decade or so. The road to that increased revenue can come in the form of reduced rates, new deductions, revisions in child care credit standards or maybe even a lopping off of part of the Obamacare monstrosity.

The intent is to reduce the world’s largest corporate tax rate of 35 percent to a more globally competitive 20 percent.

Foes roll out the time-honored class warfare dialogue and characterize this as nothing more than a tax break for the wealthy paid for by lower-income people.

Left out of the talking points are key realities. The wealthiest among us pay most of the taxes in this country. And corporate tax rate reductions should result in business and industry expansions, creating more and better-paying jobs. A reduction in those rates also may bring a return of businesses that have fled our country and keep others from doing so.

Compromise on some features of the bill, such as erasing of the tax deductions for state and local income and sales taxes and limits on property tax deductions, is probably necessary. And reasonable people can disagree and perhaps refine some of the key numbers regarding each income bracket.

But all Americans should be cynical about any elected official who gets in the way of reforming and simplifying our tax system – which is antiquated and unfair to an embarrassing degree.

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