By U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Speaking with a group in Louisville, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed the single most important action we can take to put our economy back on the right track: comprehensive tax reform. I welcomed Secretary Mnuchin to our state to hear the questions and concerns that Kentuckians have about the process and to talk about what we can do to help middle class families get ahead.
The time has come to fix the federal tax code so our economy can grow and help Kentuckians achieve their goals. During the eight years of the Obama Administration, our economy failed to live up to its full potential. Meager growth rates paired with lagging wages resulted in declining opportunities for the middle class. Kentucky families have felt the pain for far too long.
Then in November, Americans chose to go in a different direction. They elected a pro-growth President who would sign legislation from a pro-growth Congress.
The current tax code is overly complex with rates that are too high, making it harder for individuals and small businesses to succeed. For years, American families have endured the burdens of our outdated tax code, which have made American companies increasingly uncompetitive in an increasingly global economy. The United States has the highest corporate tax rate among all industrialized economies. As a result, investment and jobs have moved offshore, leaving Kentucky workers with fewer opportunities. It’s hard enough to compete in this international economy without our country’s current outdated tax code further weighing down Kentucky workers and small businesses.
In the months ahead, I will continue working with the President, his team, and my colleagues in Congress to put our tax reform principles into practice. In July, we outlined our shared principles for unleashing the American economy through comprehensive tax reform. Together, we are in agreement that any reform needs to keep American families at the heart of our plan. We believe there is an opportunity to establish a level playing field for Kentucky businesses to compete in the global economy, supporting American jobs.
For families, we are committed to making taxes lower, simpler, and fairer. For small businesses, we want to provide the conditions they need to form, invest, grow, and hire. For all Kentucky businesses and their employees, we want to ensure they have the best chance to compete with foreign companies — and succeed. And we want a tax system that encourages American companies to bring jobs home again. These are some of the key goals of tax reform. They are goals we should all share, regardless of political party.
It’s been three decades since Congress passed comprehensive tax reform. This is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally rethink our tax code and make it more efficient. Many Democrats understand the problems with our existing tax code, and my hope is that they can put partisanship aside to join us in this historic effort to provide relief and opportunity to the people we represent.
Committees in Congress have spent years focused on this subject, seeking feedback from constituents, small businesses, and others who have been affected by our broken tax code. We anticipate this legislation moving through the traditional open committee process, followed by consideration in both the House and the Senate.
The American people deserve a tax system that works for them instead of against them. They deserve a less complicated tax code, one with lower rates that encourages companies to hire more workers and invest here at home. Americans deserve true comprehensive tax reform that cuts taxes for small businesses and families.
I am grateful that Secretary Mnuchin came to Kentucky to discuss this important topic. I will continue to keep the priorities of Kentucky’s families at the center of the national discussion. Delivering comprehensive tax reform won’t be an easy process, but I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to help middle class families and put the economy on the right track.