WASHINGTON – Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas made his pitch on tax reform Wednesday, as Republicans gear up for their next major policy goal after the failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act earlier this year.
Cruz delivered a speech at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center in Washington, where he called for several major themes in the coming tax reform debate, including reductions to individual and corporate rates, encouraging repatriation, allowing immediate expensing, and more.
One point Cruz emphasized was a plan most Republican lawmakers have championed in the push for the first major tax policy overhaul in three decades – simplifying the way an individual files their annual taxes.
Cruz noted the desire to limit tax filing so that it can be simple enough to fit on a document the size of a postcard. The small size of the document, Cruz said, “means Congress can’t come and add a whole bunch of other provisions.”
“The simple – now look, I wouldn’t put it past them to say let’s print it in four point font, so you need a magnifying glass,” he added. “But the beauty of the postcard is simply the limitations of this is it, no more.”
One of the areas Cruz touched on where congressional Republicans are somewhat divided with the White House was on the issue of tax rates for corporations and business.
Trump administration officials are said to be pushing for a 15% corporate rate, while Congress prefers something a little higher in the realm of 20-25%. Both proposals are significantly lower than the US’ current rate of 35%.
Cruz sided on the lower end of the spectrum, saying, “To be competitive on the global stage, you are looking at 15%, 20% which is much more in line with where the other countries are than our current punitive 35%.”
Cruz also noted that he would like to see the tax reform effort coupled with a repeal of the 2010 law known as Dodd-Frank, which he said has “wreaked havoc” on small banks and credit unions.
“Dodd-Frank is great if you’re a giant financial institution,” he said. “It is lousy if you’re a local community bank, if you’re a credit union. And the four years after Dodd-Frank, community banks lost market share at a rate double what they were losing before then – 12% versus 6%.”
However, the tax reform effort will likely face several hurdles on Capitol Hill. And roping in a Dodd-Frank repeal could scare off moderate Democrats the president has currently been courting.