On Thursday afternoon, Speaker Ryan sat down with Maria Bartiromo for an extended interview on the momentum for tax cuts. Earlier in the day, House, Senate, and White House leaders released a joint statement on tax reform. Watch parts of their interview here, here, and here, and check out the highlights below.
“LOWER TAX RATES FOR EVERYBODY ACROSS THE BOARD”
“We believe we need to clear out loopholes and deductions, carve-outs, special interest giveaways, so that we can lower tax rates for everybody across the board; for businesses, for families. We also believe in the family side and this is something we’ve been pretty explicit about. Raise that standard deduction. Get away some of the carve-outs. But preserve things like charity and mortgages and retirement savings. But clean up that tax code so you dramatically simplify it. It helps you consolidate tax brackets. It helps people have a simplified system. And on the business side, as I mentioned, you’ve got to take away loopholes, so that you can lower tax rates and that is the work that our tax writing committees will now engage in doing.”
“We’ve long said that we need to make sure that we prioritize those things; retirement savings, charity, mortgages. But we also think by raising the standard exemption for families, we can dramatically simplify the code. Most people don’t even have to itemize their deductions; they can have a postcard-type tax form. So I think dramatic simplification, but also maintaining important priorities, like home ownership, charitable giving. But then on the business side, we know -- we’re the last country in the industrialized world to have this crazy worldwide tax system that basically says you can’t bring your money back home. You’ll get taxed if you do. We’ve got to get rid of that system. We have to have a territorial system, so that companies with cash parked overseas can bring that money back home. It’s two to three trillion dollars. We think that’s very, very important. We all agree on that and we think there’s a way forward on how to do that, short of a border adjustment tax. And on rates themselves, we’ve got to get our tax rates down in businesses, so that we’re in the hunts with respect to global competitiveness. Our corporate rate is 35 percent. The top past three tax rates, 44.6 percent and the average tax rate on businesses in the industrialized world, 22.5 percent. That is making us absolutely uncompetitive. We know we have to get those rates down.”
“WE ARE MOVING FORWARD”
“We’re in the business of lowering tax rates. We’re not in the business of raising tax rates. The point is, the president himself, with his economic advisors, put out a framework that we think really works. And then now on the business side, we spent the last three months looking at making sure that there’s a viable alternative to a cash flow border adjustment tax, that still allows us to become a territorial system. Get our tax rates down. Now that we are confident that we can have that system, that that is achievable, we are moving forward with the same template, in agreement, so that our tax writers can go get this done and we can pass this, this fall.”
More of their interview will air this Sunday at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday Morning Futures.