This year, Tax Day falls a few days later because of Emancipation Day, but April 18th is still a day many Americans, myself included, dread. In their most recent annual report to Congress, the Taxpayer Advocate found that, in fiscal year 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collected over $2.8 trillion dollars net of refunds – equal to over 90 percent of federal receipts. Additionally, the Taxpayer Advocate found that 47 percent of federal revenue comes from individual income taxes. To me, these statistics highlight two important issues: the need for spending reductions and the necessity of comprehensive tax reform.
In my end-of-year column I discussed some of the steps the House took to permanently extend many tax credits and deductions hardworking families rely on. While this brought some much-needed certainty to our bloated and complicated tax code, more work needs to be done. I am pleased Speaker Ryan has established Republican task forces to develop consensus on 6 priority issues, including tax reform. These task forces are currently in the process of seeking input from all members to ensure their ideas are heard and considered when drafting the agendas of each panel. I have shared my strong support for comprehensive tax reform that makes our tax code fairer and simpler, and I look forward to reviewing the final products of each task force.
In February, I laid out how spending grew out of control and put forward ideas I believe we could utilize to get our fiscal house back in order. As I’ve said time and time again, the federal government doesn’t have a revenue problem – the federal government has a spending problem. If the IRS is collecting $2.8 trillion each year after refunds, there’s no reason our debt and deficit should continue to skyrocket. On March 16th, the House Budget Committee, chaired by my friend and colleague Dr. Tom Price, took an important step toward addressing spending by approving a budget for fiscal year 2017. While I am closely reviewing the specifics of this budget proposal, I am glad to see this budget would balance the budget within ten years without raising taxes. The committee’s budget is also projected to reduce the deficit by $7 trillion over ten years and includes savings higher than any previous budget proposal put forward by the House Budget Committee.
In addition to this budget proposal, the Republican Study Committee – a caucus that champions conservative policy proposals in the House – drafts their own budget each year. This proposal was released on March 17, 2016, and I’m in the process of reviewing the specifics of this document as well. This particular budget proposal would reduce spending by $8.6 trillion over the next decade and balance the budget in eight years.
Comprehensive tax reform and curbing Washington’s spending addiction continue to be high priorities for me in Congress, and I’m open to many different ideas and proposals to get things done. Tax Day serves as an important reminder that American families are on the hook for Washington’s reckless and out-of-control spending, and I’m glad to work with my colleagues in the House to develop commonsense proposals to reform our tax code and stop wasteful spending.
Feel free to contact my office if I can be of assistance. My contact information can be found on my website, www.roe.house.gov.