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PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts React to GOP’s 2017 Tax Reform Plan

September 27, 2017

"President Trump’s tax reform plan holds major promise for restoring booming economic growth to America" - Peter Ferrara

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Today, President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans unveiled their 2017 tax reform plan. Highlights of the bill include reducing the current seven tax brackets to three – 12 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent – with potential for an additional top rate, repealing the Death Tax and alternative minimum tax, reducing the maximum tax rate for small and family-owned businesses to 25 percent, reducing the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, and providing a one-time low tax on wealth generated overseas to bring profits back to the United States.

The full text of the document can be found here.

The following statements from budget and tax experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at or by phone at 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/445-7554.

“President Donald Trump and Republicans are showing what strong leadership looks like by proposing this forward-looking tax plan. These tax reforms would help Americans get back to work and assist in draining the Washington, DC swamp.”

Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D.
The Heartland Institute

Dr. Huelskamp represented Kansas’ 1st District in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017.

“President Trump’s tax reform plan holds major promise for restoring booming economic growth to America, primarily because it would sharply reduce marginal tax rates on businesses and workers, allow for the ‘expensing’ of capital investments, repeal the Death Tax, and reduce other forms multiple taxation of capital.”

Peter Ferrara
Senior Fellow for Entitlement and Budget Policy
The Heartland Institute

Mr. Ferrara is the author of Power to the People: The New Road to Freedom and Prosperity for the Poor, Seniors, and Those Most in Need of the World’s Best Health Care (2015), and The Obamacare Disaster (2010).

“If passed, the Republicans’ tax reform proposal would be one of the largest tax cuts in the past century and perhaps the most important economic policy change of the past three decades. By simplifying and flattening the tax code and lowering tax rates on businesses, millions of new, high-quality jobs would be created, benefiting everyone in society, including lower-wage earners, many of whom will be able to keep significantly more of their paychecks because of the plan’s proposed doubling of the standard deduction.”

Justin Haskins
Executive Editor, Research Fellow
The Heartland Institute

“The chance for federal tax reform rarely happens, and the time for taking that shot is now, not later. Congressmen and the White House got together and released a unified statement of principles, outlining what the federal tax code should look like.

“Flattening the number of tax brackets from seven to three would make the tax code fairer for everyone, and lowering the corporate income tax paid by business owners from 35 percent to 20 percent would make the United States a more attractive place to do business, which will eventually lead to more Americans finding quality jobs.

“Every day that Americans are forced to labor under the current outdated and unfair tax system is another day hard work and success are penalized. It’s time for Congress and President Donald Trump to go big and leave it all on the field, winning one for the American taxpayer.”

Jesse Hathaway
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Budget & Tax News

“The president’s proposal is the strongest politically plausible attempt to keep his promises to make the nation’s tax system fairer and more conducive to investment and work.

“Congress should set aside any temptations toward quibbling and special-interest carve-outs and get to work on finalizing and passing these tax reforms.

“Keeping the national corporate tax rate above President Donald Trump’s suggested 20 percent and watering down his other forms of tax relief for families and businesses could stall the current economic recovery and throw the nation into a recession. Businesses have been making decisions on the basis of expected tax relief, and to pull the rug out from under them could result in a cascading series of investment corrections that would kill jobs and productivity, dealing a sharp blow to an already wobbly economy.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Publications
The Heartland Institute

“The proposed tax reform plan, if passed, would certainly help make America great again. The only people served by the current tax code are tax lawyers, lobbyists, and those who can afford to navigate the 70,000-page maze known as the U.S. tax code. The framework laid out by President Donald Trump would make American businesses more competitive, give most Americans a tax cut, and help to simplify the tax code. 

“If Congress believes the middle class needs tax relief and that American businesses can no longer compete when shackled with the highest corporate tax in the industrialized world, then they should pass this tax reform plan. If they fail, then it is likely U.S. businesses, employees, and families will continue to suffer from a complicated, outdated, and burdensome tax code.”

John Nothdurft
Director of Government Relations
The Heartland Institute

“The Republicans’ tax plan would greatly benefit the U.S. economy and individual liberty. By reducing marginal tax rates for individuals, small business, and corporations, the tax reform plan would provide greater incentives to innovate and increase employment, leading to economic growth and sparking the current plow-horse economy.  Reducing tax rates and eliminating various deductions and credits reduces the ability of government planners to drive spending into the sectors they approve of, and most individuals would be able to do their taxes without the assistance of a paid professional, giving them a greater understanding of what their government is taking and saving them the cost of complying with a complicated code.”

Gary Wolfram
William Simon Professor of Economics
Hillsdale College
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute            

“If Congress screws this up, they deserve to get replaced next November. This tax reform plan is clear, fair, ensures there will be less red tape, and it will be great for the economy. The only groups I see being against it are tax lawyers, accountants, and anyone supporting the federal government’s ability to manipulate your personal financial well-being.”

Scott H. Richardson
Richardson and Ritchie Consulting

“Overall, this plan is standard supply-side fare and should give rise to sustained economic growth and wealth creation for all Americans. The one glaring omission seems to be any action on capital gains taxes. The capital gains tax represents a second layer of taxation on saving and penalizes investment. At the very least, these taxes should be lowered from their current rates of 15 percent and 20 percent (up to 28 percent on some collectibles), and any differential rates for arbitrarily determined long- and short-term investments should be eliminated. Such differentials are nothing more than the central planning of investment decisions.”

Roy Cordato
Senior Economist and Resident Scholar, The John Locke Foundation
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute

“The tax reform component of the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Commission was considered a no-brainer. That didn’t take Washington, DC into account, however. President Donald Trump is to be congratulated for presenting tax reform to Congress at this time, regardless of whether the proposal reflects political naiveté, is grounded in reasonable optimism, or is based on sinister motivation.”

Clifford Thies
Eldon R. Lindsey Chair of Free Enterprise
Professor of Economics and Finance
Shenandoah University

Article Tags
Taxes Economy
Tim Huelskamp served as president of The Heartland Institute from 2017 to 2019.
Peter Ferrara, J.D., is a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute and an advisor for entitlement reform and budget policy at the National Tax Limitation Foundation.
Justin Haskins is the director of the Socialism Research Center and editorial director at The Heartland Institute. @JustinTHaskins
Jesse Hathaway is a policy advisor for budget and tax issues at The Heartland Institute. @JesseinOH
S. T. Karnick is a senior fellow and director of publications for The Heartland Institute.
John Nothdurft joined the staff of The Heartland Institute in May 2008 and left in January of 2019.
Dr. Wolfram is the William E.
Scott H. Richardson is the former director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance and currently a partner at Richardson and Ritchie Consulting.
Roy Cordato is Vice President for Research and resident scholar at the John Locke Foundation. From 1993-2000 he served as the Lundy Professor of Business Philosophy at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC.
Clifford F. Thies is the Eldon R. Lindsay Professor of Economics and Finance at Shenandoah University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Boston College.

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