by State Senator Dr. Mark Green
Last November, Americans all across the country went to the polls to cast their ballots for the most unconventional of choices – someone who’s never held office before – to be President of the United States. Rejecting the political elites of both parties, Americans spoke loudly for change – change from a Washington that has become a swamp, filled with career politicians, unaccountable bureaucrats, and some 10,000 lobbyists.
Politicians have made promises to reform our tax code for the last thirty years, yet the last major changes to the tax code took place in 1986, when Ronald Reagan was president. It’s no surprise since the status quo preserves the power of the elites. The more onerous the tax code, the more clients are dependent on their high-powered lobbyists. Bureaucrats have more power than ever before with their unchecked rule-making authority, and career politicians are happy because the campaign contributions keep coming from special interests seeking carve-outs.
It’s fitting that today we are on the eve of a major tax reform victory thanks to another outsider beholden to no one in the swamp, President Donald Trump.
Every bill has good and bad components. The Senate’s tax reform bill is no different, however, the good far outweighs the bad. If passed, we will see economic growth across our state and country.
By lowering the marginal tax rate for individuals and doubling the standard deduction, Tennesseans will get to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. Cutting the corporate rate and other reforms will make it easier to open and operate small businesses, which make up the backbone of our economy. The legislation also ends the unconstitutional Obamacare individual mandate tax penalty and will provide relief to many across the state.
While not part of the original legislation, a successful amendment offered by Texas Senator Ted Cruz is worthy of our support and should be included in the final bill. The Cruz amendment would expand 529 plans to include K-12 tuition and expenses for public, private, and religious schools as well as homeschool students. A major win for families, this will allow Tennessee parents to have more choice on how and where to send their children to school.
In less than a year, President Trump has shaken up the Washington ruling class in favor of millions of everyday Americans. We are on the cusp of another major victory for our country – it’s time to get tax reform passed.
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A candidate for Congress, Dr. Mark Green is an Army veteran, physician, businessman, and Tennessee State Senator.