Videos & Speeches

Fair Tax Act

Mr. President, we have had a lot of talk—certainly in the last year or so and certainly as this new session of Congress begins—on the importance of tax reform. Our country is at a point in time where we certainly are no longer competitive globally. The economy now is one that works against us because of our Tax Code. I think there is general consensus in the Senate that reforming the Tax Code is of significant importance, something that must be done.

I am often asked not only when I am back in Kansas but here in Washington, DC: Do you expect there to be broad-based tax reform? And we keep guessing about the likelihood of that happening.

I think it is typical of elected officials, politicians, to always talk about the need for comprehensive tax reform. We talk about lowering rates, making the tax system more fair, less bureaucratic, less paperwork. I certainly join in those sentiments and believe that the current circumstance we have in regard to our Tax Code is such that it limits the freedom of Americans--American business men and women, individuals, and their families. We make way too many decisions based upon the consequences of those decisions and how they are affected by the Tax Code.

So I am all on board on tax reform, but I wish to talk about what I believe is the best solution toward tax reform. And it is not tinkering with the current system; it is an overhaul of the current Tax Code.

I have joined my colleague from Georgia, Senator Perdue, in once again introducing the fair tax plan. I started a long time ago in Congress, knowing that we needed to make significant changes in our Tax Code, with the belief that most Americans ought to be able to file a tax return without the need of professional help, that we ought to be able to make decisions that are in the best interests of ourselves, our families, and our businesses without always going to the Tax Code to see what the consequences of those decisions were. I looked at a variety of proposals that were being considered at the time and continue to be considered today and ultimately reached the conclusion that the Fair Tax is the best option for significant reform. I wish to speak for just a minute about why I think that is the case.

I would highlight for my colleagues--and I have said this on the Senate floor before--I think the greatest responsibility we have as American citizens is to pass on to the next generation of Americans the freedoms and liberties guaranteed by our Constitution and the opportunity for every American to live the American dream. Mr. President, the Fair Tax repeals all Federal, corporate, and individual taxes, payroll taxes, capital gains taxes, and estate and gift taxes and replaces them with a revenue-neutral personal consumption tax. The Fair Tax allows Americans to keep the entirety of their income, putting individuals in charge of their own finances, not the government--or, more specifically, not the Internal Revenue Service.

All Americans should be able to trust the IRS, which exercises great authority over the lives of Americans in this country, but we know from past experiences that expectation is no longer founded. So getting rid of the Internal Revenue Service is a significant benefit that comes from the passage of the Fair Tax.

The Fair Tax is worthy of people's consideration. It ought to be more than just a talking point. It deserves a debate, a discussion, a vote, and consideration by the Senate.