American families and small businesses are taxed too much, and the system through which we collect these taxes is overly burdensome, too complex and fundamentally unfair in many respects.
Today’s tax code has not only grown ridiculously long but our yearly tax bill continues to get more expensive. According to the National Taxpayers Union, the total compliance cost for filing federal income tax forms added up to $227.1 billion, or nearly 1.5 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2011. To make matters worse, the enforcement of the nation’s tax system falls to the scandal-ridden Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an agency that was previously exposed for purposefully targeting conservative and religious groups seeking tax-exempt status. While House Republicans have led efforts to keep the IRS accountable ever since, Americans rightly remain uneasy about where their hardworking tax dollars are going.
Fortunately, in 2017 I joined with my colleagues to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, comprehensive tax reform that will simplify the tax code, repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, lower tax rates, and make American businesses competitive on the global stage. The final bill, which President Trump signed into law, doubles the standard deduction, increases the child tax credit, lowers corporate tax rates to increase the competitiveness of American businesses and grow the economy, and preserves important deductions like the student loan interest deduction and the medical expense deduct. Without question, fundamental and comprehensive tax reform was needed, and that is why I was proud to join my colleagues in making this goal a reality.
More on Taxes
April 16, 2018 Weekly Columns
This week, millions of Americans will file their taxes under an antiquated system for the last time. What was once an onerous task will become a more simple, easier process in the years to come. Filing taxes for the past 32 years was done under a complicated, invasive tax code. The burdensome process grew and evolved under the changes of society, and we are left today with a system that allowed for many loopholes and unfair tax brackets. Now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is law, millions of Americans and thousands of businesses will truly begin to thrive financially.
March 19, 2018 Weekly Columns
This past year, the United States has been experiencing a welcome surge in economic growth. The economic successes America is enjoying is surely due to the hard work and ingenuity of the American people, the implementation of the Republican tax reform and President Trump’s initiative to bring American companies back home. In general, free trade contributes to our national prosperity as well. However, having open markets is not an invitation for others to take advantage of us. When bad actors exist, we have every right to use our power to protect our interests.
February 6, 2018 Weekly Columns
After his first year in the White House, President Trump and his Administration have much of which to be proud. Their accomplishments have delivered actual results, and the country is continuing to reap the benefits of those changes. During his first State of the Union speech, the President reinforced those achievements – many of which will certainly be remembered as signature accomplishments of his Presidency. Looking forward, he outlined an optimistic future for our nation, with a strong legislative agenda for the next year.
January 29, 2018 Weekly Columns
If you are an American taxpayer, you most likely have bills that need to be paid on a schedule, like an electric bill or a car payment. For many taxpayers, paying those bills might just get a little easier this year. The new tax code has already promised bigger paychecks for individuals and families, but the wave of its effects since passage into law is being realized across the nation from the corporate level to the individual taxpayer.
January 8, 2018 Weekly Columns
When the American people elected President Trump and a Republican majority, they expected big things in 2017. This past year brought with it several positive changes because the Trump administration and Congress have been focused on the American people’s priorities. One of the biggest accomplishments was the first major tax reform in more than three decades. And that’s just in year one. The American economy has grown tremendously since the beginnings of President Trump’s first days in office, and the growth trend seems likely to continue into 2018.
January 1, 2018 Weekly Columns
When the year 2017 began, Congress opened the new Congressional Session with the Trump Administration to “Make America Great Again.” As the year comes to a close, Congress and the Trump Administration can be proud of what they have accomplished together. Under its first year with President Trump, Congress has accomplished many of its legislative goals, and the President has fulfilled a number of his campaign promises. Although there is much work to be done in the coming year, we can reflect on this year’s legislative accomplishments with a sense of success.
December 25, 2017 Weekly Columns
As promised, Congress and the Trump Administration delivered substantial tax reform to tens of millions of American taxpayers and hundreds of thousands of US corporations and businesses before Christmas. For years, many of my colleagues and I have called for tax reform - reform that would benefit American workers by letting them keep more of what they earn, bring American companies back to our shores, promote economic growth, and lower taxes on businesses.
December 19, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the passage of the Conference Report for H.R. 1, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Conference Report passed in the House by a vote of 227-203 with Cole’s support.
December 18, 2017 Weekly Columns
This week, Congress will start to wrap up its first legislative year and work to accomplish some of its major objectives. This year has been a productive one, but we are racing to the finish line to accomplish two of our most important priorities – funding the government and tax reform.
November 21, 2017 Weekly Columns
When President Ronald Reagan implemented a sweeping reform of our nation’s tax system in 1986, it helped millions of Americans from different walks of life save money and kicked off an era of strong economic growth. A little more than three decades later, our tax code has become severely outdated. For the last several weeks, the House has been working through the legislative process to craft a bill aimed at fixing the current tax code and creating one that will support the individual, families and American businesses – something that is long overdue.