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Beating the drum for tax reform

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cartoon courtesy of Cagle Cartoons

It was 239 years ago when American colonists took part in what is now known as the Boston Tea Party, which led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the beginning of our nation's democracy. Unfair taxation and an overbearing government inspired these patriots to embark on the ultimate challenge of establishing a representational government built upon the basic principles of freedom and liberty for all.

More than two centuries have passed since the Boston Tea Party, yet the struggle against big government and an unfair and overly complex tax code persists. Since President Obama took office, he has signed 22 tax increases into law. The largest tax increase being ObamaCare, which created $813 billion in new taxes - many of which will fall on the middle class.

To make matters worse, many of the tax policies that have provided relief to our struggling economy are set to expire at the end of this year. This translates into an average tax increase of $2,200 for every American family. As unemployment hovers at historic levels, this is the worst possible time to increase the tax burden on hard working Americans.

Businesses are also feeling the pinch of higher taxes. An April study by Small Business Economic Trends revealed that 20 percent of small-business owners cite high taxes as the single biggest obstacle to growing their businesses and hiring employees.

At 39 percent, the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. In a global market, American businesses cannot compete when they are taxed at a rate that is 10 percent higher than the world average. Washingtonians know better than anyone else about competing in a global marketplace, as one in three jobs in our state relies on trade.

Instead of pushing new taxes on overburdened Americans, I support efforts to simplify the federal tax code, close loopholes, lower taxes on families, farmers and small businesses, cut spending, and implement fair trade policies to get our economy moving again.

I completely reject the notion that growing government and raising taxes will bring us out of this recession. We need a more efficient, effective government that spends less. What President Reagan once said is as true today as it was then: "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

Our nation needs real jobs, real solutions and real results. Americans know how to spend their money better than the federal government does, and I will continue to press for common sense spending cuts and for tax relief that creates jobs and grows the economy.

The looming threat of tax increases is stalling economic growth and harming our fragile economy. With the recent celebration of the founding of our great country, I am encouraged that the U.S. House of Representatives plans to take up tax reform measures soon to bring certainty to American families and job creators and protect hard working taxpayers from looming increases.

- U.S. Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Pasco) represents Central

Washington's Fourth Congressional District.

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