Tax Code Questions: Conform and Reform

Tax Code Questions: Conform and Reform
For the first time in over 30-years, the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has, made  significant changes to the federal tax code.The changes make the national tax code, more friendly to new investment activity and job creators, largely by making the tax code less distortionary with respect to free-market decisions made by thinking business owners.
According to the ASU Center for the Study or Economic Liberty, “For Arizona to take full advantage of those provisions, however, policymakers will be required to “conform” the state tax code to the federal changes. State policymakers should be encouraged to conform to the new federal law because the TCJA adheres to some key principles of sound tax policy. This policy brief will outline the reasons why the state should conform to it.”
I am pleased to share the work product of Stephen Slivinski, Senior Research Fellow, and Paul Bernert Policy Analyst on the topic that so many constituents have asked for, which is tax policy analysis and reform. Meaningful reform is not an easy task, and I am glad to see that our tax-dollars have been spent on guidance founded on empirical research, not mear conjecture and political ideology.
The difference between what I will call, “substantive leadership” and “conceptual leadership” is governance. The call for “real leadership” is a straw-man case for emotional pleadings that have no foundation in factual decision making; in short the call is a metaphor for something that is already underway, faux outrage without foundation. Making tough judgement calls on how to allocate the limited resources that taxpayers have authorized calls into question the judgement of taxpayers themselves. That is why the ASU “Conform and Reform” work product is so important.
Most notable for taxpayers is the statement in the report that, “Tax rates could be lowered across the board for all tax brackets without doing anything to standard deductions or personal allowances.The percentage decline that can be approved will have to be based on how much of the revenue increase from conforming state policymakers want to devote to rate cutting. However, across-the-board rate cuts could also be enacted in conjunction with increases in the current standard deduction, with some amount of the increased revenue being devoted to each.”
When government takes less of what a person earns, that is a real raise in disposable income. For so long we have been conditioned to believe that so-called “cost of living” wage increases are raises, that we actually believe staying even is getting ahead. It is time for real tax reform to happen, and now is that time.
This is what substantive leadership looks like, protecting the wages of those who earn them from those who want to take them.
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