Statement on Congressional Action Concerning Tax Reform

August 16, 1986

In my 1984 State of the Union Address I called for tax reform. Now, in August of 1986, that call has been answered with today's historic achievement. Although we have not seen all the details of the final agreement adopted by the conferees, I believe that this agreement satisfies my requirements for meaningful tax reform. The agreement significantly reduces tax rates and simplifies the tax code for all Americans, while at the same time eliminating unnecessary loopholes. It removes some 6\1/2\ million more Americans from the Federal income tax rolls and means that 80 percent of all Americans will be taxed at a rate of 15 percent or less.

I commend the tireless efforts and dedication of Bob Packwood and Dan Rostenkowski and their colleagues on the conference committee. During the past 2\1/2\ years tax reform was said to be impossible and declared dead many times. Today's agreement is a triumph for the American people and the American system, showing that we can rise to great challenges on a bipartisan basis against special interests and for the benefit of the American people. While some may not agree with all of the provisions of this agreement, I believe it is in the overall economic interest of the country. In short, it's good for the economy and good for the taxpayer.