Statement Urging the House of Representatives To Support Tax Reform Legislation

December 4, 1985

The House of Representatives is nearing a crucial decision in our historic effort to streamline the Nation's tax code for greater growth, simplicity, and fairness. Both the Ways and Means Committee and the Ways and Means Republicans have developed proposals that, like our own, represent substantial progress from current law. Each would simplify the tax bracket structure, lower individual and corporate rates, remove families living at or near poverty level from the tax rolls entirely, and substantially increase the personal exemption and standard deduction.

We do not want to risk damaging, perhaps irreparably, an entire year's effort to achieve real tax reform, so I strongly believe the legislative process must be allowed to go forward. But let me add this caveat: This can only be considered a good start, not an end product. More can and must be done to broaden the tax base, reduce tax rates further, and lower the cost of capital, so we can strengthen economic growth and personal opportunity for every American. Any legislation that ends up retarding economic growth and thereby diminishing the number of jobs upon which American families depend is not what we mean by tax reform. True tax reform is imperative. The first step must begin with a positive vote in the House of Representatives. I urge Members of the House to act affirmatively on this important matter.