Statement on Senate Action on the Tax Reform Bill

June 24, 1986

This is a great day for America. The Senate has voted on tax reform, and the score is: taxpayers, 1; special interests, nothing. The Cinderella team came out on top. As it was said once of another underdog: ``You gotta believe!'' And believe we did.

When this administration first set out in 1984 to overhaul our nation's tax system, skeptics laughed. Well, it's nice to prove the skeptics wrong, but it's even nicer to see the American taxpayer win one for a change. And today the American taxpayer has won -- and won big. Talk about the thrill of victory! The Senate overwhelmingly passed the most sweeping piece of tax reform legislation in our nation's history. They labored long and hard on the bill, and it's been worth every second of time and every ounce of effort. They deserve the heartfelt thanks of our nation. So, let me say right here to every Senator who worked and voted to give America the kind of tax reform we deserve: Congratulations on a job superbly done!

This Senate bill is visionary in its scope and revolutionary in its implications. It is a dramatic break with an antiquated and unfair tax system that had become laced with special favors, tangled in needless complexities, and burdened by growth-killing tax rates. And it is a breakthrough into a new era of fairness and economic growth. With this bill, we stand on the threshold of a renaissance of business starts and revved-up job creation -- a new age of opportunity that will reach out to embrace all Americans. Building on the momentum begun in the House of Representatives, the Senate gathered an overwhelming consensus for tax reform with lower, flatter rates. Fifteen and 27 percent rates for individuals and a 33-percent top rate for corporations were the magic numbers that swept aside the opposition of the special interests and paved the way for the triumph of the one interest that really matters -- the public interest, America's interest.

Now the Senate and House conferees, under the leadership of their chairmen, Bob Packwood and Dan Rostenkowski, will meet to hammer out the differences between their two bills. I believe the rates in the Senate bill should be preserved; and it is my hope that the positive features of both bills will be reconciled in such a way as to preserve the important principles of fairness, simplicity, tax rate reductions, and growth. Then we can all take our vacations this summer looking forward to the low rates of the Senate bill and a fairer, simpler, profamily tax system for all.