Americans for Prosperity hosted a tax reform panel for activists in Arlington, Virginia last week to discuss how the power of grassroots can propel Congress to unrig the U.S. economy.
Panelists emphasized the last time Congress passed comprehensive tax reform was during the Reagan administration over 30 years ago.
AFP President Tim Phillips elaborated, explaining how our rigged economy is only empowering the rich and well-connected while hurting every day, middle-class Americans:
The reason tax reform is so rare…once in a generation…is because it touches every single special interest group. It touches the most powerful, the wealthiest and the best connected. So, the reason we call this “unrigging the economy” is because we’re very specifically targeting the fact that we have a two-tiered society that has developed in our nation.
I mean, Bernie Sanders—and this is going to be the only time you’re going to hear this—he’s right about something; we are becoming a two-tiered society. Nowhere is that more pronounced than with the tax code. As free market conservatives, if we’re serious about opening up the economy and opening up the American dream again, we need a tax code that’s more fair. That means, lowering rates as low as possible for as many people as possible and getting rid of a lot of these carve-outs.
The speakers also reflected on how well North Carolina has implemented principled tax reform over the past few years. Their economy has been booming ever since.
“They [North Carolina] made their taxes flatter; they made them simpler; they made them lower,” AFP’s Deputy Policy Director Melissa Fausz explained. “In a little less than a 3-year period, their economy grew over 13.4 percent.”
As a resident of Virginia, Phillips suggested Virginia follow a similar model for reform as North Carolina. He mentioned the Commonwealth’s economic growth is among some of the slowest in the country.
“It’s not the Virginia way to be at the bottom end of economic growth,” Phillips said.
Members of AFP’s panel were optimistic about the chance for reform, similar to that seen in North Carolina, with the federal tax code. They also insisted grassroots support and activism was necessary for this policy change to be achieved.
Watch the full interview below:
To read more about AFP’s five principles for unrigging the American economy, click here.