- The Washington Times - Friday, July 15, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I’ve been in Congress for a little more than six months now, and not a single day has gone by without a call for more jobs, more innovation and faster economic recovery. We wonder why foreign investment continues to stay overseas and our own American companies are flocking to foreign shores as fast as they can. All the while, our corporate tax rate remains the highest in the industrialized world, our federal government continues to punish productivity, and roughly $431 billion will be wasted this year trying to comply with our baffling tax code. We continue to ask the questions, but the answer is simple: The United States is no longer the best place in the world to do business.

The Department of Labor reported recently that for the fourth month in a row, the unemployment rate has risen. That rate stands at 9.2 percent, and in June, employers hired the fewest number of workers in nine months. Rampant federal spending and borrowing has increased our national debt by more than $3 trillion since President Obama took office, and as a result, foreign and domestic investors are financing food stamps, unemployment benefits and debt rather than private-sector innovation and jobs. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that for the first time in decades, America is on net losing, not attracting, growth capital. While these numbers are troubling, they cast a sanitized, clinical perspective on the pain and uncertainty that many American families are feeling as the result of a sad reality: Job creators are simply taking their ball and going home.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that we absolutely can change that today - all it takes is the national will. In the 112th Congress, I have introduced and continue to promote H.R. 25 - a bill you may know as the FairTax. It’s impossible for me not to get excited about what the FairTax would mean for job creation in this country. By eliminating the government-created hurdles to job growth and productivity that exist today in the tax code, the FairTax would free businesses to make choices that would provide the best possible economic outcome rather than continue to waste precious time and resources chasing tax incentives or making decisions based on tax implications. What a novel idea. Personal and corporate federal income taxes abolished. The gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare and self-employment taxes all would be gone. American-manufactured or -grown goods and services are currently laden with hidden federal taxes. Once we enact the FairTax, all of those embedded taxes go away and businesses instantly become more competitive in the global economy. We would transform this nation into a magnet for capital. In short, we would unshackle the American entrepreneur overnight.

It should come as no surprise to you that a lot of folks in Washington don’t want to talk about the FairTax. Mr. Obama and our leaders in Washington continue to stress that “tax reform” is essential to solving our debt crisis, yet most of those “tax reform” conversations consider our current tax code as the basis for reform, not the root of the problem. To be sure, the FairTax is a big idea. However, I believe America was built on big ideas and I was elected to Congress to fight for those big ideas, not nibble around the edges of a broken and destructive system. The FairTax would be a real stimulus for economic growth, and it wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime.

By continuing to punish wealth, growth and productivity, we are handicapping ourselves in the global marketplace. Together, we can unleash the potential of our nation’s job creators. We can pull our destructive tax code out by its roots and allow our businesses large and small to do what they do best - create wealth, jobs and opportunity. We can and will with the FairTax once again make America the best place in the world to do business.

Rep. Rob Woodall is a freshman Republican from Georgia and serves on the House Budget Committee.

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