In 1986, the word “Internet” was seldom heard outside of government facilities, and most folks couldn’t ever assume it would be such an integral part of everyday life.
Our economy and our culture have evolved dramatically in the last 30 years, yet our tax code – a critical factor in shaping fundamental business decisions and incentives – has remained the same. Thirty years of tax policy stagnation has stifled our global competitiveness, hurting job creators and workers.
Our family has been farmers for four generations, and I can testify to how burdensome taxation has impacted our business. Small businesses like ours have struggled for too long under the weight of heavy tax burdens, and have seen their financial futures put at risk. It’s time for Congress to reform our tax code for the 21st century and promote economic growth that will help hardworking families.
In markets across the world, farming faces challenges competing on an uneven field, with the U.S. tax code slanting the odds against us. U.S. employers face the highest tax rates in the developed world, making it harder to compete in a fast-paced global marketplace and create American jobs. Our tax code discourages U.S. job creators from investing at home, trapping an estimated $2.6 trillion in potential investment overseas.
Other countries, realizing that complex and burdensome tax rules hurt their businesses and citizens, have modernized their tax codes, putting U.S. companies further behind in the global economy.
While businesses shoulder a heavy burden, it’s American workers who suffer the most under our outdated tax system. When U.S. companies can’t compete, jobs are shifted overseas, storefronts close and wages never increase, hurting families here in California and in every corner of the country.
The U.S. tax code has been a drag on our economy for too long. California’s working families deserve more and they are demanding transformative changes and real solutions.
This call to action is ringing out as Americans grow increasingly weary of a wholly inadequate status quo. A recent Fox News poll shows 73 percent of voters want to see tax reform passed this year. A tax code written before the dawn of the internet cannot serve the modern economy, and policies that stifle job creation won’t carry our country to new economic heights. Washington has a clear mandate to pass pro-growth tax reform that strengthens the economy for job creators and workers in a modern marketplace.
Rep. Jeff Denham has heard the call and is standing up for Californians by supporting tax modernization and real reforms. Speaking out for California’s middle class, Rep. Denham and other members of our state’s congressional delegation must work together to help achieve the significant reforms required to jumpstart our economy.
Californians deserve a simplified, fair, modern tax code and now is the time to act. I urge Congress and President Trump to seize this historic opportunity to pass pro-growth tax reform. By reducing rates, eliminating complex and unfair rules, and putting job creators and workers first, we can strengthen our economy and lay the foundation for a more prosperous future.
Jake Wenger is a fourth-generation walnut and almond farmer and represents the Division 4 on the Modesto Irrigation District board of directors.