Sen. Flake has long fought the expansion of the federal government and the growing national debt. Despite his efforts, as of July, the total national debt stood at $16.7 trillion. Of that amount, more than $6 trillion has been added since the beginning of the Obama administration – the largest debt increase under any U.S. president.
This lack of fiscal discipline is a threat to our economic growth and our national security. In 2011, ratings agency Standard and Poor’s for the first time stripped the United States of its triple-A credit rating. Despite these warning signs, Congress has time and again passed the buck on difficult spending decisions, jumping from one self-imposed fiscal cliff to another.
Sen. Flake believes that a dramatically pared-down budget proposal is needed to get the federal government back on a fiscally sound path.
A responsible budget would be a positive first step toward identifying the federal government’s priorities and addressing the coming insolvency of Social Security and Medicare. The only way to reform entitlement programs for future generations is to have a budget that demonstrates an ability to live within our means. As one of the most fiscally conservative members of Congress, Sen. Flake will continue to fight out-of-control spending and government growth.
Like most Arizonans, Sen. Flake believes that our nation’s tax code is in desperate need of reform. According to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2012 report to Congress, “it takes U.S. taxpayers (both individuals and businesses) more than 6.1 billion hours to complete filings required by a tax code that contains almost 4 million words and that, on average, has more than one new provision added to it daily.”
Compliance with this increasingly complex code is a burden to individuals and businesses alike, and takes precious time away from productive activities and innovation. Additionally, the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world and maintains high individual rates that limit growth.
Sen. Flake supports a complete overhaul of the code, which includes reducing tax levels, collapsing the number of progressive tax brackets, and the elimination of “tax earmarks” and other unproductive tax rules and exclusions. The current code creates unnecessary disparity in tax treatment and includes distortions that affect economic decisions and inhibit economic growth. Eliminating these tax earmarks and special interest provisions would allow for a simpler, more efficient tax system that would both lower individual and business taxes and be a boon to the economy.
Sen. Flake is currently working on a comprehensive tax-reform plan. For more information about the goals and principles of his plan, click here.