Now is the time for commonsense tax reform

TaxesThe world has changed dramatically in the last 30 years. The Internet allows anyone in the world to connect with the click of a button; we’ve achieved great medical advances, economic growth in California, and locally, the population of Stanislaus County has almost doubled.

But one thing that has stayed the same through all of it is the U.S. tax code. Passed in 1986, the behemoth 75,000 page and 2.4 million-words document remains much the same. While there have been some patchwork fixes over the years, the core problems remain.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With Republicans controlling both Congress and the White House, the political and legislative environment is ripe for reform. House Republicans have released the most prominent tax reform plan to date. Supported by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, the “Better Way” tax reform plan is a good start toward modernizing the tax code.

After hearing promise after promise on the campaign trail, it is refreshing to see political leaders in Washington step up to the plate and present a plan that would reform the individual tax code, broaden the tax base and simplify the entire code. If implemented, the House Republicans’ plan would increase the size of the economy, boost wages, and result in more full-time jobs.

As Vice Chair of the Californian Republican Party and Supervisor in Stanislaus County, I constantly hear remarks from Californians about the outdated, overly complex tax code. And I feel the same frustrations myself. Whether it’s personal stories or complaints about the high combined state and federal tax rate, the message is the same – the current tax code is outdated and isn’t working for America. In order to modernize it, we need to make the system fair, simple and efficient.

Californians want a new tax code that is pro-growth and that allows them to provide for themselves and their families. There are thousands of small businesses in California who spend countless hours and valuable resources to comply with the tax code when they would rather spend that time and money growing their business and creating more jobs. This important demographic of our economy is being left behind while big business exploits and benefits from our tax system’s loopholes.

Californians want a system that is fair and simple. They don’t just want fewer headaches come April 15th; they want to be able to see and understand where their hard-earned money is going and that everyone- individuals and businesses- are paying their reasonable and fair amount.

Despite other issues dominating the news in Washington, now is the time for our federal elected officials to pass commonsense tax reform. Promises have been made, and we need those promises to be kept. Tax reform must be done so the economy can grow and more Californians can get back to work.

Kristin Olsen sits on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors and is a former member of the California Assembly.


  1. I cringe every time I hear somebody say we should pass “Common Sense” laws on anything’

  2. The convention of states is the only way back.

    • retiredxlr8r says

      I guess that I can understand your frustration, but we really don’t need a “new” constitution. We need to start following and abiding by the original Constitution. We have wandered too far from its original intent, which is by the way “timeless” if you follow it. Changes can be made through “Amendments”, of which we have already, over the years, accomplished.

  3. Get rid of baldy- bedpan-hag jackson -blimp woman in San diego- pelousy bitch and feinbergerstein and the rest of the turd gang

  4. Kristin when I read articles like this, written by a Republican, it makes me quit wondering about what in hell happened to the Republican Party in California.

  5. Victoria Smith says

    Amen…get moving on this and the myriad other things that need to be addressed.

  6. Californian says

    I agree. Something has to be done. I’m tired of being a small business owner and paying up to wazoo.

  7. TheRandyGuy says

    The tax code was initially designed to raise revenue for government operations. Over the years, it’s become the functional equivalent of an adaptive computer program to reward/punish according to what ever is in favor (or out) at any particular time. It’s trying to do things it was never intended to do. “Common sense” from government? Please.

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