Sen. Mike Lee is fighting for real tax reform

In a recent op-ed for Salt Lake City’s Deseret News, Senator Mike Lee points out what’s wrong with President Obama’s tax “reform” proposals:

In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama called for “lowering the taxes of working families and putting thousands of dollars back into their pockets every year.” As a proponent of tax fairness for families myself, I was encouraged to hear the president acknowledge the struggles of America’s working parents…

The problem with the president’s proposal is that he wants to cut taxes for only one particular type of family.

Specifically, the president proposed a new $500 tax credit only for families with two incomes, and he called for an increase in the child-care tax credit. That is, he wants to use the tax code to reward two-income couples who put their children in commercial day care, while leaving behind couples who choose to have mom or dad stay at home.

The president is right that it takes a great deal of time, money and energy to raise children. But why should politicians reward some family arrangements and penalize others?

Every family has to make its own tradeoffs when determining how to divide responsibilities inside and outside the home — government shouldn’t put its thumb on the scale one way or another. Rather, policy should strive to treat all such choices equally, giving every family — regardless of its structure, income and values — the flexibility to make the choices best for them.

That’s the idea behind my own tax reform proposal, which would eliminate preferential tax benefits for this or that parental choice and replace all of those with a new tax credit of $2,500 per child. Under my plan, families would be eligible for the credit regardless of whether they had one income or two, or whether they used commercial day care or chose to have mom or dad stay home with the kids.

What each family did with the money would be up to them, not the government, as it should be.

Sen. Lee adds, “Just as my plan wouldn’t give preferential treatment to one kind of parent over another, it also wouldn’t privilege parents over taxpayers without children. On the contrary, it’s designed to correct the unfair over-taxation of parents in the current system.”

Sen. Lee seeks a plan that not only wouldn’t treat people without children differently regarding taxes, but would also would not penalize parents in one income households or who choose to stay home with their children.

As a strong champion of conservative values and limited government, it’s not surprising that Mike Lee would favor a tax plan that favors all Americans–not just the chosen ones President Obama and the Left might believe deserve a tax break more than others.

It is also not the first time Sen. Lee has tackled economics and income equality from a conservative perspective. Republicans could benefit greatly from Mike Lee’s example:

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