Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Opinion / Commentary / Disdain for tax system reason enough to cheer on reformers

Disdain for tax system reason enough to cheer on reformers


When it comes to modernizing and simplifying our nation’s archaic tax codes and reducing tax burdens on citizens’ businesses, it seems that “perfect” may be getting in the way of “very good.” This is a common theme in Washington and one of the reasons why most of us see Congress as never getting anything done. But cutting taxes and simplifying the code also seems like a no-brainer to those of us who walk Main Street in cities and towns across our country. This plan will reduce taxes on employers — and that helps everyone.

Our tax code was last changed in 1986. That’s 31 years ago. The current tax code has grown to more than 74,000 pages, and it is so complex that American businesses spend an estimated $147 billion per year filing tax returns. American taxpayers (individual and businesses) spend
8.9 billion hours a year complying with IRS tax filing requirements.

Michael Varney

Michael Varney

Small and closely-held businesses create roughly half of all jobs in the U.S. These are the same businesses that are currently taxed at rates as high as 44.6 percent, bringing some of those businesses to the brink of insolvency.

The U.S. corporate income tax rate is 35 percent. That’s easily 10-15 percent higher than countries we compete with in the industrialized world. Money, just like people, goes where it is welcomed.

In short, it is unquestionable that our current tax code is penalizing job creators—and I would know. Tucson Metro Chamber represents 1,500 businesses employing more than 160,000 employees in Tucson and Pima County. Small businesses make up approximately 60 percent of chamber membership.

As president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber, I have never heard anyone defend our current tax system. Most of us agonize with it in the weeks leading up to April 15. The universal disdain for the current system is reason enough to cheer on the reformers.

Many economists agree that tax reform is the next step in continuing the current economic growth and for promoting further stock market gains. Tax reform is one of the best ways of increasing middle class wealth because IRAs and 401K accounts will grow in value. Putting money back in the pockets of hard working families is always a good idea.

Some will quibble about the details of a tax reform plan, and that’s OK. But I think most of us can agree that it is time for reform and time for action — and this is our shot.

We can do better and need to let our federal officials know that we are counting on them to make these tax cuts happen. Recent meetings with Congresswoman Martha McSally and her constituents give us hope this tax cut plan can and will move through the legislative process.

— Michael Varney is president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce 


The views expressed in guest commentaries are those of the author and are not the views of the Arizona Capitol Times.


  1. An absurd argument. Reducing taxes is not the only way to tax reform and economic justice. In fact, in the hands of the current Republican majority in Congress, it’s not a way at all. It’s all about increasing the wealth of the wealthy, and their power in society to have things the way they want. Why not tackle the $7 trillion dollar global economy in money laundering? Wouldn’t that do more to restore tax equity in America, from when much of the corporations’ and American oligarchs’ income flees to tax-free havens? That requires little new agreement: everybody knows that these dice are loaded….

    Anytime the Chamber of Commerce opines in the public interest, watch out. It’s anything but public.

    Happy Thanksgiving, America.

  2. This article is total nonsense. Tax cuts for the wealthy increases the wealth of the wealthy and that, dear friends is that. Trickle down does not work, we cut taxes with the promise that wages and jobs would increase and, of course, that did not happen. Here in Arizona we have cut taxes every year but one since 1992 with the promise that “cutting taxes will jump start the economy”. All we have done is steal from our kids by denying them their constitutional right to an education and saddling them with the debt caused by deferred infrastructure investment.
    The C of C, the Goldwater Institute, the Enterprise Institute and all the other “think tanks” espousing tax cuts as a panacea are dead wrong. We tried it, it didn’t work let’s not keep doing it.

  3. Mr. Varney agrees with Republican talking points, but not with most analyses of the current tax plans. Anyone who can read knows that the tax cuts for the middle class, and small businesses, are dubious and temporary, while tax cuts for the rich are large and lasting. And they propose to compensate by cutting the health and welfare of the same people they promised to help. And, we all know who will pay the debt incurred so that they can give these cuts to the rich. Mr. Varney may simply be ignorant, or he may have malicious intent (to get some of that MONEY himself). It doesn’t matter. He is not serving the people with such nonsense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Check Also

Disabled vets getting short-changed  (access required)

Please introduce legislation now to set compensation at least at the level of the National Average Wage Index for all types of totally and permanently disabled veterans.

/* code for tag */