Corcoran: Trump's tax plan mirrors Florida's efforts

Op-Ed By Richard Corcoran

Tampa Bay Times

When talking about Florida's economy, the Sunshine State has never shined so bright.

That's why President Donald Trump's speech last week on his plans for tax reform was so exciting. The president's tax plan, coupled with the executive actions that have already been taken, replicates the approach we took here in Florida that led to our economic boom.

Actually, when it comes to the economy, the early days of the Trump administration are looking a lot like Gov. Rick Scott's first few months in Tallahassee. And given the fact that Florida has been leading the country in economic growth, this isn't just more good news for our state, it's a nationwide ray of light for many struggling middle class families.

Upon taking office, Trump's first achievements mirrored Scott's — they both wisely took executive action to rein in crippling regulations and bureaucratic overreach. Trump froze the creation of new regulations and encouraged the repeal of those that are outdated, duplicative or flawed.

We know this will work, because when we tackled the unfair burden imposed by the government's red tape here in Florida, we instantly created a more business-friendly environment. And by coupling those regulatory reductions with substantial tax cuts, Florida's economy soared.

When it was all said and done, we eliminated over 5,000 harmful regulations, cut taxes 75 times totaling $7.6 billion, and created 1.4 million new jobs — right here in Florida.

Nationally, it's clear that we need broad tax reform, and I'll gladly support any effort to simplify the tax code and cut rates. Luckily for the nation, the conservative spirit that drove Florida's success is alive and well in the tax framework that Trump laid out.

The president's proposal aims to reform three key areas of tax law:

Make it simple and fair: The plan dramatically simplifies the tax code by reducing the current seven tax brackets and doubling the standard deduction for individuals and couples. Moreover, 90 percent of Americans would be able to file their taxes on a single page — no more complicated paperwork or keeping track of receipts.

Win again: As we all know, Trump promised America would start winning again, and this plan delivers. The plan realigns the tax rate for businesses from where it currently is at — the highest and least competitive in the industrialized world — to under 20 percent, instantly making American businesses and job creators more competitive right here in America.

Bring it home: Many of our nation's biggest brands, like Apple and General Electric, have an estimated $1 trillion to $2 trillion that they have parked overseas because of America's crippling tax rate. This plan changes that by providing a lower rate that is more competitive and fair. The result will be trillions of dollars flowing back into the American economy. That means more jobs and more investments in America!

If realized, this kind of tax reform will surely compete with President Ronald Reagan's tax reform package, which created decades of economic growth and prosperity for our country. However, this is where there's a big difference between Florida and Washington: Trump must deal with Congress.

In the Florida Legislature, we had a simple motto: Less talk, more action. And with the leadership of Scott, it's that motto that allowed us to come together and cut taxes across the board by billions of dollars and lead the nation in terms of fiscal health.

Unfortunately for Trump's bold economic agenda, Washington doesn't share our motto — big talk is rewarded and meaningful action is rarer than a white rhino.

On the one hand, you have the Democrats who have pledged to obstruct anything and everything Trump proposes. And on the other, you have several Republicans who are more concerned with seeking higher office and getting on television than actually accomplishing something for their constituents.

So, while we are thrilled that Trump is pursuing policies that could dramatically benefit the entire nation, it also means that Congress needs to get its act together now.

As voters, we should reward real action, not big talk. We have spent nearly a decade blaming former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former President Barack Obama. But thanks to the electoral success of our conservative movement, they're all gone.

So the time for talk is over. Now it's time for action — for reform. It's time to get the job done and unleash America's economic potential.

Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, is speaker of the Florida House.