According to the latest jobs report from the Department of Labor, the official unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent in February, the lowest it’s been in over seven years. While this is a positive sign, the unemployment rate conceals two fundamental problems plaguing our economy today: a declining labor force participation rate and stagnant wages. These two factors are symptoms of the anemic growth that has defined the American economy since the end of the Great Recession.
To restore the shared prosperity that comes from a strong, growing economy we must reform the most antiquated and dysfunctional government policies, beginning with the federal tax system.
The tax code’s failures are manifold — impeding growth, discouraging investment, and restricting freedom on the business and the individual side — but they are all rooted in the same fundamental unfairness and inequity of a government that picks winners and losers.
A tax code that works for, not against, American businesses, families and individuals must be built on the twin pillars of equal opportunity and fair treatment for all. It must be based on the simple, yet powerful, truths at the heart of our free-enterprise system: that economic growth is a function of economic freedom, and that economic freedom depends on equal opportunity and fair treatment under the law.
These principles – fairness, freedom, and growth – should inform the changes we make to the business side and the individual side of the tax code. Whether we’re dealing with financial capital, or human and social capital, growth and prosperity depend on freedom, and freedom depends on fairness.
Empowering the American people to succeed in a revived free market, in which everyone has equal opportunity to participate, requires a federal tax system that is both pro-growth and pro-family.