Opinion: Still More To Be Done On Tax Reform

Jonathan Lamb. Photo providedJonathan Lamb. Photo provided

By: Jonathan Lamb—

Congress passed a comprehensive tax reform package – the Tax Cut and Jobs Act – that was not without controversy, as we all know. As an economist, I believe it was the right legislation at the right time.

I would have voted with my Republican colleagues had I been representing Indiana’s Congressional 6th District.

There are three simple reasons to support the changes.

  • First, the new tax laws make for lower and less complicated corporate tax rates, which have been among the highest in the developed world. For too long, America’s entrepreneurial spirit has been stifled because of an exorbitant corporate tax rate.
  • Second, the reforms show promise to not just stimulate economic growth but to help the retention of businesses in communities like those in the 6th
  • Finally, and most importantly, it’s a start.

The corporate tax rate, under this policy, is brought closer in line with the rest of the world, and it helps level the playing field for international investors. Only time will tell, but the laws of economics (and history) tells us that lower marginal tax rates generate economic growth and more equity across all socioeconomic classes.

I’ve owned and operated seven businesses, and I know that Rome was not built in a day. When it comes to tax reform, there is more work to be done and that’s why this next Congress must have the fortitude to address what comes next. Further reform must be developed in a nonpartisan way. We need  long-term solutions.

And yes, we’ll have to address the ballooning deficit. As a 36-year-old father of two young boys, I am dedicated to ensuring my children and grandchildren- your children and your grandchildren – are not saddled with the heavy burden of our national debt.

With a $20 trillion deficit, your portion of the debt, along with every single taxpayer is now over $170,000. Clearly, this is not sustainable. As a small business man and an economist, I understand the importance of a healthy balance sheet. In the case of Congress, the expectation should be to manage our government, including our finances in a responsible way.

We cannot continue to saddle young people with student debt, mortgage debt, skyrocketing health insurance premiums, growing childcare costs, and the massive taxpayer burdens from our out-of-control national deficit.

Lastly, we need to shift the conversation and focus on permanent tax reform measures to stimulate and create long term, healthy growth for our economy. At the end of the day there are really only three ways out of or massive debt – pay it off, inflate out of it or default on it. The only solution that Congress should be focused on is paying off our deficit, and that conversation should begin and end with how we can put businesses in the best situation to create growth.

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act alone is not the silver bullet to solve our future economic problems, but this legislation is a monumental step in the right direction. It is imperative that the executive and legislative branches create sound fiscal policy, and the new Congress be equipped with the stamina to keep at it.


Jonathan Lamb is seeking the Republican nomination for Congress in Indiana’s 6th District. He was born and raised in Yorktown, Ind., lives in Muncie and has been an entrepreneur, owning businesses from agricultural technology to franchised childcare centers. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Miller College of Business at Ball State University and an MBA from North Carolina State University. He is author of Economics is Like Sex: Common Sense Thinking for Better Decisions Through the Taboo Topics of Money, Budgets, Market and Trade.