ICYMI: Ahead of Markup, Curbelo Shares Details of Tax Reform Plan with South Florida Constituents
Following the announcement of the House Ways and Means Committee's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last week, Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) joined 610AM WIOD News Radio to discuss the introduction of the Committee’s tax proposal to reform the outdated and overly complex tax system. As South Florida’s only Member on the Ways and Means Committee, Curbelo broke down the benefits of the legislation that prioritize American families, attract business investment, and help middle-income taxpayers trying to get ahead.
“Now, we do so much in here for the average American family, which has been our focus from the beginning. We expand the child tax credit from $1000 to $1600 and make the first $1000 refundable. We create a new credit for parents — $300 per parent,” Curbelo said. “For the first time, we create a credit for non-children dependents. For example, if one of your parents moves into your home because they are sick and you are caring for them, there’s a credit for that. If one of your kids is living at home and going to college, you get a credit for that. So, we are really trying to make American families more prosperous.”
Curbelo also shared the details of the bill through Facebook Live, explaining how the bill ensures economic recovery reaches every American household and allows South Florida families to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks. The full Facebook Live video is available here.
A partial transcript of the WIOD News Radio interview can be found below. Audio of the interview is available here.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26)
610 WIOD News Radio
November 3, 2017
WIOD’s Jimmy Cefalo: “The House released its tax bill yesterday, lots of compromise it seems here, couple questions about it. We’re pleased to be joined here by Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo, Representative from District 26, he’s a Member of the Ways and Means Committee. Follow him on twitter @RepCurbelo, good morning to you, representative, thanks for joining us.”
Representative Carlos Curbelo: “Jimmy, good morning from the Capitol. It’s good to be with you.
Cefalo: “Yeah, nice to chat with you. Where’s the push back been so far since it’s been released? We knew the Democrats were going to do that, that’s not a surprise, Nancy Pelosi wrote the speech a month ago. But where are the areas that might be of concern for you to be able to get enough votes to pass this thing?”
Curbelo: “Well that’s right, Jimmy. Unfortunately, those on the far left have already come out hard against this and I think that no matter what we would have put out they would have done the same, but a lot of the heavy attacks are coming from different special interest groups.
“For example, let me give you an example of something that we do to concentrate more benefits on middle income earners: Today, the mortgage interest deduction is good for a loan of up to a million dollars. We reduced that to $500,000 because in our opinion, if you’re getting a $1 million loan on a home, you probably don’t need middle-income taxpayers subsidizing your mortgage interest. So, we focused that benefit on the middle-class, on the people who are really struggling and need help in this country.
“So, of course, there are a number of industries for who that benefit is important and they’re complaining about it. You’re going to get insurance companies complaining about some changes to the code, but, yes, as you said, we had to make tough decisions. If you’re going to make the code more fair, more simple, easier to understand, more compassionate to more Americans – you’re obviously going to have to take away a lot of the special benefits that special interest groups have created and expanded over the years.
“Now, we do so much in here for the average American family, which has been our focus from the beginning. We expand the child tax credit from $1000 to $1600 and make the first $1000 refundable. We create a new credit for parents — $300 per parent. For the first time, we create a credit for non-children dependents. For example, if one of your parents moves into your home because they are sick and you are caring for them, there’s a credit for that. If one of your kids is living at home and going to college, you get a credit for that. So, we are really trying to make American families more prosperous.
“And then the other half of this, Jimmy, is American companies. I think a lot of Americans are frustrated that over the last couple of decades a lot of companies have moved their jobs overseas, moved their operations overseas. We even have companies back home like Burger King, a company born in Miami, is now a Canadian company. So, in order to change that, we make our tax code more competitive so that American companies are encouraged to stay in the United States and not just stay but bring back jobs and investment into our country and therefore raise paychecks for workers.”
Cefalo: “Yeah, Congressman, I like the idea of the re-patriotization of money and a lower tax rate. I think you get a lot of pickup of income to the Treasury by basics of that. It’s, what, 12% of re-patriot money?”
Curbelo: “Right, so American companies have approximately $2.5 trillion worth of profits parked overseas. We’re essentially forcing them to bring that capital back to the United States and, as they do so, they have to pay a 12% tax on those earnings. So, this is an excess of $200 billion dollars for the U.S. Treasury that we are putting right back in the pockets of American families and also using to make the tax code more competitive.
“Look, we want for American companies to stay in our country, to invest more here but in order to do so, we can’t have the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. So, these are tough decisions we had to make and I think it boils down to this: Do we want a tax code that has an endless number of special benefits for small groups of people or do we want a tax code that treats everyone fairly and gives everyone the opportunity to rise and to prosper in our country? And we’re choosing the latter and it’s not an easy choice because, again, all of these special interest groups have their lobby and they’re all calling our phones and calling our offices.“
Cefalo: And they’re coming out of the woodwork. I bet they are and in fact in some points, Congressman, if I came from planet Mars and sat down and looked at this thing, I would think in some aspects it was written by a Democrat. Which is probably a good thing, it indicates some type of a compromise — 46.5 percent% the highest tax rate, people over a $1 million will have that bubble element which is going to claw back 6% above the top tax rate. That’s big.
Curbelo: “Yeah, we’re getting some criticism for that and that’s one of the tough choices we had to make. Look, ideally, we could reduce taxes for every single American but we also can’t blow up our budget in an irresponsible way. So, we had to make some tough choices and that kind of also exposes some of the hypocrisy on the far left. A lot of these people, some of them who are friends of mine, I get along with them, a few days ago they were saying, ‘Well, if they lower taxes on the wealthiest Americans then there’s nothing to talk about. But if they’re willing to compromise on that we’ll work together.’
“Well, guess what? Not only did we not lower the rate — the 39.6 marginal rate is still there — but as you’ve seen news agencies are already reporting that for the wealthiest Americans, there’s actually a tax hike in here and that’s not something that we sought out to do but it was one of the tough decisions that had to be made. And still some of our Democratic friends are refusing to engage.
“Now, I won’t say all of them because there are some Democrats who are interested in this tax package. Who understand that it is the most important thing this Congress can do to make sure that economic recovery reaches into every single household in America not just some as we’ve seen over the last decade.”