U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Senate Finance Committee

“Our current business-tax system punishes U.S. companies for doing business and investing in the United States and, in many ways, pushes economic activity outside the country. It also gives significant advantages to foreign companies, which is why so many American businesses have been opting to become foreign companies themselves.

“The existing tax code means less U.S. economic activity and pushes American jobs, production and intellectual property abroad. Overhauling our business-tax system would increase wages, create jobs, bring back capital and investment and make the United States an inviting place to do business.”

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U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Senate Finance Committee

“If there’s one issue that unites Americans, it is the need to simplify the nation’s tax laws. The rules and regulations spelling out the itemized deductions, credits, exemptions, phase-outs and tax brackets frustrate hard-working taxpayers year after year, adding a costly burden to many households and businesses who hire professional advisers to help prepare their tax returns. Tax fairness and simplification would make our tax collecting system more effective and efficient. What’s more, pro-growth tax reforms would unleash investment, foster higher wages and trigger job growth on Main Street.

“I’m all for seizing this opportunity to pursue comprehensive tax reform. Our economy will grow more if Washington takes less just as the national debt will grow less if Washington spends less.”

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U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), House Budget Committee

“By simplifying the system and getting the government out of the way of our free-market economy, America is made more competitive on an international scale and the potential for unprecedented job creation is unleashed. We believe this will be a catalyst for more jobs, bigger paychecks and fairer taxes – this framework is pro-America. Plain and simple.”

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Senate Committee on Appropriations

“I think that the corporate tax rate is too high. A 25 percent tax rate on corporations with territorial makes sense to me…. We have got to work out capital gains. We have got to work out pass-throughs. And simplification is something everybody wants.”

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Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary

“Historically, members of both parties have understood that the tax code is too complicated, creating a rigged system that only benefits wealthy special interests.  We must make it fairer by leveling the playing field for American workers and job creators, in order to grow the economy and reinvest trillions of dollars back into our country.

“Americans understand that middle income taxpayers and their families need tax relief and a simple tax code so they keep more of their paycheck and spend less time filling out their taxes.”

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Raymond J. Keating, Chief Economist, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

“As the tax reform debate heats up, it’s important to keep in mind that capital gains tax relief must be part of any pro-growth reform effort. After all, a capital gains tax is a direct tax on the returns on entrepreneurship and investment, which, of course, are the key sources of innovation, productivity growth, income growth and economic growth. Taxing capital gains means reducing the resources available for and diminishing the incentives for undertaking the risky endeavors of starting up, operating and investing in a business.

“Therefore, the capital gains tax inflicts harm on the overall economy, and on workers, who need the jobs, productivity improvements and resulting income gains generated by such risk taking.”

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Adam Michel, Policy Analyst, Heritage Foundation

“The corporate income tax is a poor mechanism for funding the government. Economists agree almost unanimously on this point: The corporate income tax is an inefficient and economically destructive mechanism for raising revenue. The poor design of the tax has led many economists to agree further that the tax should be entirely repealed. Anemic wage growth, historically sluggish rates of business start-ups, low levels of investment, and reduced economic dynamism are just a few of the myriad reasons why business tax reform must be the centerpiece of congressional efforts to update the tax system.”

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Americans for Tax Reform

“Taxes on capital gains and dividends are taxes on investment. Repealing or lowering the capital gains tax allows more money to be invested productively into the economy, which increases economic growth, creates more jobs, and leads to higher wages.”

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce

“Capital gains taxes inflict significant damage on economic growth. Accordingly, the Chamber strongly urges that any comprehensive tax reform consider the adverse impact capital gains tax has on investment activity, productivity growth, and economic growth….

“…As with capital gains taxes, taxes on dividend income produce substantial deleterious economic consequences. In simplest terms, the dividend tax multiplies all the distortions in play arising from the corporate income tax. To whatever extent the corporate income tax distorts the allocation of capital or reduces the amount of productive capital employed, the dividend tax builds on and thereby exacerbates this effect.”

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Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

“The magnitude of what could happen to our country if we were to actually go over this cliff cannot be overstated. Every American who pays income taxes would be hit with an increase. Taxes on capital gains and dividends would ratchet up by 59 percent and 189 percent respectively, delivering a blow to American companies that create jobs and to the millions of Americans who rely on investment income for their retirement.”

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)

“The second thing that’s very damaging is to layer all of this tax that he wants to layer on investment, on capital gains and dividends. Do you know, as an owner of a business, your business pays tax, a corporate income tax that can be as high as 35 percent. And then the president wants any dividend that’s paid to that owner to be then taxed at an additional rate of up to 40 percent—a combined 75 percent tax on investment. That’s going to drive capital overseas; it’s going to prevent investment in America. It’s terrible economic policy.”

Senator John Thune (R-SD)

“I think that more and more Americans are investors and when you have more investors, you have more people who understand the rates at which capital gains and dividends are taxed and why they are taxed at lower rates. It’s to create more investment. We want to get people back to work in this country, we want people to invest money, and that’s why capital gains tax rates are where they are. We happen to believe that if we’re going to get people back to work and if we’re going to grow jobs, that we’ve got to have tax reform, we’ve got to have good tax policies, but we’ve got to keep the rates down on people who create jobs.”

Ian Schrager, Hotelier and Real Estate Developer

“ Q: What tax and spending policies should we be pursuing?

A: Keep the capital-gains tax low. It would be a good idea not to raise the withholding tax. I think what the president is trying to do is noble, but when we’re trying to jump-start the economy, I’m not sure that it wouldn’t be better to let private industry do it rather than the government.”

Edward D. Kleinbard, Professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law

“As noted earlier, one important exception that I would make to my general base case of allowing the 2001-2003 individual tax discounts to lapse relates to the tax burden on dividend income. Keeping that tax at the same rate as the rate of long-term capital gains rather than allowing it to revert to the tax rate on ordinary income, is highly desirable for the simple reason that it will not distort corporate dividends policy…”

Peter Ferrara, Senior Fellow at the Heartland Institute

“The other feature of our tax-piracy tax code Democrats don’t understand is multiple taxation of capital. Capital income is not taxed once, but four times, by individual income tax, corporate income tax, capital gains tax and the death tax, which Democrats insisted on raising from zero percent to 35 percent.

“The lower capital gains tax rate is not an unfair loophole as compared with the higher income tax rates paid by middle-class earners. Capital gains tax is paid on top of the income tax, just at the front end in addition to the income tax that will paid when the income to the capital asset is earned in the future ”