AT&T reiterated its support for tax reform Thursday, just as President Donald Trump laid out a broad-strokes plan to slash rates and alleviate what he called “the crushing tax burden” holding back companies and workers.
During a speech in Springfield, Missouri, Trump pitched four principles to reform the current tax system. Those included making the tax code simpler and easier to understand while closing loopholes; making tax rates more competitive, especially for businesses that might otherwise be lured overseas; providing tax relief for middle-income Americans; and bringing back profits that companies now store offshore.
“Our self-destructive tax code costs Americans millions and millions of jobs, trillions of dollars, and billions of hours spent on compliance and paperwork,” Trump said, according to a transcript of his remarks. “That is why the foundation of our job creation agenda is to fundamentally reform our tax code for the first time in more than 30 years. I want to work with Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, on a plan that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, and pro-American.”
Vice President Mike Pence echoed Trump’s comments in separate remarks delivered at the West Virginia Chamber Summit, calling “cutting taxes the single most important things we can do to create jobs.”
Trump didn’t produce a detailed proposal to carry out this plan, but the idea of business tax reform received a warm reception from AT&T. In a Thursday statement, AT&T CFO John Stephens said fixing the “broken” tax code would be key to “spur greater investment and job creation” from businesses of all sizes.
“It’s hard for American businesses to compete globally and create more jobs domestically when the U.S. tax rate is the highest of any developed country,” Stephens commented. “We fully support the President’s and Congress’ push to simplify and reform the U.S. tax system. We expect the reforms being discussed will stimulate investment, fuel economic growth, and drive hiring – all of which will benefit the American worker.”
This isn’t the first time AT&T has backed a tax overhaul.
Back in January, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said tax reform could boost AT&T’s prospects. If a tax reform package passed in 2017, Stephenson said AT&T could “exit this year doing something better than what is in the plan.”
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam was similarly enthusiastic about the prospect late last year, noting “it would be great” to get business tax rates in the 15 percent range.
Oracle CEO Safra Catz has also come out in favor of business tax reforms, telling Recode in December that tax code reforms, a reduction in regulation, and better trade deals would make the U.S. technology sector “stronger and more competitive than ever.”
Filed Under: Industry regulations