Mr. BURGESS. Just a few years ago, a group called American Solutions conducted a nationwide poll on different topics relating to the Tax Code and on taxes and jobs. They crossed gender, ethnicity, economic, and party lines and discovered the following interesting facts about America: The majority of people in America, 69 percent to 27, think the American tax system is unfair; A majority believe that the death tax should be abolished, 65 percent; A majority favor tax incentives for companies who keep their headquarters in the United States of America, 70 to 26; Taxpayers should be given the option of a single income tax rate of 17 percent; Taxpayers would still have the option of filing their taxes in the current system if they chose to do so. That was a 61 percent favorable; The option of a single-rate system should give taxpayers the convenience of filing their taxes on a single sheet of paper. Guess what. That one was 82 percent of our constituents believe, our fellow Americans, believe they should be able to file their Federal income taxes on a single sheet of paper.
America has spoken. The evidence is clear, and we need real change in our tax system. The encouraging news is that we do have a practical and effective blueprint for making this change across the board. The blueprint, of course, is the flat tax.
In 1981, Robert Hall proposed a new and radically simple structure that would transform the Internal Revenue Service and our economy by creating a single rate of taxation for all Americans. Today, several States with their State income taxes have implemented single-rate tax structures for their State income taxes. From Utah to Massachusetts, citizens are seeing the benefit. In Colorado, a single tax rate generated so much income that the revenue--that lawmakers were actually able to reduce rates.
In Indiana, the economy boomed after a single rate went into effect in 2003, and the following 3 years the corporate tax receipts rose by 250 percent.
Here in Congress, there is no shortage of champions who've worked on the problem. I've been involved in this for a number of years, but prior to my coming here, Congressman David Dreier of California, the chairman of the Rules Committee, has spent a number of years working on this concept. Paul Ryan, our budget chairman, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the Budget Committee, has worked on this problem for a long time. Mike Pence of Indiana, who was our conference chair last term, of course my friend Allen West of Florida, all working to establish a simple tax rate structure for our country.
Other Members are working on this in the Senate as well. And let's be honest: This is a time where Congress is not held in high regard, and this would be a tremendous deliverable for the House and the Senate to work together on simplifying the Tax Code and actually returning not just dollars to the American people, but giving them back their time that we rob from them every year when we enforce compliance with the Tax Code.
Not everyone may agree on precisely where the flat tax rate should be. Seventeen percent, no deductions, is something that's been talked about for some time. I think that is certainly a system that is worthy of study. But if someone else wants to talk about a system with two or three rates or if they want to maintain deductions, we should be able to have that debate. We should have it civilly. It shouldn't be something that we clobber each other over the head about.
But every American should bear this burden equally at the lowest rate possible, and everyone should be able to do their taxes without the help of a professional. People should be confident that when you earn the same income as the person across the street, you pay the same income taxes at the end of that year.
Just by way of comparison, according to the Internal Revenue Service, there are 1.2 million tax professionals preparing taxes during the tax season, which is roughly equal to the population of the State of Hawaii.
There are 950,000 doctors in the United States. Now, as a physician, I think this number is off; it's askew. Healers should not be outnumbered by tax preparers. It makes no sense. More people should go into medicine and less into tax preparation, and it will provide them the simplicity in the Tax Code. Perhaps that can happen.
But let's also be honest. The accountants who do your taxes would much rather be talking to you about your long-term life planning, your planning for your retirement, your planning for covering expenses if you become disabled; they would much rather talk to you about life planning than they would talk to you about how they disrupt your life with the Tax Code.
I yield to the gentleman from Florida.