Unfortunately the constraints of 2017’s budget reconciliation process, which required the package to be deficit neutral, precluded this much-needed reform from being part of the final package.
The good news is that it won’t be another 30 years before the next major tax bill is passed. There is always another tax bill. Prior to passage of the 2017 tax reform act, there were the tax bills of ‘81, ‘82, ’86, ‘90, ‘97, ’01, ’03 and Obamacare — yes, that was a tax bill — in 2009.
The point is that Congress makes substantial changes to the tax code fairly often. Proponents of fixing the tax code’s mistreatment of expats must ensure this needed reform doesn’t miss the boat when the next tax bill comes up for a vote.
U.S. citizens who live and work abroad are some of the country’s most important unofficial ambassadors. They play an important part in shaping how their international coworkers, friends and family members view the U.S. and American values. President Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and other members of Congress would do well to use the next tax bill as an opportunity end the double taxation of U.S. citizens abroad.
Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform.
Patrick Gleason is Americans for Tax Reform’s director of state affairs.