President Trump just announced his new tax reform plan, which includes the largest tax cut in the nation's history, in hopes of increasing our annual economic growth to a sustained 3%. The plan reduces the tax rate on businesses to 15% and increases the standard deduction for individuals. Both these provisions would have significant effects on the economy, albeit in different ways.

Any reduction in the corporate tax rate would raise investment in corporate America, fueling economic growth and creating new jobs. On the other hand, raising the standard deduction for individuals would diminish the importance of the mortgage interest deduction, causing homeowners to lose value in their properties and driving up the overall cost of owning a home.

Obviously, this proposal is opposed by realtors and home builders due to the negative impact it would have on the residential real estate market. Charities stand to be hurt, too, because the charitable contribution deductions would be diminished as well. With so many people against a proposed higher standard deduction, this feature of the tax reform legislation will be difficult to pass in Congress.

However, I'd like to throw out a few ideas on other specific changes that could expand our economy, as well as our quality of life, right away. Most everyone has already heard about lowering the inheritance (or death) tax, capital gains tax, and income tax, which are all great ideas. So I prefer to talk about a few lesser-known strategies, beginning with abolishing the marriage "penalty."

Decades ago, when most households had one spouse earning significantly more income than the other, it was advantageous for the couple to file as married because both incomes together were usually not enough to push the couple's combined income into a higher tax bracket. Due to the wider income tax brackets for married people, much of the couple's combined income fell into lower tax brackets. This meant a lower tax bill.

But today, many married couples earn roughly the same income, which will push their total income into a higher tax bracket, leading to a higher tax bill. So a feature of the income tax system originally designed to encourage marriage is now unintentionally discouraging it. To bring the tax code up to modern-day realities, the marriage penalty needs to be eliminated via adjusted tax brackets, tax credits, filing status updates, full-income splitting, or some combination of the four.

Another area where we can improve the tax system involves small business. I believe that small business, with its clever entrepreneurs working within a capitalist system, is one of the primary reasons why America has grown into such a great country. Small business is the best opportunity for future economic growth in the United States. But for the past decade, small businesses have been over-regulated and strangled by federal and state red tape.

To give small businesses and entrepreneurs a much-needed booster shot, we should offer them investment tax credits for physical equipment, hiring new employees, and innovation efforts such as new products and patents. Incentives for banks to loan money to small businesses would provide the capital and resources needed to open, grow, and expand.

Before 2008 and the big housing crunch, equity lines were very accessible. If someone wanted to start a business, invest in one, or open a franchise, they could tap into a home equity line to get the necessary capital. But today, banks and mortgage lenders are much more reticent to give out equity lines. Lenders need to be incentivized to responsibly offer more equity lines, especially since the median savings of a 50-year-old American is less than $25,000, and few people have the liquid assets to open or invest in a business without some kind of financial help or loan.

If we get rid of the marriage penalty and inject capital and innovation into small businesses by eliminating over-regulation and improving financing for entrepreneurs, we will see higher growth in our national economy and a better outlook for the future. Tax reform can be a win-win proposition for everyone -- we just need everyone to work together.