Today, the Senate Finance Committee had its first in a series of hearings for the coming year about reforming our tax code. Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) has said he wants to hold weekly hearings on the subject in an effort to make progress on this issue in the near future. The issue has gotten a fair amount of attention in recent months, with hearings on tax reform also having taken place in the Senate Budget and House Ways and Means Committees.
The Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on tax reform this morning, featuring testimony from four witnesses who all unequivocally called for fundamental reform to our tax code.
Last night in his State of the Union address, President Obama hailed a new era of bipartisan cooperation, focusing on America's competitiveness to "win the future." He focused on the need to invest in innovation, education, infrastructure, as well as getting out from under our "mountain of debt." We released a statement last night giving our initial reaction to his proposals.
Today, the House Ways and Means Committee held its first hearing on tax-reform of the 112th Congress. Several witnesses testified at the meeting, which aimed to examine the complexity and inefficiency of the US tax code. More specifically, the committee discussed the burden it places on American families, the need for a more competitive corporate rate, and the code’s failure to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
Can Dreams of Cooperation be Fulfilled? – Yesterday the nation celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His vision of unity and reconciliation will be needed as a divided Washington takes on many contentious issues, such as health care repeal and several budget-related issues.
Dr. Christina Romer, the former chairwoman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, published an article in the New York Times this weekend calling for President Obama to use his January 25th State of the Union address as a means to outline a credible plan to lower future budget deficits.
Dr. Romer, who left the administration last August, is calling for the deficit to be given significant focus.
Shooting Puts Legislative Business on Hold – The shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others in Tucson, Arizona has resulted in House leaders suspending legislative activity this week. The only vote now expected this week is one on a resolution honoring Giffords and the other victims of the attack. The House was going to vote this week on repealing the health reform law.
In her latest commentary on CNN Money, CRFB President Maya MacGuineas says that despite the rhetoric on reducing the deficit, some of the high-profile priorities of the new Congress may make the fiscal situation worse.
My Views" are works published by members of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, but they do not necessarily reflect the views of all members of the Committee.
In its annual report to Congress Wednesday, the National Taxpayer Advocate stated unequivocally that "the most serious problem facing taxpayers - and the IRS - is the complexity of the Internal Revenue Code". The report goes on to list the sources of the tax code's complexity, the consequences of such complexity, and obstacles to tax-code simplification.
Deck the Halls with Bills of Folly – On Friday President Obama signed the $858 billion tax cut package that Congress passed earlier in the week, deeming it a great bipartisan achievement. The great “compromise” greatly compromises our fiscal outlook and makes it more imperative that fundamental tax reform and a comprehensive debt reduction plan be enacted next year.