Via the Washington Post, it seems that the House majority is looking at creating a fast track procedure for passing tax reform in 2013. This will enable a tax reform bill to be passed by an up-or-down vote with no amendments once it is formulated.
Former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) weighs in on the impact of "taxmaggedon" in The Hill today. While the tax increases would likely lead to more revenue, he said, the sudden rise of the payroll tax, expiration of the 2001/2003 tax cuts, and other tax increases could have a devastating impact on a still weak economy. Gregg explains:
Over at Wonkblog, Sarah Kliff points out that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may contain a new "doc fix" -- only this time in Medicaid. The current "doc fix" in Medicare cancels out huge scheduled physician payment cuts as required under law by the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. Since it is very expensive to override the SGR permanently (about $300 billion over ten years), Congress usually just enacts temporary extensions.
Update: The House has passed the reconciliation and replacement bills by a 218-199 vote.
As the topic of tax reform will be heating up this year, five analysts from the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project have released a paper called "A Dozen Economic Facts About Tax Reform." It is certainly a useful primer on how the tax system has changed over time and the promise and difficulties involved in changing it.
Those dozen facts are:
An article in The Hill today notes that House Republicans do not plan to offer offsets for the extension of the 2001/2003 tax cuts that expire at the end of the year.
Last week, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures held a review of "tax extenders" -- tax provisions that have been enacted on a temporary basis but are frequently extended. The hearing featured testimony from members of Congress who had sponsored legislation to extend one or more extenders, with each of them having to defend their particular tax breaks.
The House is set to move forward on legislation that would enact a tax cut for small businesses. The Small Business Tax Cut Act (HR 9) allows small businesses (businesses with less than 500 employees) to temporarily deduct 20 percent of their domestic business income in 2012 up to 50 percent of employee wages. JCT has estimated that the bill would cost $46 billion, with almost all of that coming in the next few years.