The talk of the town in recent days has been President Obama's new plan to combine corporate tax reform with public investments in what President Obama calls a "grand bargain for middle class jobs." From a growth perspective, there is a lot to like about this proposal. But there is also a lot we find discouraging about a plan which would decouple corporate tax reform from any broader deficit reduction effort.
The tax reform debate is heating up and many groups are weighing in on what tax provisions should be kept and what the broad revenue and distributional goals of tax reform should be. But Paul Weinstein of the Progressive Policy Institute, a former senior advisor to the Fiscal Commission reminds in a new report that lawmakers should not forget about the opportunity to make the code drastically simpler for taxpayers.
Readers of The Bottom Line know that we talk frequently on the subject of tax expenditures, the deductions, credits, and other tax preferences which cost us $1.3 trillion a year relative to what a clean tax code would look like.
Today, the Campaign to Fix the Debt released a memo making the case for the “blank slate” approach to tax reform proposed by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The “blank slate” process would eliminate all of the $1.3 trillion in tax expenditures and put the burden of proof on lawmakers to justify adding them back at the cost of higher rates.
As Senator Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-MI) continue to work through tax reform using their "blank slate" approach, their Senate colleagues have 11 days left to submit “add-backs.” As we’ve written before, many tax preferences are expensive, regressive, economically distorting, and do not pass the cost-benefit analysis.
The recent announcement from Senators Baucus and Hatch to pursue tax reform via a "blank slate" approach is incredibly encouraging. As CRFB Board Member Gene Steuerle has argued, it could be revolutionary. Starting by eliminating all tax preferences and requiring policymakers to justify and pay for any add-backs may represent the best chance for reducing tax rates, broadening the tax base, promoting economic growth, and reducing the deficit.
As we begin to enter the dog days of summer, the weather is not the only thing that is heating up. The tax reform debate is beginning to escalate also as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) begin their tour of the U.S. to drum up support for reforming the tax system.
Yesterday, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) kicked off their summer tour of the country in order to bring the tax reform debate to the American public. The tour started in St. Paul, Minnesota, and two former Minnesota Congressmen are excited that tax reform could be a real possibility.
The lead up to July 4th brought an exciting development in fiscal policy discussions: a commitment from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to use a "Blank Slate" approach in tax reform.
As the tax reform debate begins to heat up again, a new report released by the General Accountability Office (GAO) contributes some telling information regarding our outdated and inefficient corporate tax code. For tax year 2010, profitable corporations that filed a Schedule M-3 (those that have assets greater than $10 million) paid 12.6 percent of their reported worldwide income in U.S. federal income taxes.