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October 19, 2005

Tax Reform

Go to the Tax Policy Center to learn about the Bush tax reform proposals:

Tax Policy Center | News & Events: ON OCTOBER 18, 2005, the President's tax reform panel released recommendations eliminating a host of special tax breaks and streamlining the filing process. Tax Policy Center scholars have played a fundamental role in guiding the panel's tax reform recommendations, including testifying before the panel on return-free tax systems, fair reform for families, reforming the individual Alternative Minimum Tax, and issues resulting from a consumption tax base. Additionally, the Tax Policy Center has conducted extensive research on many of the options considered by the panel...

And go to the Carpetbagger Report to see some fur fly:

The Carpetbagger Report
: 'Tax reform' may be even less popular than 'Social Security reform': Geography is but one of many problems for this would-be proposal. Kevin did an excellent job summarizing (with a nice table) who's likely to benefit most from all this restructuring and "simplification." I don't want to spoil the surprise, but I'll give you a hint: it's not middle- or lower-income families.... On the left, we have folks like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), among others, calling it a "dagger to the heart." But that's nothing compared to what the right has been saying.

  • Phil Kerpen, policy director of the Free Enterprise Fund, said, "The panel, in its primary focus, seems headed away from its mission to develop a plan for fundamental tax reform." He accused the panel of "a series of tax hikes on the U.S. middle class to balance out relief for upper-income elites."
  • Leo Linbeck, who wants a federal retail sales tax, called Bush's commission a "fraudulent political theater designed to protect the corrupt tax code and those who profit from its manipulation."
  • Larry Hunter, chief economist for the Free Enterprise Fund, said, "If George Bush thinks he has problems with Harriet Miers, wait until it dawns on people that his tax-reform panel is recommending a huge tax cut for rich people in blue states and a huge tax increase for middle-class folks in the red states."

...The last time such sweeping changes were made in tax law was in 1986. Enactment of that measure required the unqualified commitment of President Ronald Reagan, then at the peak of his popularity; the political mastery of his Treasury secretary, James A. Baker III; the work of a bipartisan coalition in Congress that included many of the most influential senators and representatives; and two years of intensive maneuvering and horse trading.

Posted by DeLong at October 19, 2005 10:16 PM