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‘We’re Going to Step Up the Pace’: Tax Reform Team Fighting Divided Congress, News Cycle

The effort carries at least the tacit endorsement of the Obama administration and the House GOP leadership, but then come details.

Bill Straub


September 17, 2013 - 11:43 am
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WASHINGTON – While official Washington continues to mull over the Syria crisis and budget matters, the chairmen of the House and Senate tax-writing committees are toiling behind the scenes to develop a simpler and fairer code.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, have conducted several meetings with individual taxpayers and businesses over the past six weeks to boost support for an initiative many consider unattainable in a divided Congress – comprehensive tax reform.

“The U.S. tax code has not been updated in close to 30 years,” the pair said in a joint statement after a recent session in Minneapolis. “In that time, it has become increasingly complicated. Our tax code today contains nearly four million words and is riddled with loopholes that are acting as a brake on our economy. We have an opportunity to change all that. Tax reform can make the code simpler and fairer for America’s families and businesses and spark a more prosperous economy.”

The effort carries at least the tacit endorsement of the Obama administration and the House GOP leadership, both of whom nonetheless maintain a different vision of what constitutes tax reform. Baucus and Camp are attempting to thread the needle and come up with a plan that could prove amenable to both factions.

“We have an opportunity to change all that so that the tax code is fairer and easier to comply with — for families and businesses of all sizes,” Camp said.

It now appears, however, that the legislative calendar isn’t working in their favor. House GOP leaders have in the past cited tax reform as a priority of the 113th Congress – going so far as to hold in reserve the bill number H.R. 1 for any overhaul legislation embraced by Ways and Means.

But the issue has all but disappeared from the leadership’s to-do list, given the long inventory of looming catastrophes. Tax reform is not included among the issues that leadership has advised the Republican caucus might be broached before the end of the first session.

Last November, in remarks before the Tax Foundation, a Washington-based tax policy research organization, Camp insisted that, “Tax reform is more necessary now than it was in 1986 and that is why the Ways and Means Committee will write, act on and pass comprehensive tax reform legislation in 2013. Let me repeat that: we intend to move a comprehensive tax reform bill in 2013 – no matter what.”

Despite the obvious roadblocks, Camp isn’t brandishing a white flag over the prospects of getting the job done before the end of the year.

“We’re definitely going to step up the pace this fall, no doubt about it,” Camp told reporters after a Sept. 10 meeting with GOP committee members to review the reform issue.

But Camp also acknowledged that tax reform isn’t “something to be finished in a matter of days and weeks, as some might suggest we do today.” Rather, he said, the task must be accomplished “methodically, meticulously and as the result of work on both sides of the aisle.”

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All Comments   (8)
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You mean like those "details" in the PPACA.

THAT Bill enacted into law in haste using gangster tactics and without the "Honourable" Members of the legislation body - those who make laws Congress knowing what was in it: "We'll have to pass it to know what's in it".

2000 plus pages of legal crossed t's dotted i's and completely unintelligible language. That job done and hands wiped how many of the present legislators have finally read the entire 2000 plus pages with the "Details"?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The best move to change the tax code is to abolish the income tax completely and fire the IRS and then Abolish the Privately Owned Federal Reserve System.
Then let the Federal Government get its revenue from Import/Export and excise taxes. This change would connect the federal taxes to GDP at its source and would in fact hold the Federal Government to a manageable size.
Reinstate a National Reserve System with 50 reserve banks, one for each state. Have a 51 person National Reserve Board, one from each State and the Chairman from the Headquarters in DC. Put the whole group under the Treasury and Congress.
These changes would once again put everything back to agree with our Constitution and it would remove the International Banking Cartel from our monetary system.....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The effort carries at least the tacit endorsement of the Obama administration and the House GOP leadership
===========end quote==================

If that phrase does not strike fear in the heart of anyone who loves country and Constitution; I don't know what would.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Any income tax, no matter how structured, contains an inescapable flaw that is fatal to liberty:

As long as our taxes are based on our income, the government has the right to know our personal financial details. There can be no privacy with an income tax.

Only a sales tax avoids this fatal flaw.

That's why the Establishment hates it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If your NeoConfederacy--if your love of treason--didn't already let me know it, this does.

You're an idiot.

With a sales tax, they know how much you make, because they know how much you spend. If you don't know about the bank reporting requirements--so they know how much you keep--that's more ignorance on your ledger.

What's more, with a sales tax, they know what you are buying.

The best fundraiser for government from a privacy standpoint and all around is a deductionless flat income assessed at the time of the transaction*, with wages. Cheating is hard, collection is efficient and has few costs, there's no "progressive taxation nonsense" and they don't know how you're spending it.

*And if we get a single bracket tax, return fits on a post card, per person deductions kept and the mortgage and other deduction on a ramp down to oblivion, we should thank God for it and it will unburden the economy substantially.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just more Democan and Republicrat kabuki theater.
Their sole purpose is to take more in taxes out of the economy and redistribute it to the dregs of the society.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
While they are at it they may actually pass a law to make the taxation of income legal because so far there is none. I've been told Russia has a flat tax now. May be we should ask Putin to write an op-ed on that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Then again if the economy continues to go this way they will be better off taxing misery and pain!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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