Wyden: 15 Month Window To Rewrite Tax Code

And then it'll be 2016 fever.

The U.S. Senate's chief tax law writer on Tuesday vowed to work on overhauling the federal tax code by August 2015, citing a move by Medtronic Inc to shift its tax home base to Ireland as a spur to congressional action.

Senator Ron Wyden, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he wants to cut the corporate income tax rate to 24 percent from 35 percent, chiefly by eliminating loopholes. Wyden has advocated this proposal for years. Multinational companies have been clamoring for a tax cut.

The Oregon Democrat said there will be an opening for tax reform between now and Congress' August 2015 break. After that, lawmakers will be consumed by 2016 presidential election-campaign politics, he said.

"There is a prime 15-month window from now until the August recess of 2015," he said at a Wall Street Journal conference.

"We do need to go after some of these loopholes," Wyden said. "You go in there, clean those out, and use the money to hold down the rates."

Wyden is one of the few lawmakers in the U.S. Congress to have a comprehensive plan for rewriting the tax code. He first offered it as legislation in 2010. Congress has not thoroughly recrafted the loophole-riddled tax code since 1986.

I'm so old I remember when this kind of thing was a real priority for Republicans. They're paying it some lip-service this year but it's difficult to take the Debt Ceiling Punters seriously when it comes to anything having to with real fiscal responsibility.

Hey, if a Democrat can get the ball rolling maybe, just maybe, the Republicans can keep it going if they take back the Senate.