Daily Deduction

from the Tax Policy Center

Jobs, Growth and Tax Reform: Everybody’s hungry, and looking for a cook.

By :: March 13th, 2014

Jobs, opportunity, growth, and equality: It’s a tall order. Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman will  share the White House take on how to fill that order.  He’ll review the Economic Report of the President for the Joint Economic Committee. The Senate Finance Committee will explore ways to accomplish the same goal  at today’s hearing. The panel includes TPC’s Len Burman; we’ll post Burman’s testimony soon after it’s delivered.

Theres a family-focused tax reform bill in the Senatebut it would cost $2.4 trillion. TPC’s Howard Gleckman notes an intriguing idea from Sen. Mike Lee that costs $2.4 trillion. The Senator wants to help families with children, but the bill’s required trade-offs and tremendous ten-year pricetag make it a tough sell. This TPC analysis by Len Burman, Elaine Maag, Georgia Ivsin and Jeff Rohaly finds revenue neutrality is possible but Lee would have to lower the income level for the plan’s top bracket, scale back increases to the child tax credit and other credits, or further broaden the tax base.

There’s another blueprint for job growth and tax cuts in the Senate—but it’s a black box. Senator Rob Portman released his blueprint for “Jobs for America”. It calls for tax reform in broad strokes: Cutting the top individual and corporate income tax rates to 25 percent; making the research and development tax credit permanent; extending  the small business investment tax credit; lowering taxes on capital gains and dividends; and repealing the estate tax. How would he pay for it all? He’d cut waste, fraud, and abuse; and reform entitlements in unspecified ways.

While you wait, enjoy some food for thought on corporate tax reform: Both President Obama and House Ways & Means Chair Dave Camp would like corporate tax reform (for different reasons, and in different ways), even when there appears to be little hope for it. Wonder if this graphic from Bloomberg might whet Congress’ appetite?

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  1. Michael Bindner  ::  4:10 am on March 14th, 2014:

    Lots of good intellectual food on TPC’s take on issues before Congress. I will soon review Len’s piece and did Howard’s piece on the Lee plan yesterday. The brief on Rob Portman’s plan is interesting. Portman may have the right rate, but it should be a VAT rate – although 25% is too low if entitlement reform is done as it should be (by equalizing the employer contribution and including it in a value added or net business receipts tax – depending on whether a personal account option is used). Oddly, the only way to really reform waste, fraud, and abuse is to fix the congressional budget process so that spending is not tied to an annual time table and appropriations are automatic when the fiscal year begins – regardless of congressional action. As an insider, I must report that most of the overstaffing in finance and contracts and the wasteful actions are a result of the current process. Interesting graphic on overseas tax liability. Bringing some of that money back might make sense given that dividend and capital gains rates have risen from 15% to 25% – although I would jack them up a bit more before allowing a repatriation holiday.

  2. 2014 MONTHLY TAX TABLE  ::  5:16 pm on March 15th, 2014:

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