Daily Deduction

from the Tax Policy Center

Tax Reform: Some Luck of the Irish Wouldn't Hurt

By :: March 17th, 2014

Mark your calendars. Congress is in recess and returns next week, so the Daily Deduction will resume its regular schedule on Monday, March 24. Please sign up here if you’d like to receive our e-newsletter after today. Looking ahead, there are two tax reform events you won’t want to miss.

Tax reform for the District of Columbia. On March 24, join DC Tax Revision Commission chair (and former mayor) Anthony Williams, and fellow commission members Mark Ein of the Venturehouse Group, Ed Lazere of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, and Kim Rueben of TPC as they discuss their effort to rework the city’s tax code. The panel, moderated by TPC’s Steve Rosenthal, will discuss commission’s tax reform plan. It will be sponsored by the Urban Institute’s State and Local Finance Initiative and TPC. Register here to attend in person or attend virtually through the webcast.

Why can’t we all just get along? Most economists agree that the federal tax system needs reform—but the public doesn’t share their enthusiasm. On March 31, join the American Enterprise Institute’s Karlyn Bowman, Syracuse University’s Chris Faricy, and the Brookings Institution’s William Galston as they explore the politics of tax reform. TPC’s Howard Gleckman will moderate what promises to be a provocative conversation about selling such a complex and controversial initiative to the public—always a challenge if history is any guide. Register here, or tune in to the webcast.

Maybe we could, if everybody tried hard enough. TPC’s Bill Gale and Howard Gleckman’s latest post has some good advice for all who might make a run at tax reform. Try to follow the path blazed  by House Ways & Means Chair Dave Camp: Be transparent and specific about the trade-offs that are inevitable in tax reform. Don’t pretend that tax cuts come without offsetting revenue raisers. Proposals that fail to meet this standard won’t be taken seriously. And that’s a step forward.


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  1. Michael Bindner  ::  8:57 pm on March 17th, 2014:

    Bill and Howard are correct as to the standard of work and presentation – however simplification is only a temporary goal – a better goal is to find some reason to not only simplify but exempt most families from filing taxes while increasing benefits for working (and even non-working) families The public might just become enthused with such an ambition goal. If you want a really provocative discussion, add me to the program on March 24th. As for DC revenues, they should be reformed, but as a part of comprehensive federal reform centered on employes rather than workers. Only that kind of leverage will ensure that DC gets the share of commuter income it is entitled to.

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