Archive for the ‘Tax Reform’ Category

Len Burman’s Brief for a Health Care VAT

In the cover essay in the current issue of The Milken Institute Review, Len Burman calls for a Value-Added Tax (VAT) to pay for government health care costs. Len, the director of Tax Policy Center (and, thus, my boss), argues that a dedicated—and fully transparent–health care VAT would increase public support for efforts to slow the […]

A Flash Tax for the Flash Boys

Michael Lewis spotlights high-frequency traders with his new book, Flash Boys.  These traders use high-speed computers and fast connections to outrace investors, and other traders, to the market.  They now account for more than half of all U.S. stock trades.  And the flash boys spend billions to save milliseconds (by, for example, laying expensive fiber-optic […]

Does Anyone Care About a Simple Tax Code?

One of the biggest  selling points for tax reform is the claim that a new and improved revenue code would be easier for taxpayers to manage. Along with economic growth and fairness, simplicity has been a watchword for reform for decades. But a striking new survey by the Associated Press-GfK  has me wondering whether anybody cares. […]

House Republicans Punt on Tax Reform

The House Republican budget, released today by Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI), kicks the tax reform can down the road yet again. Not only does it fail to enhance chances for a tax code rewrite, it almost certainly sets the effort back. This budget isn’t so much an actual fiscal plan (the framework for […]

Thank You, Dave Camp

House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI), who said yesterday that he’ll retire from Congress at the end of the year, will leave behind an enormously important achievement.  At a time when too many of his fellow lawmakers substitute easy partisan rhetoric for hard work, Camp wrote a serious tax reform plan. His […]

Should Tax Reform Be Sold on Values Instead of Economics?

Maybe the best way for tax reformers to get political traction is to focus on values, not economics. That, at least, was one take-away from three political scientists who spoke at a Tax Policy Center panel today. Until now, backers of reform have focused primarily on economic arguments: A reformed tax code would increase growth […]

Mission Impossible? An Upcoming TPC Panel Will Explore the Politics of Tax Reform

Everyone agrees that the tax code is a mess. So why is it so hard for Congress and the President to fix it? On Monday, the Tax Policy Center will host three top political experts who will explain why reform is such a challenge and how backers could overcome its hurdles. It won’t be easy. […]

Mike Lee’s Tax Plan: An Intriguing Idea That Would Add $2.4 Trillion to the Deficit

An ambitious tax reform plan proposed by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) would provide generous new tax credits for families with children and repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, while at the same time eliminating the standard deduction and nearly all itemized deductions. More than 60 percent of households would pay lower taxes than under current law […]

Tax Reform’s Quiet Protectionism

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp has offered a detailed and thoughtful set of proposals on international tax reform, as did former Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus in November, 2013. The proposals, however, contain a new form of subtle protectionism. They quietly aim to discourage U.S.-based multinationals from making products overseas and selling them […]

A Camp-ground for Tax Reformers

By proposing a far-reaching and detailed rewrite of the Revenue Code, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) did something very few elected officials have done in recent years: He stuck out his neck and proposed radical reform. The initial press response has focused on politics and concluded that neither Republicans nor Democrats […]