Posts Tagged ‘tax reform’

Highways, Pensions, Deficits and Reform: A Long and Winding Road

“Are we there yet?” It’s just a little (or a lot) further for the federal Highway Trust Fund. Congress just left for a week-long recess, leaving the Highway Trust Fund nearly empty. The Senate Finance Committee didn’t support Chairman Ron Wyden’s $9 billion tax-raising patch, in spite of Wyden’s willingness to drop some tax increases. […]

Close But No Cigar: The Politics of Class, Race, and Taxes

This week, the District of Columbia City Council approved a major tax reform bill. And, as it happens, some important—but unspoken– issues of race and class are underlying key changes to the revenue code. Earlier this year, the DC Tax Revision Commission proposed a broad rewrite of the city’s tax code, including two modest but […]

Dave Camp’s Great Bonus Depreciation Flip-Flop

Sadly, the House Ways & Means Committee has turned on its head a proposal by its chairman, Dave Camp (R-MI) to repeal bonus depreciation for business capital investment. Instead of scrapping the measure, which Congress originally passed in 2008 as a temporary anti-recession tonic, the panel has voted to make the tax break permanent. And, […]

Are Multinationals Getting Tired of Waiting for Corporate Tax Reform?

Is it possible that U.S.-based multinationals are getting tired of waiting for Congress to enact corporate tax reform? Seeking cash for domestic acquisitions, some of the nation’s best-known firms are starting to bring back their foreign earnings. Some are finding ways to avoid paying tax at all on that income. Others are so anxious to […]

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 […]

Dave Camp’s Tax Reform Could Kill Community Foundations

House Ways and Means Committee Chair  Dave Camp deserves credit for proposing a tax reform that takes on many special interests,  something  too few other elected officials are willing to do. But one provision mistakenly threatens the survival of most community foundations without improving the tax system or strengthening the charitable community. The proposal would […]

Should Congress Curb Donor Advised Funds?

Buried deep in House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp’s tax reform plan is a proposal to require donor-advised funds to distribute contributions within five years. The proposal would be a major change for these charitable vehicles, where funds currently can sit indefinitely. Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are an easy, low-cost way for people (who […]

If Congress Lets Firms Expense Investments, It Should Take Away Their Interest Deduction

Egged on by business lobbyists, congressional tax writers seem increasingly interested in allowing firms to rapidly write off the cost of their capital investments. Especially in the House, lawmakers would allow small businesses to expense the full cost of their investments in the year they are acquired, and let larger firms heavily front-load tax depreciation […]

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. […]

Seven Tax Issues Facing Small Business

Today I had the chance to testify before the House Small Business Committee on the many tax issues facing small business. Here are my opening remarks. You can find my full testimony here. America’s tax system is needlessly complex, economically harmful, and often unfair. Despite recent revenue gains, it likely will not raise enough money […]