Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Tax Reform is underway on Capitol Hill. The Senate tax-writers have adopted a "Blank Slate" approach that initially eliminates every provision in the tax code, including those that are cherished by homeowners and future homeowners.  The intent is to lower tax rates that in turn will stimulate the economy.
From a 
website created for the effort
"In order to make sure that we end up with a simpler, more efficient and fairer tax code, we believe it is important to start with a "blank slate" -- that is, a tax code without all of the special provisions in the form of exclusions, deductions and credits and other preferences that some refer to as "tax expenditures." This blank slate is not, of course, the end product, nor the end of the discussion....
We plan to operate from an assumption that all special provisions are out unless there is clear evidence that they: (1) help grow the economy, (2) make the tax code fairer, or (3) effectively promote other important policy objectives."

The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Finance Committee recently
 began a legislative push to simplify the tax code by asking all Senators to make a case for including special tax breaks.Senator Max Baucus, on the left, and Senator Orrin Hatch want to start work on the tax code by clearing it of special breaks, unless those breaks meet specific goals. 

In the House, the committee that works on tax measures is called the Ways and Means Committee and it is headed up by Dave Camp, (R-Mich). This Committee has held many hearings on tax reform and has built "working groups" to arrive at a game plan for tax reform.
Normally Senators are tasked with the need to eliminate tax breaks but Senator Baucus and Senator Hatch thought that it is easier for Senators to come up with their list of deductions and breaks they want SAVED.

Every  $2 trillion in individual tax breaks added back to their "blank slate" would raise tax rates 1.3 to 2.2 percentage points. In other words, Senators must decide between popular tax breaks and low income tax rates.

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