July 25, 2014

Camp’s Tax Plan: A Good Starting Point for Reform

  • The nation's fiscal future depends on the balance between the spending in the federal budget and the revenues flowing into the treasury. Tax policy...

The recent release of House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp’s detailed plan for comprehensive tax reform was unfortunately met with a collective shrug by his congressional colleagues in both parties.

“By adding specifics to what is usually a hypothetical discussion, Camp’s proposal could serve as a suitable starting point for a substantive debate on tax reform,” Concord Coalition Policy Director Joshua Gordon says in a blog post. “Unfortunately the plan seems unlikely to be treated that way.”

The plan uses all the revenue it would raise to lower marginal rates instead of using some of the money for deficit reduction. But it would eliminate or pare back scores of tax expenditures -- special provisions that favor certain behaviors, individuals and businesses -- that make the code the complicated mess it is today.

Gordon writes that Camp’s proposal, by eliminating or reforming these tax expenditures, “grapples with the reality that fiscal reform must contain unpopular provisions.”