Is Congress Ready for Comprehensive Tax Reform?

August 30, 2011

There’s increasing buzz around Capitol Hill that Congress will be taking a serious look at tax reform before the end of the year, independent of whatever policy changes are recommended by the “super committee” charged with finding $1.5 trillion in savings from the federal budget over the next ten years.

First came rumors of Senate Democrats eyeing corporate tax reform specifically, and now John Rossomando of the Daily Caller reports that House Republicans are ramping up for a reform push before the 2012 presidential race complicates the possibility of legislative compromise:

“Republicans need to lay out a tax proposal sooner rather than later instead of just focusing on spending,” said Texas GOP Rep. Kevin Brady, the vice-chairman of the congressional Joint Economic Committee. “A strong economy is key to reducing our deficits.”

The conservative House Republican Study Committee is also reportedly planning to supplement the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan with a “growth” element including tax cuts and regulatory reforms.

[…]

According to Rep. Brady, the RSC’s eventual proposal will be a force to be reckoned with in the House Republican Conference because the two groups’ memberships overlap significantly.

Details of what Republicans in the House will pursue are still up in the air, although as Rossomando points out, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has already proposed cutting both the top individual and corporate tax rates ten full points, from 35% to 25%. For context, the lowest the top marginal rate for individual income has been in recent decades was 28% in the late 1980s – the last time it was 25% was in 1931.<–>

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