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Dave Camp's tax reform plan was never a serious idea

by: Eric B.

Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 13:33:43 PM EST


Last week to great Beltway ballyhoo, Dave Camp released a "tax reform" plan that was the latest in serious adults proposing serious ideas to solve serious problems, because it was all Beltway and shit. The problem was that, like every other serious idea proposed by serious adults to address serious problems, it wasn't all that serious. In fact, it wasn't ever intended to go anywhere because it was almost immediately shot down by his own party leadership in the Senate ... where they hold a minority position.

I give you the worst possible takeaway from the entire thing.

The current tax code is outdated and complicated, and both personal and corporate rates are too high. U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, unveiled a discussion draft Wednesday for comprehensive tax reform that essentially overhauls the current code, streamlines forms, and reduces rates. It’s a good start to what should be a serious effort at tax reform.

The proposal as a whole would have made the tax code more regressive -- gather a larger percentage in revenue money that might otherwise be put to use stimulating demand for goods and services (i.e. spent, something low- and medium-income earners are more likely to do than the wealthy) -- and at a time of a struggling economy we have record corporate profits. This should be evidence enough for anyone to conclude that corporate tax rates aren't in fact too high, but when you base your editorials on zombie ideas rather than evidence, this is what you get.

There is also the bizarre idea that any tax reform plan be revenue neutral. The Bush tax cuts were a huge part of why our deficits ratcheted up last decade and why we accumulated more debt. These are the same people who insist that the federal budget be treated like a household budget, and they've forwarded an idea that is akin to sitting down over the dinner table, realizing that you don't have the money to pay for what you need and immediately ruling out as a solution taking a second, weekend job.

Eric B. :: Dave Camp's tax reform plan was never a serious idea
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