|March 24, 2014|
Previously published on March 20, 2014
Conventional wisdom states that Representative Dave Camp’s (R-Mich.) comprehensive tax reform proposal has zero chance of passing in the current Congress. Nevertheless, experts are praising the Camp proposal for its specificity, transparency, and thoroughness. In a recent blog post, TaxVox editor and Urban Institute fellow Howard Gleckman and Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center co-director William Gale opined that the Camp proposal—“in all its gory detail”— sets a bar that future reform proposals must meet in order to be taken seriously.
By specifying exactly what he would cut and where, say Gleckman and Gale, Rep. Camp has made it more difficult for other lawmakers of either party to “credibly promise trillions of dollars in tax cuts” without explaining how they would pay for them, or, conversely, to “propose some new government initiative without ever saying how they’d cover the cost.” Gleckman and Gale point to last week’s “Jobs for America” reform plan, authored by Senator Rob Portman (R-Mich.) and relatively thinly covered in the press, as an example of an unspecific plan that promises tax cuts and other relief but fails to specify how the cuts would be paid for.