Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Citizens for Tax Justice, Tax Reform Goals: Raise Revenue,
Enhance Fairness, End Offshore Shelters
Most Americans and politicians probably like the idea of “tax reform,” but not everyone
agrees on what “tax reform” means. If Congress is going to spend time on a
comprehensive overhaul of America’s tax system, this overhaul should raise revenue,
make our tax system more progressive, and end the breaks that encourage large
corporations to shift their profits and even jobs offshore.
Tax measures before Congress generally begin as proposals before the House Ways and
Means Committee, and the current chairman, Dave Camp of Michigan, has defined tax
reform as a process by which Congress would lower tax rates on corporations and
wealthy individuals and then offset the cost by eliminating or reducing “tax
expenditures” (subsidies provided through the tax code) so that the net result is no
increase in revenue. Camp argues that the goals of tax reform should be to make the
tax code simpler and to make American companies more “competitive,” although
neither of these vague terms addresses the greatest problems with our tax system.