Monday, April 18, 2011
Following up on last week's post, House Holds Hearing Today on The Tax Code’s Burdens on Individuals, Families
: Tax Prof Neil H. Buchanan
(George Washington) blogs his testimony
before the committee in Big Tax News (Relatively Speaking) From the Hearings
The hearing featured three witnesses invited by the Republican majority, and one witness (me) invited by the Democratic minority. Because the committee itself has more Republicans than Democrats, and because the Republicans focused their questions on their own witnesses (while the Democrats split their time more evenly among the witnesses), the Republicans should have held a distinct advantage in generating statements that support their policy preferences. Surprisingly, they not only failed to induce testimony that would support their policies, but they actually made matters worse for themselves. ...
[A] hastily-convened hearing on a mom-and-apple-pie topic (simplifying taxes) effectively blew up in the collective face of the leaders of the Ways and Means Committee. They sat helplessly while their own witnesses agreed that people who earn more than $250,000/year are rich, that tax rate cuts actually do reduce tax revenue, and that consumption taxes can be as complicated as our current tax system.