Paul L. Caron

Monday, June 18, 2012

Is It Finally Time for Corporate Tax Reform?

Georgetown Public Policy Review:  We’re Doing It Wrong – Corporate Taxation in the United States, by Alex Engler:

Senator Max Baucus [D-MT] made some noise this week when he announced that he had turned his attention to an overhaul of the United States tax code.  Not only is the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee going to address the systemic problems facing the nation’s revenue machine, but he is going to do it in the face of taxmageddon.  Also known as the ‘fiscal cliff’, the slew of changes to current tax policy scheduled for January 1, 2013 are quite drastic. Senator Baucus may be correct in assuming that this presents an opportunity for meaningful reform that has not occurred since the 1986 tax code restructuring.

Reforming the corporate tax code was one of the central pillars of Baucus’s ‘Tax Code for the 21st Century’.  This isn’t surprising given that talking points on both sides of the aisle have consistently advocated for reconstructing the corporate tax code to either make corporations pay their fair share or increase international economic competitiveness.  These talking points have generally understated the issue at hand, but in his remarks to the Bipartisan Policy Center, Baucus made no such miscalculation:

Today, the code is certainly not beautiful.  Instead, it reminds me of Hydra, the mythical beasts with hundreds of heads.  Each time you cut one off, two more grow back.

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