Paul L. Caron
Dean




Monday, May 1, 2017

Hemel:  Trump Has Squandered An Historic Opportunity For Major Tax Reform

Illinois 2

Over thirty legal scholars participated in the University of Illinois Law Review Symposium on the first 100 days of the Trump Administration.

Daniel Hemel (Chicago) provides a tax perspective in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Tax Reform, 2017 U. Ill. L. Rev. Online: Trump 100 Days (April 29, 2017):

100 days ago, the political conditions for tax reduction seemed more hospitable than in January 2001 or January 1981. But, in the time since Trump entered the White House, he has done everything he could to make the task of tax reduction more difficult for himself: pursuing a go-it-alone strategy that sidelined House and Senate Republicans; refusing to hand over his own tax returns, thus handing the Democrats a political gift; and coming forward with a plan so ambitious it is hard to take seriously.

If President Trump makes tax history this year, it will not be for enacting the largest tax cut ever. It will be for taking an historic opportunity to reduce tax rates and — against all odds — managing to squander it.

See also Richard L. Kaplan (Illinois), Healthcare Policy in the Trump Administration’s First 100 Days, 2017 U. Ill. L. Rev. Online: Trump 100 Days (April 29, 2017)

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/05/hemeltrump-has-squandered-an-historic-opportunity-for-major-tax-reform.html

Tax | Permalink

Comments

"there is no empirical data to support that popular conservative theme. None. As. In. None."

False. As in ... False. See Thomas Sowell.

Posted by: Ripper | May 5, 2017 8:41:44 PM

"I was hoping for at least some response to the first three points."

Right, because you have such a great track record yourself answering simple, direct questions that've been put to you...

Political distortion of language is par for the course these days, on the Left at least...

Posted by: MM | May 4, 2017 9:12:08 PM

The author gets extra style points for the correct use of "an" rather than "a" in the title. You could therefore say that it was an excellent article.

Posted by: AMTbuff | May 4, 2017 6:24:10 PM

"The transfer of property at or after death, whether by contract or by law, is a privilege created, granted, and enforced by government."

Wow! I'm speechless. Truly, I don't even know where to begin.

Posted by: Dale Spradling | May 4, 2017 7:24:28 AM

Mr. MM: Is that all you've got? I AM disappointed. I was hoping for at least some response to the first three points.

Posted by: Publius Novus | May 4, 2017 6:02:36 AM

"Sounds a bit like the libertarian dream, except for the equitable distribution thing."

Anarchism = absence of the State, does not necessarily = Libertarianism
Equity = a just and fair outcome, does not necessarily = Equality

But when you're as old as Pubs and as deep in Democratic Party stew, everybody who doesn't agree with you probably sounds the same...

Posted by: MM | May 3, 2017 7:02:37 PM

Mr. Ripper: Exaggerate much? “The estate tax is simply grave robbing.” The transfer of property at or after death, whether by contract or by law, is a privilege created, granted, and enforced by government. The estate tax is a tax on that privilege, nothing more, nothing less.

“Tax revenue from the Reagan reforms generated massive increases in tax revenue.” Write much? But assuming you are attempting to convey the thought that Reagan’s tax rate decreases generated “massive increases in tax revenue,” there is no empirical data to support that popular conservative theme. None. As. In. None.

But at least you got one thing right. One of the three accurate and truthful statements Reagan made during his attempt at running the country essentially was along the lines of your riff that “the only way we can work out the national debt, the local debt, is from a booming economy.”

As for your concept of communism as a form of government, not exactly. One widely accepted definition of “communism” is the final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably. In other words, communism is an economic system that exists after there is no more government. Sounds a bit like the libertarian dream, except for the equitable distribution thing.

Posted by: Publius Novus | May 3, 2017 6:51:52 AM

Carter pushed regulatory reform, Rostenkowski and Reagan tax reform, Clinton and Newt welfare and budget reform at a time when politicians still thought of themselves as policy experts that also were forced to run for office (I'm operating on memory :-) ). Questions like "how can we better collect revenue without distorting the market" and "how can we make government less expensive and more helpful" was common ground where senior members of the parties met and found a few ideas to cooperate on, more or less.

Politics is now pure simony- political parties offer lucrative offices, titles and sinecures to loyal foot soldiers, soldiers dedicated to that familiar war-footing mind-set: the enemy is inhuman, all means to their destruction are, if not permitted, forgiven. Schumer, Pelosi, Tom Perez and their caucus legions have exhibited little interest in objective policy discussions. The shocking thing is that it's Trump, member of both parties but loyal to neither, that seems most enthusiastic to make a grand bargain.

Posted by: Yo Gabba Gabba | May 2, 2017 1:56:05 PM

First, I am apalled at the idea that tax returns of anyone should be placed in the public domain. In President Trump's case the sharpshooters would be at it for the next however many years. Presumably to demonstrate tax chicanery. Chicanery forced upon all of us by the current byzantine tax code.
The estate tax is simply grave robbing. Yes, the impact of capital gains needs be addressed. Simply eliminate the capital gains tax. After all capital gains are merely capital transfers.
Tax revenue from the Reagan reforms generated massive increases in tax revenue. Unfortunately, in exchange for obtaining funds for build up of our military (in order to win the Cold War) Reagan had to capitulate to Democrat spending which far outstripped the revenue gains.
Second, as someone who works in the tax field, I find that no matter the level of income my clients, after taxes, end up with little or no discretionary income. The goal should be to correct this. That is what Trump's plan does.
The increase is discretionary income fuels business expansion, increases consumer spending, generates savings for retirement, and all to the benefit of government coffers.
The latter seems sufficient to gain support from those legislators who can only focus on expanding government (spending).
In Oregon the government spenders decided at one point that instead of giving employees a pay raise they would guarantee an 8% return on retirement accruals. Now government at all levels is suffering the crippling effect of budgeting for contributions to the retirement fund to make up for the shortfall.
I add this latter to enforce the point that the only way we can work out the national debt, the local debt, is from a booming economy, not the lackluster performance of the last ten years under Democrat control.
There is a governing system that focuses solely on taking of profits for itself. It's called communism.

Posted by: Ripper | May 2, 2017 5:49:07 AM

I have yet to see any draft proposal for revenue-neutral individual tax reform that wouldn't be dead on arrival due to creating too many net losers. I doubt that anyone could develop a politically viable proposal.

Posted by: AMTbuff | May 1, 2017 4:52:05 PM