Twelve Steps to Tax Reform

Twelve Steps to Tax Reform

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(1) Get conservatives to recognize tax expenditures as government spending. Relabel "tax expenditures." Call them "tax earmarks." . . .

(2) Get conservatives to recognize base broadening as an alternative to a VAT. . . .

(3) Get corporations to recognize base broadening as the pathway to lower corporate rates and a territorial system.

(4) Get western state senators to recognize base broadening as an alternative to a gas tax. . . .

(5) Enlist the support of free-market small-government think tanks with a predilection for a Flat Tax or retail sales tax. . . .

. . . .

(6) Get the full political support of the President who needs to take major tax off the table until the 2012 election.

(7) Get the full technical support of the President. The Treasury Department is the natural incubator of tax reform ideas.

. . . .

(8) Make a deal with the charitable sector early: substitute broad based credits for the current charitable deduction.

(9) Demonize the mortgage industry. It caused the financial collapse. The mortgage interest deduction should be converted to a tax credit for fairness sake. . . .

(10) Tax benefits for gold-plated health plans enjoyed by Wall Street executives and members of powerful unions must be curtailed. . . . .

. . . .

(11) Lionize the Senate Finance Committee leadership. There is nothing members of a tax-writing committee like more than a major tax reform where they are the center of attention. . . .

(12) Lionize the House Ways and Means Committee leadership. In the House partisan lines are much more sharply drawn. . . .

OK, those are just some ideas. Let's see if we can build on them.

View TaxAnalysts' Martin A. Sullivan's opinion in its entirety on TAX.com.

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