There are suddenly some encouraging signs that conservatives in Congress are finally waking up to the fact that the many tax loopholes, special tax subsidies, and targeted tax breaks buried in our nation’s corporate and individual tax codes are just spending programs by another name. Getting rid of the worst of them would help accomplish two important goals simultaneously: improve the efficiency of the tax code, and raise much-needed revenue to reduce the federal budget deficit and federal debt levels over time.
More good news: The Center for American Progress has already indentified more than $1 trillion worth of these so-called tax expenditures that are ripe for reform or elimination. If the group of bipartisan budget negotiators led by Vice President Joseph Biden were to follow CAP’s recommendations, they would be halfway toward their goal of finding $2 trillion in deficit reduction without having to raise a single tax rate or cut a single dime from Social Security or Medicare.
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