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Improving Our Tax Code

Despite the political gridlock over taxes, there are actually many areas on which both sides agree, explain the authors.

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idea light bulbNearly all Americans agree that the tax code needs improvement, and progressives and conservatives identify many of the same guiding principles when discussing tax reform. This report discusses some aspects of good tax policy that are endorsed on both sides and then identifies specific proposals for which consensus appears to be within reach. These areas of bipartisan agreement would raise revenue by a total of $1.4 trillion over 10 years. Additionally, this report identifies expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, as an opportunity to provide bipartisan tax relief to working families that would cost the federal government $84 billion over 10 years.

Unfortunately, rigid anti-tax ideology is preventing Congress from considering and implementing these policies. For example, Americans for Tax Reform, headed by Grover Norquist, demands that candidates and incumbents pledge to oppose any legislation that would increase taxes. But if politicians can put this extremism aside, there are opportunities throughout the tax code to make bipartisan improvements based on the principles endorsed by both progressives and conservatives.

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