Washington, D.C.— Congressional gridlock and election-year politicking appear to have stalled efforts to reform the tax code. But, politics aside, there is actually substantial agreement among progressive and conservative policymakers on how to improve the tax code, according to a new report released today by the Center for American Progress. Progressives and conservatives actually identify many of the same guiding principles when discussing tax reform, and various proposals from across the political spectrum include many of the same specific policies. Taken together, these areas of bipartisan agreement would raise revenue by a total of $1.4 trillion over 10 years.
“Contrary to popular opinion, progressives and conservatives can find common ground on which tax loopholes and subsidies to eliminate,” said Harry Stein, Associate Director of fiscal policy at CAP. “Congress could use these savings to grow the economy by investing in infrastructure, education, and innovation.”
“The measures in our report are consistent with key principles of good tax policy that policymakers on both sides say are important,” said Alexandra Thornton, Director of tax policy at CAP. “There’s no policy reason why Congress couldn’t agree on these measures.”
CAP’s report discusses aspects of good tax policy that are endorsed on both sides—including simplifying the tax code, broadening the tax base, and minimizing economic distortion—and identifies specific proposals for which consensus appears to be within reach. Reforming the tax code around itemized deductions, investment income, earnings stripping, transfer pricing, last-in, first-out, or LIFO, accounting, carried interest, and the Gingrich-Edwards loophole are among the areas where Congress could see bipartisan agreement.
While anti-tax ideology has prevented Congress from considering and implementing these policies, there are in fact opportunities throughout the tax code to make bipartisan improvements based on the principles that both progressives and conservatives endorse. And even if Congress refuses to pass legislation that raises additional revenue, it could pair a package of bipartisan revenue-raising provisions with an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC—a policy that both Democrats and Republicans have called for—and provide bipartisan tax relief to working families in revenue-neutral legislation.
Click here to read the report.
For more information on this topic, contact Allison Preiss at 202.478.6331 or firstname.lastname@example.org