February 07, 2006


Remember the President's Tax Reform Panel? If not, you're hardly alone. The President himself seems to have forgotten the panel too.

Just over a year ago the President appointed a bipartisan group of former legislators, professors, and economists to work together to come up with recommendations about how to reform our nation's tax structure.

The Panel's findings were issued on November 1 of last year - and seem to have all but evaporated.

Many of the findings weren't all that controversial. For example, the panel found that indeed the tax structure is too complicated. The Panel also worked to develop two concrete proposals for tax reform. You can read about those proposals here.

Citizens for Tax Justice and many other groups weighed in on the panel's findings. Obviously, with anything as controversial as broad tax reform there will be some debate and disagreement. But our President hasn't even engaged in the debate.

The Panel' co-chair, former Senator John Breaux is disappointed about the lack of attention the Panel's findings have received, and he's talking. Here's an article from Forbes magazine which details his opinions about the opportunity lost to all Americans because of the lack of attention the Panel's findings received.


At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Praveen Ghanta said...

Here's a tax reform worth considering:

Make the capital gains and dividend tax cuts permanent, at 20% if not 15%, and balance this by eliminating two tax loopholes: the 1031 Exchange, and the $3000 investment losses deduction. This kind of tradeoff would simplify investment taxation while preserving revenue and low investment taxation.

The 1031 exchange has been used heavily in recent years to avoid taxation on real property - but why should investment real estate deserve this special loophole? Phasing out investment loss deductability and carry-forwards would greatly simplify investment tax accounting for individuals. While this would cost a great many investors, they would gain through the ongoing capital gains and dividend cuts.

Simplifying the tax code will require balanced proposals; I believe the above is fair. Anyone else have an opinion?


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