Friday, July 29, 2005

Ways and Means: Simplicity Isn't so Simple

The House Ways and Means Committee held hearings on ways to accomplish President Bush's goal of simplifying the tax code. There was agreement on the value of achieving simplification, but the parties differed on how to accomplish the goal. Republicans tended to favor dramatic changes, such as John Linder's (GA) fair tax proposal, which would move a large share of taxation from an income-tax base to a sales-tax base, similar to the value added tax used in many European countries. Democrats tended to favor incremental improvements; an example of a Democratic proposal was one made by Rahm Emanuel (IL) which would allow non-itemizers to deduct mortgage interest.


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