Just where is the GOP on taxes right now?
After the recent debt ceiling debate, Republicans seemed pretty unified in their stance against raising taxes. But here is Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp, just appointed to the new debt supercommittee:
A leading Republican lawmaker would not rule out tax increases on Thursday if they could boost economic growth, adding that “everything is on the table” for a congressional panel charged with forging a deal to cut the deficit.
Representative Dave Camp, head of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives, told Reuters in a telephone interview that the deepening global financial crisis would prompt him and other super committee members to pull together. …
“I don’t want to rule anything in or out,” Camp said. “I am willing to discuss all issues that might help us reduce our short and long-term debt and grow our economy,” Camp said. ”Everything is on the table, until we as a group rule it out.”
Bet the House GOP leadership didn’t like that one bit, though perhaps Camp was just trying to appear non-absolutist on the issue. After all, if Democrats tossed Obamacare over the side and embraced pro-market entitlement reform, perhaps some concession on taxes wouldn’t be out of order
Now let me also point out comments by Sen. Pat Toomey, another GOP member of the supercommittee, to Politico which may also leave a smidgen of wiggle room: “I think some kind of big tax increase is just … not going to be part of this,” Toomey said.
But what about a not-so-big tax increase? Maybe something from this menu of options (via MF Global):
§ Modification of Mortgage Interest Deduction – Repeal raises $484B over five years
§ Carried Interest – $10B-$15B over 10 years
§ Spectrum Sales – $10B-$15B
§ Higher Guarantee Fees for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – $30B
§ Repeal of LIFO Accounting – $70B over 10 years
§ Bonus Depreciation (the corporate jet tax)
§ Repeal of oil and gas subsidies – $40B
§ Repeal of Renewable Energy “tax subsidies”
§ Deferral on foreign income of multinationals – $70B over 10 years
§ Medicare Part D Rebates/Dual Eligibles – $112B over 10 years
I am somewhat relieved, then, by what Toomey added:
Still, Toomey said he is open to reforms of the tax code “because there are tremendous inefficiencies in our tax code.” He said he would like to see “all kinds of deductions and write-offs and special-interest loopholes” eliminated and then “correspondingly lower the marginal rate so we encourage investment and economic growth.”
Exactly. Simplify the tax code and use the revenue to cut marginal taxes. A more efficient tax code, especially one that stopped penalizing investment, would boost tax revenue by boosting growth.