Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Federal Budget; A Promising Proposal

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Federal Budget; A Promising Proposal

Article excerpt

Quietly, Congress is making some progress on the most difficult issues facing the nation.

Let's start with the tax system, which is overly complicated, stifles innovation and provides incentives for investors to sit on their money or bank it overseas.

Now a tax reform proposal from Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., deserves a hard look. Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has released the Tax Reform Act of 2014. It's called a discussion draft, but it represents a great deal of work.

There were more than 30 congressional hearings, 11 bipartisan working groups, three discussion drafts and more than 14,000 public comments posted on TaxReform.Gov.

The draft would simplify the tax code. More than 200 sections of the tax code would be repealed, cutting the size of the tax code by 25 percent.

Two tax rates of 10 percent and 24 percent would cover virtually all taxable income. The corporate tax also would be reduced to 25 percent, which has been a major competitive issue for the United States.

The standard deduction would be larger, $11,000 for individuals and $22,000 for married couples.

The child tax credit would be $1,500 per child and indexed for inflation.

The Alternative Minimum Tax would be eliminated.

SIMPLE AT LAST

A special tax return for seniors would be developed for simplicity.

More than 90 percent of filers would get the lowest possible tax rate by claiming the standard deduction.

It would create jobs. Up to 1.8 million new private sector jobs would be created, according to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.

It would help the middle class. The average family of four would have an extra $1,300 per year from lower tax rates and higher wages.

The plan also would dedicate $126.5 billion to the highway trust fund.

NONPARTISAN PRAISE

The draft was praised by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Budget. Here are the highlights:

- It identifies tough choices and trade-offs. …

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