U.S. Chamber Chief Economist Calls for Tax Reform
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Congress needs to tune out the demands of special interests intent on preserving their favored sections of the tax code and come up with a comprehensive tax reform plan that will increase growth and revenues, says U.S. Chamber Chief Economist Marty Regalia.
“Let the Congress, which supposedly has some expertise, come up with a plan and put it out there,” Regalia said during a November 4 panel discussion in Washington, D.C. “Put together a package that works and put it out there for reaction.”
Speaking at the National Journal’s “Policy Summit: Tax Reform—Leading Tax Proposals to Encourage Capital Investment in the U.S. Economy,” Regalia said that businesses are making their decisions based on the tax code, including putting off investments and purchases. The overall goal of tax reform should be to “get the tax code out of business decisions,” he said.
Regalia also emphasized that anything short of comprehensive tax reform would fail to have the desired impact. “If we have a tax code that doesn’t work for the business community, then it’s not going to work for the American people. So just fixing the corporate tax rate won’t help the 20 million small businesses out there that file as individuals.”
Regalia said that he supports the idea of reducing the capital gains tax rate from 15% to zero, but acknowledged that there is no political will to do so. “We should be fostering investment because it’s the seed corn of growth down the road. However, there’s little political appetite.”
Regalia was joined by Mark Bloomfield, president & CEO of the American Council for Capital Formation; Scott A. Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation; and Elaine Kamarck, Ph.D., lecturer in public policy at the Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School.