House GOP Tax Reform Blueprint Receives Praise and Criticism

The House tax reform blueprint, released on June 24 (TAXDAY, 2016/06/24, C.1), was welcomed by Republicans but criticized by Democrats. The blueprint is the sixth installment of the House Republicans’ agenda, “A Better Way—Our Vision for a Confident America.” The blueprint would create a new 25-percent business tax rate for small businesses, lower the corporate tax rate and consolidate the individual tax rates, among other changes.

“The Republican blueprint on tax reform is long on rhetoric and short on important details,” House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Sander Levin, D-Mich., said in a June 24 statement. “But its general direction is clear: huge, unpaid for tax cuts mostly directed to the wealthy,” he added.

“The blueprint relies heavily on dynamic scoring to “achieve revenue-neutrality in part by including the positive revenue effects from the economic growth that would result from a simpler, more pro-growth tax code.”” Levin continued. He added, however, that dynamic scoring has proven to be extremely unreliable.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, also criticized the blueprint. “Any serious, bipartisan reform effort must help all hard working Americans get ahead. The House GOP’s framework goes in the opposite direction,” Wyden said.

According to the Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex., the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC) praised the blueprint for putting forth ideas that will strengthen small businesses. “The GOP tax plan offers a bold path for getting our economy and small businesses back on strong footing. A simple tax system, with competitive rates and strong investment incentives is good for everyone in our economy, especially our entrepreneurs and individuals who want to pursue their dream of starting a business,” the SBEC said in a statement.

The Heritage Foundation also praised the blueprint. “If Congress follows the architecture the blueprint lays out, it will create a strongly pro-growth tax system that will create jobs, raise wages and increase opportunity for American families at all income levels,” it said.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., offered his support of Republican tax reform ideas in a June 24 statement. “In today’s blueprint, we propose a better tax code that will be simplified, close special-interest loopholes, promote significant job growth, and make America more competitive,” McCarthy said.” It will flatten out tax rates, encourage savings and investment, repeal the [Alternative Minimum Tax] and the Death Tax, and get America growing again, all in a revenue neutral way that takes into account its beneficial effects,” he added.

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff

Ways and Means Press Release: House Republicans Unveil 21st Century Tax Plan Built for Growth

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Ways and Means Press Release: Levin Statement on Republican “Better Way” Tax Reform Agenda

SFC Press Release: Wyden Comments on House GOP’s Tax Blueprint

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