and Dave,” as they’ve recently styled themselves, are better known as
Max Baucus and Dave Camp, two of Congress’ most influential members. At
the beginning of May they teamed up to launch a public relations
campaign designed to rally support for simplifying the federal tax code.
Both are well-qualified to talk taxes. Max Baucus is the chairman of
the Senate Finance Committee and the vice chairman of the Joint
Committee on Taxation while Dave Camp is the chairman of the House Ways
and Means Committee and chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation.
Bloomberg.com covered their attempts to reform the US tax code in a recent article. We’ve recapped the recent developments below.
and Dave’s” attempt to restart the national conversation on simplifying
the tax code is based on the premise that a simpler structure for
taxation is better for the average American. They’ve set up a website (www.taxreform.gov)
and Twitter handle (@simplertaxes) in an effort to start soliciting
public support and gathering feedback for their efforts. This effort to
solicit feedback from the public is reminiscent of the last successful
tax reform effort accomplished in 1986. The then-chairman of the Ways
and Means Committee, Dan Rostenkowski, launched a “Write Rosty” campaign
to solicit feedback from the public. His pitch to the people was made
easier by the strong support of President Ronald Reagan.
hurdles remain for this most recent tax reform effort. With so many
other pressing issues facing the nation, there doesn’t appear to be a
clear reason to move tax reform to the front of the public debate. A
simpler tax code may not be enough on its own to capture the public’s
attention. Significant differences still exist between Republicans and
Democrats on how to handle the increased tax revenue that a simplified
tax code would generate. Camp and Baucus themselves still disagree on
whether to use additional tax revenue to reduce the deficit or lower
remains to be seen what the final result of this most recent effort
will be. However, with Baucus’ retirement from the Senate in 2014 and
Dave Camp’s term as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee set to
expire that same year, little time remains. The nation may just continue
waiting for a simpler tax code.