Charles Rangel on AMT and Tax Proposal

By October 30, 2007Taxation

Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel argues for his Tax Reduction and Reform Act in today’s Wall Street Journal. After focusing on the AMT provisions, he makes the broader case for tax reform.

In order to create an environment that allows American businesses to compete and win internationally, I propose a significant reduction in the corporate marginal tax rate, and a removal of incentives for businesses to move jobs overseas. The legislation will also repeal narrowly targeted tax breaks that have limited value, can often be cumbersome for companies to realize and, in some instances, have outlived their original intent.

Tax reform will not be achieved overnight. However, this package should bring even the most partisan conservatives to the table for an overdue debate on the future of our nation’s tax policies. This nation must come to grips with the repercussions of recent fiscal irresponsibility.

Opponents will attack my reforms by labeling them a tax increase. This false rhetoric ignores the tax cuts that would be provided to some 90 million Americans as well as the Joint Committee on Taxation’s Determination that the bill is revenue-neutral. Some of my Republican friends have even suggested financing of tax reform with a round of tax cuts that are not paid-for. Supporters of this approach should have the courage to lay out a precise plan for how they will pay for the ongoing war in Iraq, the commitments to our veterans, much-needed improvements in our infrastructure. and investments in our health-care and education systems.

The introduction of my bill marks the start, not the end, of the legislative process. Tax reform requires painful choices and my bill reflects that reality. But those who would attack my bill without suggesting alternatives are in the posture of defending the status quo, a posture that is outside the mainstream desires of the American people and the bulk of the business community.

Although not in the hard-copy version of the paper, the Journal gives online space to former Delaware Gov. Pete DuPont to offer the counterarguments.

[The] liberal establishment takes a negative view of tax rate reductions and embraces the opposite approach: ensure expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2011 and in the meantime enact substantial tax increases.

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