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POLITICS: PennAve

American Action Forum: Tax code due for overhaul, Dave Camp's plan will boost growth

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Congress,PennAve,Joseph Lawler,Economy,Dave Camp,Tax Reform

The tax code overhaul proposed by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp will boost economic and job growth and reduce the deficit, according to a new analysis from the American Action Forum.

Based on a review of the research on lowering tax rates and cutting tax loopholes, AAF estimates that the Michigan Republican's proposal could increase economic output and lead to as many as 500,000 new jobs a year early on, and yield up to $1.5 trillion in deficit savings over 10 years.

Those results are based on the AAF's own assessment of the academic literature on tax reform, and are independent of the official Joint Tax Committee figures released alongside the Camp bill this week. The Joint Tax Committee estimated that the measure would add $3.4 trillion in gross domestic product and 1.8 million new private-sector jobs over 10 years while having a neutral effect on the deficit.

The AAF authors were the right-of-center think tank's president and former congressional budget director and GOP adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin and fiscal policy director Gordon Gray.

Holtz-Eakin and Gray note that America's corporate tax rate of 39.1 percent "is the highest among all major developed economies" and hasn't been significantly changed since 1986.

Reducing the corporate income tax to 25 percent and expanding the tax base, they write, would be an "essential element of any pro-growth tax reform."

In addition to changes to the corporate tax code, the Camp bill would compress the current seven income tax brackets from seven to two, with the highest rate falling from 39.6 percent to 35 percent.

Holtz-Eakin and Gray reviewed the best studies done on tax reform to arrive at their estimates showing the Camp reform boosting growth. The Camp bill, however, is not expected to move in the House or Senate.

The Camp bill would make numerous changes to every facet of the U.S. tax code, with wide-ranging effects on tax revenues and different groups. The Holtz-Eakin/Gray analysis focuses on the rate reductions and tax base-broadening measures, which they said were most significant in terms of economic impact.

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