How do we get to tax reform? Lessons from the Bush Panel
A good tax system raises the revenues needed to finance government spending in a manner that is as simple, equitable, and growth-friendly as possible. Everyone agrees the U.S. tax system could be improved. Perennial calls for tax changes range from minor tune-ups to complete overhauls. There is strong disagreement, however, about which issues are the most important and how they should be addressed.
In 2005, President George W. Bush established the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, which released a report entitled “Simple, Fair, and Pro-Growth: Proposals to Fix America’s Tax System,” proposing sweeping changes to the tax system. Today, presidential candidates of both parties are offering reforms.
On November 3, in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the release of the Advisory Panel’s report, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center hosted a discussion on the economic and political lessons of the panel’s report for tax reform going forward. The event featured a keynote address by Jason Furman, Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and a panel discussion featuring key members and staff of the Bush Tax Panel, including Vice-Chairman John Breaux, Edward Lazear, James Poterba, Charles Rossotti and Rosanne Altshuler. The speakers also took questions from the audience.