June 11, 2012
A New Tax Code for a New Era
Finance Chairman Says Tax Reform is Opportunity to Put America Back on Top
Washington, D.C. – In a keynote address delivered at the Bipartisan Policy Center today, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) laid out his vision for tax reform. Baucus said tax reform is an opportunity to cement America's lead in the 21st century global economy. He announced four goals:
These goals are the keys to America’s future and securing our lead in the global economy:
jobs from broad-based growth, competitiveness, innovation, and opportunity.
But as Congress tackles tax reform, Baucus said it has to keep in mind the hurdles to overcome. He highlighted the large budget deficit, worsening education and waning opportunity, which undermine the American Dream. And Baucus noted the drastic changes in both the world and the U.S. since the last major tax reform in 1986. The tax code, Baucus said, has not kept up:
Now it’s acting as a brake on our economy when we need to move at full speed.
It’s time we had a tax code for the 21st century.
Baucus asserted that America’s greatest need is jobs, and he said jobs can come, in part, by trimming the fat from the tax code and ending the uncertainty it causes:
Every tax provision needs to prove it has a tangible benefit to our economy or society.
If not, it doesn’t belong in the tax code.
Baucus called for revisions to the tax code, saying it needs to support American competitiveness. He said the U.S. has one of the highest statutory corporate tax rates in the world, and the code does not adequately protect against corporations shifting profits and jobs overseas:
When it comes to international tax rules, we seem to have the worst of all worlds.
Plenty of U.S. companies are choosing to keep jobs here at home. We need to encourage that.
Baucus urged for the tax code to support innovation here at home, because since 1986, the U.S. economy has become more dependent on the innovative sectors that will yield 21st-century jobs:
There’s a reason why Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley are in America. It’s because we’re innovators. The tax code needs to bolster this innovation. Innovative companies create jobs.
Baucus said tax reform needs to widen opportunity and refocus education tax benefits to give help to those in need. He added that widening opportunity and access to education will boost shared growth and build more of a meritocracy:
Education is the key to unlocking our potential, and it’s one of the best investments we can make as a nation. Promoting education and opportunity will pay dividends.
Baucus called tax reform a once-in-a-generation opportunity to cement America’s preeminence in the world. He said it will be difficult, but by remaining focused on goals, it can be a success:
Tax reform can create jobs. It can spark innovation.
It can expand opportunity. It can guarantee our competitiveness.