Tax Reform Time

Dan Shaviro, a tax law professor at NYU, has a useful analysis of the new tax reform proposals coming out of Bush’s Tax Reform Commission. (See Kevin Drum for another summary.) I figured originally it was enough just to sneer at the proposal on account of it: a) being revenue-neutral, thus locking in the present budget deficits, and b) shifting the tax burden from wealth to work. Shaviro suggests it’s not quite as bad as all that, and there are some decent ideas in there, but that these reforms are extremely unlikely to happen—especially the caps on deductions for employer-backed health insurance and interest on mortgages—and the Bush administration will probably just “bury this plan under the heaviest rock they can find.” Fair enough.