Global Conference 2011
Tax Reform: The Impossible Dream
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 / 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
In 1986, the leaders of both political parties joined forces to push through sweeping tax reforms that had been bitterly opposed by powerful interests. These reforms broadened the tax base by reducing a host of preferences, which allowed policymakers to lower marginal tax rates sharply with only modest losses in revenue. But in the decades since, lobbyists have fought back - and with considerable success. The personal and corporate tax codes are again riddled with preferences that erode revenue, distort economic incentives and offend the public's sense of equity. Moreover, the bipartisanship that made reform possible a quarter-century ago is now only a fading memory. This panel will assay the prospects for tax reform in the face of growing demands on the federal budget and deep political divisions over the proper course of government.