Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Twelve reasons to like Jeb’s tax plan

Jeb Bush has released a tax plan.  Here are some elements of it that I find attractive:
  1. It lowers the top rate on personal income to 28 percent, the same rate as the bipartisan 1986 tax reform.
  2. It broadens the base by capping the use of itemized deductions.
  3. It eliminates the deductibility of state and local taxes, so low-tax states and towns no longer subsidize high-tax ones.
  4. It maintains the deductibility of charitable giving, encouraging private solutions to social problems.
  5. It reforms the tax treatment of secondary earners and seniors, who are more responsive to tax incentives than primary earners.
  6. It eliminates the stealth marginal tax rates from PEP and Pease.
  7. It eliminates the estate tax, so the tax system no longer penalizes those who want to help their children and grandchildren.
  8. It lowers the corporate tax rate to be close to international norms.
  9. It moves from a global to a territorial tax system, like most other nations have.
  10. It eliminates the deductibility of interest expenses, putting debt finance and equity finance on a more level planning field.
  11. It includes full expensing of investment expenditure, moving the system toward a consumption-based tax.
  12. It expands the earned income tax credit for childless taxpayers, strengthening the social safety net.
Here is an assessment of the plan by John Cogan, Martin Feldstein, Glenn Hubbard, and Kevin Warsh.