GOP Lawmakers Short On Tax Plan Speci...

GOP Lawmakers Short On Tax Plan Specifics

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Smart Liberal

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Oct 4, 2012
DENVER -- Mitt Romney refuses to identify which tax deductions and loopholes he would close in order to pay for the tax cuts he would push as president, arguing that coming up with such details is Congress' job. But at this point, Republican lawmakers aren't giving many specifics either.

Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) said that any specifics "will be general in nature."

"We’re going to go through on a case-by-case basis, because part of the challenge we face right now is that we have a tax code that businesses have built out their business plan on," he told ThinkProgress. "That's why you want to be cautious with some specifics right now, because if that goes away tomorrow, we're creating some of the indecisiveness that's there."

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), walking around at the Conservative Political Action Conference here on Thursday afternoon, said that if he had his way, Congress would wipe the slate clean and then decide which deductions to put into the tax code, rather than deciding which ones to keep.

"I would do away with all of them and start with what the rates would be.... And then decide, OK, do we want to have a deduction for charitable giving? Do we want to have a deduction for mortgage interest? And then as you add those things back in, obviously you have to raise the rates accordingly," he told HuffPost. "I think that's the best approach to it."

When lawmakers did identify deductions or loopholes they'd be willing to let go, the tax breaks tended to be relatively small or obscure, nothing big enough to offset the tax cuts Romney would like.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), also at CPAC 2012, said he was looking forward to sitting down with Democrats and hammering out fixes to the tax code. He pointed to the deduction for luxury skyboxes as one he'd be open to getting rid of. Right now, corporations that purchase such suites can deduct up to 50 percent of their cost, as well as the cost of refreshments.

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