Baucus Seeks Revenue in Tax Redo

Senate finance chair calls for ‘tax code for the 21st century.’

Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rewrite the U.S. tax code to promote job growth and reduce the federal budget deficit, said Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Jobs, innovation, competitiveness and opportunity for lower-income Americans to advance should be four principles that lawmakers focus on as they revise the tax code, he said today in a speech at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. The Montana Democrat provided few details on his ideal tax code, such as a top rate, a revenue level or the fate of tax breaks.

Cautious Approach

Panelists who spoke after Baucus today noted his cautious approach to offering details, which fits with his record of trying to develop consensus bipartisan proposals.

’Sacred Cows’

Lawmakers should scrutinize tax breaks to ensure they’re justified and achieving the desired results, and Congress will need to “slay some sacred cows,” Baucus said. He said education tax benefits should be restructured because they “currently give the most help to those who already have the most opportunities.”

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