While discussing middle class and corporate tax cuts, Alex Brill says, “The White House has not outlined a revenue neutral tax plan. That’s for certain.”
“Well, the corporate tax is probably the most distortionary and harmful tax in the whole system. It raises about 10 percent of the revenues that are collected come from the corporate tax. As we just heard, it’s the highest in the — one of the highest in the world. It not only hurts businesses and their profits, but it hurts workers, the people who work at those companies.”
“The fundamental idea is that owners of capital are going to put that capital at risk for an investment, and they’re going to be asking the question, “What rate of return am I going to get on that investment after I pay taxes?” They’re not curious what their pre-tax rate of return is. They’re curious about their after-tax rate of return.”
“What are we going to do about health care? Well, it seems at the moment we’re not doing much of anything because the lawmakers in Washington can’t decide the answer to that question. My view is that Republicans have spent a long time talking about what they don’t want in health care. They’ve run for seven years against Obamacare. I think that’s reasonable because there are a lot of flaws in that program. But they’ve spent almost no time clearly defining what it is that they want. And that’s in part why they faulted last Friday and couldn’t get a bill passed out of the House of Representatives.”
“If the tax incentive [for charitable giving] goes away, people will still undoubtedly give to charity, said Alex Brill, research fellow at AEI who published the findings. The AEI model accounts for it. But gifts from wealthy donors could decrease significantly. ‘There’s consensus that the tax break definitely matters. People are always going to quibble about the exact magnitude of the impact,’ Brill said, citing end-of-the-year giving as one example.
“The Trump administration could face some trouble getting its tax reform through by August, [said] Alex Brill…. ‘There’s only so much that Congress can process at the same time. I was very pleased to hear [Treasury Secretary Mnuchin] put an emphasis and a priority on tax reform, an aggressive schedule of a bill signing in August, but we do need to recognize that there’s a whole other conversation in Washington about [Affordable Care Act] repeal, repeal and replace, or repeal and repair that is potentially in conflict,’ simply due to time constraints, Brill said.”
“Tax reform is by definition a game about winners and losers. If there aren’t winners and losers, it’s not tax reform. So there should be no surprise that there are people who are upset about the things that are being discussed, but that doesn’t make it a bad idea…. The idea…is to create a level playing field. There are winners and losers today as a result of the tax code, and if we can clean that system up, we can create fairness between debt and equity, between corporate and non-corporate, between domestically domiciled corporations and foreign competitors.”