I hope Mark is right about tax reform. The stuff that is being floated right now is comically terrible.
Rather than putting forth tax reform, it now looks like Bush will be spending his “political capital” on so-called social security reform. Right now it looks like the “reform” will be a benefit cut tied together with a couple trillion dollars in debt in order to fund privatization accounts.
Give me a couple trillion dollars, and I too can think of some great ways to make a bad policy look good.
I was at a panel discussion earlier this week with Gene Steuerle of the Urban Institute, who said that he was skeptical that the Bush administration would propose a serious overhaul of the tax code because, “I know what it looks like when people are working seriously on tax reform, and I’m not seeing it.” As a Treasury official in the Reagan era, Steuerle was one of the architects of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, so he does indeed know what it looks like, probably better than anyone.