by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Many big-government liberals and almost the entire congressional caucus that represents them will vocally oppose any plan that lowers tax rates, traducing them in typical fashion as benefiting only big business and the wealthy.
But in the past, the fiercest and most dangerous opponents of tax reform have included not only those on the Left but also businesses themselves. The complexities of the tax code are largely the result of corporate special-interest lobbying. America’s unnaturally high tax rates — our corporate rates are the highest of any developed country — is the fault of big business as well.
It is therefore crucial this time around for companies and trade groups to drop their defense of special loopholes and carveouts and get behind a tax reform that lowers rates and simplifies the code.
Tax reform can boost the economy and reduce government interference in business, but it will work only if Congress axes all special-interest carveouts, inconsistencies, and loopholes. If it softens on this and suggests that some might be saved, we will get an internecine warfare with each business scrambling to make sure its federal favors are the ones that get saved. Real, effective, reform requires that no one’s darling be spared. Do not ask for whom the bell tolls; it must toll for everyone.