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Policy Experts, Elected Officials to Discuss Bipartisan Tax Reform Opportunities

WHAT: Panel Discussion:  Towards Bipartisan Tax Policy

WHO:  Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), opening remarks
- Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), closing remarks
- Robert Carroll, executive in residence and codirector, Center for Public Finance Research, American University; vice president for economic policy, Tax Foundation; and former deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis with the Bush administration
- John E. “Buck” Chapoton, board member, Concord Coalition; and former assistant secretary for tax policy with the Reagan administration
- Maya MacGuineas, director, fiscal policy program, New America Foundation; president, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
- Diane Lim Rogers, chief economist, Concord Coalition; former Democratic chief economist for the House Budget Committee and House Ways and Means Committee

WHEN:    9:30–11:30 a.m. Thursday, February 12   

WHERE:    304 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20016

MEDIA:     Jon Hussey, AU Media Relations, 202-885-5935 or

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Policy experts with different views and elected officials on different sides of the aisle will come together Thursday on Capitol Hill to discuss opportunities for tax reform.

American University’s Center for Public Finance Research, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Concord Coalition, the New America Foundation and the Tax Foundation are sponsoring a conference February 12 that will be dedicated to a bipartisan approach to tax policy for the new Congress and administration.

The conference, which will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the 304 Cannon House Office Building, will open with remarks from Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). It will then feature a panel of four policy experts who will present their new paper, “Towards Bipartisan Tax Policy.” On the panel will be Robert Carroll of American University and the Tax Foundation, John E. “Buck” Chapoton and Diane Lim Rogers of the Concord Coalition, and Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. It will conclude with remarks from Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

While experts may disagree on the role and size of government, there is considerable common ground on a set of principles from which to approach tax policy.  The four researchers on the panel have diverse views and perspectives on fiscal and tax policy, and they have served with both Democratic and Republican administrations and members of Congress. But they will present a paper that aims to ensure that these principles and a set of reasonable policy ideas are brought to bear on the tax policy debate as it unfolds over the next several years.  

The panel discussion will focus on the need for greater simplicity and transparency, greater scrutiny of existing tax preferences and benefits of base broadening, the need for reform of the U.S. business tax system, the economic benefits of placing greater emphasis on consumption taxation in a distributionally balanced manner, and the role of environmental taxes to address global warming. 

The effort builds on calls by President Obama for greater bipartisanship to address the nation’s problems. By presenting a reasonable middle ground approach to tax policy to illustrate the types of sensible policy choices that could be made, there could emerge a serious effort to address fundamental problems with the tax system. 

Tax policy can be expected to play a prominent role in the domestic policy debate as the new Administration unveils its approach to the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges. Despite their different approaches to tax and fiscal policy, all four authors agree that the current tax system is inadequate to handle the economic and budgetary challenges that lie before our nation, and that there must be a bipartisan basis to any reform.

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