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White House Plan to Close Special Interest Tax Loopholes Is the Right Approach to Reform, But Details Matter
Statement by Phineas Baxandall, Senior Tax and Budget Analyst for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, in response to the White House announcement today proposing to eliminate tax loopholes and preferences.
"The President has put forward the beginnings of a tax reform plan that takes the right approach, but is still missing critical details.
"America needs a level playing field where businesses succeed by being more productive and innovative, not by hiding profits in the Cayman Islands or other tax havens. By ending special-interest tax preferences, the administration plan could help the economy and reduce debt, while addressing public outrage about large companies dodging their taxes.
"The current system serves nobody except the relatively few companies that can most exploit these loopholes and the armies of tax lawyers and lobbyists that must be hired to play this destructive game.
"The President’s plan includes very promising proposals. If the details include reforms such as complete reporting of all profits and taxes paid, clear cut rules to end profit shifting to bogus off-shore subsidiaries and enforceable minimum rates to deter tax avoidance gamesmanship, then this plan will fulfill its promise.
"Preventing firms from sheltering profits overseas will encourage companies to keep their business here. We were encouraged to see some of the revenue raised put toward clean energy. We urge that loophole closing is pursued aggressively and that additional revenue will be put toward some combination of reducing the public debt and reducing severe cuts to public priorities."
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