President Bush has put tax reform on the agenda, and the folks he has appointed to study it are only a couple of months from issuing their recommendations. Historically, figuring out what to do to the tax code has been almost as contentious a political issue as judicial appointments.
But that need not be the case. There are plenty of high value changes to the tax code that most reasonable folks should favor.
If I were charged with designing a tax reform for the President, I would invite economists and lawyers from the left and the right to design a tax reform. I would try to include individuals who had advised Senator Kerry in the previous election, and those who advised the President. I would shoot for the biggest stars, including Nobel winners. I would then gather them in a room, and let them argue amongst themselves and try to forge a new consensus.
While I am not devising the President’s plan, I did just perform the exercise, and the result is a new book you can download for free here.
In future posts, I will talk about what I think we learned.
Hal Varian of the New York Times just wrote an article based on the book here.