Wydenmentum!

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 10 2010 9:45 AM

Wydenmentum!

Remember what Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told me last month, about the chances for his progressive tax simplification plan?

"The rest of 2010," Wyden says, "and the first six months of 2011—six, eight months of 2011—are really key."

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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Wyden's best shot is for elite opinion to circle around the findings of the deficit commission, for the president take up his cause as a political tactic, and for Republicans in the House to see benefits for themselves in a somewhat flattened tax system. These are giant-sized "ifs."

One of the "ifs" is reducing to normal sized.

While administration officials cautioned on Thursday that no decisions have been made and that any debate in Congress could take years, Mr. Obama has directed his economic team and Treasury Department analysts to review options for closing loopholes and simplifying income taxes for corporations and individuals, though the study of the corporate tax system is farther along, officials said.

So: incoming Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp wants to talk about this, and the White House wants to talk about this. The question is whether the likely compromise on kludged tax cut extensions means that all tax cut compromises will be defined by kludges, or that members of Congress will finally get sick of this.

 

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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