Sen. Ron Wyden, enter stage... well, stage center, I guess.
The Fiscal Commission demonstrates what Senator Gregg and I have spent the last year saying: By eliminating what amounts to tax earmarks for special interests, it is possible to simplify the tax code, promote economic growth and cut taxes for the vast majority of American families and businesses. Obviously, what the Fiscal Commission terms "Wyden-Gregg style reform" does not, in some respects, go as far as Wyden-Gregg does in simplifying filing for individuals and families and scaling back the corporate rate. While in other respects, it goes too far. For example, Senator Gregg and I considered limits on mortgage and charitable deductions too politically controversial to include in our legislation. But what I hope people will take away from the Fiscal Commission’s report is the fact that, when it comes to taxes, Congress needs to do more than simply vote on an extension of the Bush Tax Cuts. Extending a broken tax system will do nothing more than extend the current economic stagnation. If my colleagues are serious about creating jobs and growing the economy while addressing the nation’s fiscal health we need to get serious about comprehensive tax reform.
Wyden's been banging the drum for progressive flat tax reform for years, with even fewer takers than his health care reform compromise. And he's just been re-elected, so there's no pressure to apply from the left. So this is how the Commission starts to get taken seriously, by having its component concepts adopted by the Democrats who run the Senate.