“It is exactly the same process that has been used by every other bipartisan effort, be it Rivlin-Domenici, Simpson-Bowles, be it the ‘gang of six,’ and that is you start to clear out the tax expenditures — the tax loopholes — and you do that in order to bring down rates and generate more revenue,” Hensarling said. “We can debate the revenue level, but the approach is exactly the same.”
The Bowles-Simpson report generated by the president’s deficit reduction commission, for example, proposed to tax all capital gains and dividends at ordinary income rates, as opposed to 2011’s top rate of 20 percent, and placed caps on the deductibility of mortgage rates.
Though discussion of revenues is certainly a step forward for the panel — even top lawmakers outside the group acknowledged that this week — there is a considerable way to go before a deal and less than two weeks to do it.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.