“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.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.