Kent Conrad

Congress Has a ‘Lame Duck’ Shot at Fixing Retirement Security
Legislation to help Americans save more for retirement is already moving forward

OPINION — As the midterms approach, the American public’s expectations of any productive policy coming out of Washington are near rock bottom. The postelection “lame duck” session, particularly in the current partisan atmosphere, would normally be a lost cause.

Leadership by a group of lawmakers, however, has given Congress a rare opportunity: bipartisan legislation that would improve the retirement security for millions of Americans.

The Two Budgeteers: All for One in Effort to Update Budget Act | Commentary

Since ratification of the constitutional authority given to Congress to tax and spend in 1788, our government has struggled to manage the federal budget. After numerous failed budget concepts and commissions, the Budget Act was finally enacted in 1974 to establish the modern-day budget process. Almost exactly 40 years since the Budget Act was signed into law, there is growing consensus among policymakers and budget observers that the system no longer functions as intended.

In Camp's Camp: Praising the Effort on Tax Reform | Commentary

The courage to tackle tough problems may be a rare commodity in Washington these days, but there are still a few members of Congress willing to advance fundamental change to overcome the country’s largest challenges. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., is one of those lawmakers. He recently released a comprehensive, detailed tax reform plan aimed at initiating substantive discussions focused on overhauling America’s broken tax code. The release of this draft represents a critical step forward in the process of comprehensive tax reform, a process that will benefit all Americans.

Conrad: No Reform Without Cost Savings

While debate continues over various health care reform proposals, there can be no debate that reform is needed. The status quo on health care is simply not an option.

The cost of health care has been rising year after year, posing a growing threat to families and small businesses across our nation. Estimates show the cost of health insurance is increasing three times faster than wages. This means family budgets are increasingly overwhelmed by health costs and American businesses are struggling to compete globally.

Tax Credits Give Biofuels a Boost

The United States faces a great crisis with the rising cost of gasoline and diesel. Congress must work toward finding a short-term solution to high energy costs, and at the same time we must begin to move our nation to the next generation of automotive fuel. Well-crafted tax policy plays an important role in both efforts.

There is a bipartisan group of 10 Senators who are developing legislation that will help American families and businesses by lowering gas prices, reducing our dependence on foreign oil in the long term and strengthening our economy.

Eliminating Tax Would Be Too Costly
Should estate tax policy be reformed?

I’ll begin by correcting a widely held myth: There is no such thing as a “death tax.”

Not one American is asked to pay a federal tax upon death. Instead, we have a federal estate tax. And it is applied only to individuals of significant wealth — those with estates worth more than $2 million, or $4 million for couples.