Commission members of both parties have praised the idea of tax reform that makes the system simpler and avoids big tax-rate hikes.
Under the plan crafted by commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles (D) and Alan Simpson (R), this kind of tax reform, coupled with an increase of 15 cents per gallon in the gasoline tax, would also be used as a tool to reduce deficits. The plan would bring in nearly $1 trillion more revenue than the current baseline, over the next decade.
This dollar figure could be a stumbling block to any deal in Congress. Some Democrats think tax-revenue increases should shoulder even more of the deficit-reduction burden. (The commission plan would cut federal deficits by nearly $4 trillion over a decade). Republicans have the opposite concern, worrying that new tax revenue will end up going to new spending rather than deficit reduction.