Why Rep. Dave Camp rolled out tax reform plan in an election year

GOP Rep. Dave Camp wants his recently unveiled tax reform plan to bring simplicity to a US tax code that is '10 times the size of the Bible with none of the good news.' It won't get traction this election year, but it starts the conversation.

Michael Bonfigli/Staff
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp speaks at the St. Regis Hotel on March 5, 2014, in Washington.

Rep. Dave Camp (R) of Michigan heads the House Ways and Means Committee and recently unveiled the first comprehensive tax reform plan in nearly 30 years. He was the guest at the March 5 Monitor Breakfast.

Why he rolled out a new tax bill in an election year:

"There were two compelling reasons.... One was, we need stronger economic growth.... The second was simplicity. The code has grown increasingly complex."

His favorite line on the current US tax code:

"The tax code is 10 times the size of the Bible with none of the good news."

The Obama administration's response:

"I read very carefully the White House's comments on the release, and it wasn't 'no.' "

His plan to close the 'carried interest' loophole that lets Wall Street executives pay lower rates on their earnings:

"What we are trying to do ... is have a common-sense test. Where the income is salary and wages, it should be taxed as salary and wages."

The Justice Department investigation of how the IRS targeted conservative groups:

"We found that the targeting was more widespread than they had admitted.... There still [are] a lot of unanswered questions, in my mind."

His plan to reform the Earned Income Tax Credit, which benefits poor families:

"The real problem with the EITC is the huge error rate.... [W]e need to make sure there is program integrity."

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