Building Support for Tax Reform
The country’s top tax writers were in Memphis for the fourth instalment of their national tour seeking to boost support for tax reform, The Hill newspaper reports.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) stopped by FedEx's headquarters on Sept. 9 to sit down with both corporate executives and the small businesses that work with the shipping heavyweight.
Before that, Camp and Baucus were in nearby Oakland, Tenn., to meet with owners of a family farm.
Camp and Baucus have already stopped by the Minneapolis area, the Philadelphia area and the San Francisco Bay Area as part of their barnstorming tour, which kicked off in July.
The two chairmen are pressing to build grassroots support for their long-time goal of tax reform. Both Camp and Baucus have told colleagues they will mark up a bill this fall, but many in Washington believe the two chairmen face long odds.
Congress and the White House, for instance, will also be concentrating on keeping the government funded past September and raising the debt ceiling when lawmakers return next month.
Baucus and Camp have called for overhauling both the corporate and individual tax systems, though President Obama has so far shown more interest in the corporate side. Many small businesses pay taxes as individuals.
Fred Smith, FedEx’s chief executive, underscored the divide that sometimes pops to the surface between big and small business during last year’s "fiscal-cliff" debate, when he called for increasing individual rates and lowering corporate rates.
The "fiscal-cliff" deal also put permanent parameters for the estate tax, a concern for many family farms, into place. But Obama has since called for rolling back the current 40 percent rate and inflation-indexed $5 million exemption.