Washington's leadership criss

One obstacle to tax reform is the administration’s effort to redefine tax reform as reform that only leads to more revenue instead of lower rates for working families. This bizarre revisionism is at odds with every serious tax reform effort in the past 30 years from Reagan-O’Neill in the 1980’s to Simpson-Bowles today, which was embraced by progressives like Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). The moral outrage in today’s code aren’t rates that favor the rich but special interest carve outs that keep rates artificially high for low and middle income Americans who can’t afford to hire a tax earmark lobbyist. Giveaways for pro sports leagues, Hollywood movie producers and green energy companies keep rates high for the very low and middle income families the administration says it wants to protect. Asking working families to subsidize the salaries of wealthy NFL team owners, movie producers, and politically-connected energy executives is hardly the moral high ground in the tax debate. …

In today’s atmosphere of scandal the best thing the president can do to help his administration and the country is to give the House Ways and Means Committee an offer they can’t ignore. It can’t be a rehash of talking points, but a bold and imaginative plan that says the president is serious about a grand bargain and serious about compromise. Or, they can spend the next three years defending an indefensible IRS and fending off other scandal-related questions.