Senate takes 'blank slate' approach on tax reform

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Democrat and Republican on the Senate's tax writing committee say they're starting with a "blank slate" approach to tax reform that envisions stripping the code of every single tax break as a setup to a debate over which ones to add back in.

Democratic Chairman Max Baucus and Republican Orrin Hatch say that any tax breaks should be restored only if they "grow the economy, make the tax code fairer" or promote some other important policy objective.

Breaks like tax-free retirement accounts and the home mortgage interest deduction would probably be favored to survive but special interest favors for individual industries face longer odds.

The idea is that ridding the tax code of many tax breaks would allow lawmakers to lower tax rates for both individuals and businesses.